Antique dresses and flowers, a match made in heaven.

Ah, antique dresses and flowers. A match made in heaven. There are some really lovely antique pieces in the shop right now, and we really feel that nothing brings an antique dress to life more than flowers. With spring and summer coming, that means that flower picking, wedding, and all things flower season are coming up. So, we paired together five dresses from our shop and some flower arrangements from florists we adore.

Our Hearken to Elegance Gown, in its rich, burgundy looks perfect with this moody, sculptural flower arrangement from Putnam & Putnam. We love how the color of this dress looks with these deep purples and hints of yellow.

The sweet Gentle Motion Dress  is made of the softest pink and softest silk. They’re actually separates, so the top can be worn separately from the bottom. We thought the sweetness of this pair looked perfect with this ruffly cream and pink RUE ANAFEL arrangement. It has a bit of whimsy, like it was plucked straight from an english garden.

Our Modern Enchantments Dress is an Edwardian lawn dress. Its soft cotton is perfect for wearing on a warm day either lounging around the house or taking walks through nature. We paired it with this Sarah Winward arrangement, a bit wild and unruly which looks like it was foraged from a meadow in the mountains.

Our romantic Bronte Parsonage Dress is made of beautiful antique lace. This would be a perfect wedding dress, so refined with its high neckline and fitted waist. We paired it with this arrangement by Amy Merrick. The pair both look straight out of a classic painting of a girl with flowers.

We imagine a girl who lives in the country and love going on walks along the stream owning our Gossamer Whisper Dress. Her perfect day would be clipping flora sand foliage from around her home all day to come home right as the sun sets and place them in an antique vase she found at a local antique shop. We paired this dress with an arrangement from Foxglove Botanicals, because its the exact arrangement we’d imagine her making.

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The Language of Flowers | Guest Post from RUE ANAFEL

Hello AV ladies! Saria from RUE ANAFEL here making a Valentine’s Day guest post. I have to be honest, in my adolescent years I disliked Valentine’s Day. The rebellious side of thought, “A consumer holiday created by Hallmark exploiting people to make a buck off the idea of romance.” But you know, Valentine’s Day has become one of my favorite holidays now. And really only because of flowers.

Valentine’s Day to me now isn’t about romance or consumerism, it’s about flowers. It’s the only day in the year (in the States, at least) when you step out, you see people carrying flowers, be it in their arms walking down the street, in their backpack riding their bicycle, or sitting on their car dash board. I mean, I wish every day or at least week were more filled with people bringing flowers home, but hey, at least there’s one day out of the year.

I feel like flowers have been somewhat forgotten in American culture. When I was in Europe, everyone had flowers in their home. Looking around the streets of Holland, so many people are riding their bicycles with flowers. In the 19th century, flowers played such a crucial role in culture, that they were even used as a type of language. People would use flower bouquets to send coded messages that were not allowed to be spoken aloud in Victorian society.

If you plan to buy some flowers this year for yourself or a partner and want to send a coded message, here’s a mini reference guide of 6 flowers and their meanings:

Lilac –

“First emotions of love. Oh, Lilac.” The sweet smell of early spring and sign of hope for warmer months to come, just the same as feelings of a newfound sprouting love.

Iris –

“I have a message for you.” An iris starts off closed and, what seems like overnight, falls open like a book. An air of mystery soon followed by exposing one’s intimate inside.

Bachelor Buttons, also known as Cornflower –

“Delicacy, Purity of Feelings, and Good Fortune.” Some of my favorite summer memories involve bachelor buttons.I see myself with my eyes squinting from the brightness of the summer sun then looking over at my partner in the driver seat. Riding down country roads and seeing blue speckles scattered about the side of the highway, along wood and wire fences containing horses and cows. It’s was a moment of presence for me, of pure happiness and joy.

Larkspur –

“Lightness and Desire for Laughter.” Larkspur is the ultimate garden meadow flower to me. I imagine them perfectly situation in the most perfect meadow style English garden. They bloom in the spring and summer, a time filled with laughter and feeling light hearted.

Pink Rose –

“Admiration.” Oh, a pink garden rose. Like the ethereal princess of all the flowers. So lovely and ethereal in every sense of the words.

