How come faux is just so hot right now? Read on to find out...
When the then-First Lady Michelle Obama couldn’t get real hibiscus blooms to work at a state dinner at the White House, she naturally turned to fake ones instead! Artificial florals are turning up in all the smartest places thanks to the fantastic innovations happening in their manufacture. Our real-touch tulips are the perfect example of this; they’ve fooled more people than we can mention…
Faux is getting waaay past the tackier than Pritt-Stick image it garnered in the 20th century. Fake plastic plants 🪴 in garish colours litter our photos of the 60s and 70s, rightfully gaining a place in the hall of ‘We’ll Never Do That Again’ fame.
This wasn’t always the case, though; in times gone by faux was the ultimate in luxe, a way to demonstrate status in the world. The Ancient Egyptians were the first to create fake flowers, making them from linen and horn, while Ancient Romans made their artificial flora from wax. Melty 🕯️.
Beginning with the advent of silk in Imperial China 1500 years ago, the beauty secrets of silken faux florals made their way across the world through East to West, hitting Italy as far back as the 12th Century. Then the French took it to unparalleled style levels (as only they can do!) and exported it to Britain after their revolution. Et voilà…we fell in lurrrrve!
Family of flower makers, c. 1910
Credit: Museum of London
Throughout the Victorian era, like much to do with flowers, faux took hold of the senses of nations. There were over 4000 flower makers on the census of London in 1891. However, for most their working conditions were dire, with their children pressed into service too.
By the early 20th century, these social issues plus modern innovation started to take its toll on faux. The use of silk to manufacture faux floral arrangements and artificial flower accessories was overtaken by newly created fabrics like polyester, combined with machine-led manufacturing techniques, all rendering them less realistic. Faux fell out of favour…oh no; quelle horreur!!!
Today thankfully, things are looking (and feeling!) very different. A faux-volution is erupting, with incredible lifelike artificial blooms and faux-liage edging out the now-less-than environmentally sound choice of real flowers. Living blooms are by their very nature ephemeral as well as beautiful. In today’s fast-paced world of immediate gratification however, their ability to be ever-guest-ready is entirely eclipsed by the versatility and believability of faux florals.
And to that, we say...
Vive La Faux-volution! 🌸