White Camellia –

“Faithfulness and Longevity.” Also one of the first spring bloomers, when I see camellia blooming I know spring has come. Year after year, at the end of winter I always keep my eye out for camellia, for the coming of spring.

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Inspiration du Jour: Vintage Seed Packets

Last week I picked up several packets of seeds to germinate this summer (see my summer project lest in the sidebar?) and it made me realize how absolutely delightful I find seed packet design. I have a particular fondness for seed packet designs that have varied little since their first conception. These vintage seed packets are so lovely, aren’t they? My favorite is probably the Verbena design. So beautiful!

Vintage Floral Seed Packet Inspiration

While we were in France I purchased a couple seed packets from a little village that boasted a most magnificent herb garden. The village had been around since the 1300s I believe! C’est merveilleux! The seeds I got to germinate for planting later this summer season (or I may pot them before I transfer them next Spring…) include Bachelor Buttons, Savory, Larkspur, Dill, English Thyme, and a Peony Poppy.  I’ve never germinated seeds before, so hopefully it all goes well!

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Une Fille et Les Fleurs

I am a creature of comfort and I find comfort in very simple things. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks and a bit of a rollercoaster at the most basic level and so I turn to flowers and nature for comfort. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” John Burroughs, Victorian naturalist and nature journalist.

Adored Vintage | Une Fille et Les Fleurs

I called upon my friend, Esther Jean, this morning for an impromptu breakfast date. She had promised me a delicious home cooked breakfast, and well, when one needs nourishment for mind, body, and spirit… it is a comfort to know one has a friend to call upon.

After green tea, poached eggs (perfectly spiced by something or other, yum!) and English muffin with fig jam (so many new things I must go buy now at the grocery store!) we decided to lift up our semi crushed spirits and go vintage hunting.

And OH! I really must proclaim, retail therapy IS a THING. I picked up a couple pretty things for the shop but mostly got new things for me. Like this vintage 1970s wildflower print dress in faded mustard yellow! So what if it looks like it is made out of an old curtain in a dusty old living room in the South of England. Even better I say!

J’adore cette robe beaucoup! I think I’m that age where my style really isn’t going to change anymore. I tend to gravitate towards the same silhouettes, same color palettes, same prints. More and more… I am turning into ma mère.

Have I told you yet that my mother built a house in the rural mountains of the Philippines and started an Organic Eco farm in the village she lives in? She messaged me the other day to let me know they have gotten two new goats. C’est mon rêve! My mother also loves floral prints, straw hats, and flowers. Oh, the apple does not fall far from the tree!

Adored Vintage | Une Fille et Les Fleurs

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Fields and Meadows

It is of course no secret how much I adore flowers. I daydream about having an English countryside garden or frolicking through a meadow of wildflowers. I have (very unsuccessfully) tried to talk my husband into buying a farmhouse out in the country so I can live out my pastoral dreams.

He is NOT into it.

I know. I know! So selfish! Doesn’t he know the EPICNESS that will be of living in a white farmhouse surrounded by a field of Queen Anne’s lace and ruffly pale blue cosmos, and purple headed thistles, and deep pink clovers?

backyardmeadowflowersAnd I, of course, will wear only linen and cotton, and antique blue pinstriped aprons and will probably take to wearing Heidi braids all the time.

Since I know we won’t be living in my dream 1800s farmhouse anytime soon, I started researching how to grow my own wildflower field in the backyard. Growing a wildflower garden seems pretty low maintenance.

I mean I ASSUME it will be low maintenance. You throw some seeds here, some seeds there…and VIOLA! Instant Meadow for Frolicking!

Well, as much as you can frolic in a backyard anyway…

image credits | (from top left) 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 /


I’m looking to order some flower seeds from Johnny’s Flower Seeds. I’ve never planted flowers from a seed before, so we’ll see how this goes! Also, this image above, I’m pretty sure this is one version of Heaven. // image source

If you’re curious which flower seeds I am ordering for our backyard… I’m starting with a modest 1 packet of each of these…

Nigella, Scabiosa, Larkspur, Lupine, Snapdragon, and Delphinium. So, not exactly meadow flowers, but I’ll just random plant them around the yard as if it were a meadow. More wild, more organic. Probably going to pass on Delphinium though since it’s really toxic for pets…and our dog eats random plants outside all the time…

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