What We Lose In Flowers

17th October, 2013

Flowers1Taking a short detour, a momentary respite from our travel series, I am pleased to share a story shot in anticipation of our trip, when visions of what lay in store existed only in my imagination. It was the middle of Fashion Week, and I was still adjusting to the speed of the city after a summer spent out in the country. I was meditating on how to reconcile the surge of creativity that experience had instilled in me with the mad distractions inherent to city living. And between shows and meetings, I was also hard at work styling Daniel Vosovic’s Spring 2014 collection, for which he took a lot of inspiration from the iconic look of Frida Kahlo. Flowers2Frida’s name will always make me think of flowers, my own favorite little luxury in life. I always have to have fresh bouquets of them scattered around my apartment ~ especially living in a city so removed from nature. While we were in Hoi An, Vietnam, I loved waking up to exotic explosions of them, casually sprouting in our courtyard. And later in our pilgrimage, when we arrived in Thailand (I’ll tell you all about that adventure soon!), I was charmed by the floral garlands so pervasively used across the country’s cultural customs. Flowers3Besides spoiling us with fresh eggs and bánh mi, our next-door-neighbor in Hoi An also taught us how to make the most marvelous salad from banana flowers. Our paths will probably never cross again, but the memory of her is stirred by the image above, which also calls to my mind childhood remembrances of trips to San Miguel de Allende, last spring’s sojourn in Bali, the blossomy naïveté of our young model, and my own collaborative work with Jamie Beck, who took the picture, and with Daniel Vosovic, who designed the clothes therein. Each of these story lines weave together for me in a single image, and some semblance of that alchemy must be what we are all looking for when making artistic work. It’s a way to keep these sensory experiences, these otherwise insignificant storylines alive. Flowers4The title of this post was borrowed from the gallerist Bill Powers’ new book, which shares the same name. Its tale deals with the meaning of art and the inevitability of mortality, wrapped up in the premise that “what we lose in petals, we gain in fruit.” We live in a society obsessed with triumph and humiliation, one that battles with the warring truths that as we age and ripen, bearing fruit in the form of meaningful creative work and lasting family legacies, so too do we lose our youthful luster, our cultural relevance and our social value. Like Haruki Murakami wrote in ‘Norwegian Wood‘, “Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of life. By living our lives, we nurture death.” Life and its loveliness are forever slipping inexorably away. Like flowers, when we are blooming brightest, we know the end is eerily near. Flowers5Small deaths occur constantly as we waltz through life. Relationships change and degrade, and a beautiful moment is gone forever as soon as it is lived, so the pictures of things often last much longer than the actual recorded objects. Perhaps this is why we are so anxious to document every moment of human history ~ and so much of our own personal experiences ~ online. Why we feverishly make photographs of moments instead of simply living in them. Sometimes it’s hard to know which matters more. Ancient Aztec poetry used flowers to symbolize the fragility of life, the transience of beauty, and the elusiveness of truth. If, as they wrote, we are all like flowers continually perishing, then the decay should be celebrated as beautifully as the blooms. Flowers6|WHAT WE LOSE IN FLOWERS| starring Jane Pfeffer of MSA Models |PHOTOGRAPHY| by Jamie Beck |WRITTEN + STYLED| by Kelly Framel |HAIR + MAKEUP| by Ana Sicat |FLORALS| by Bess Wyrick |ALL CLOTHES| by Daniel Vosovic

|CLICK HERE| to revisit another Frida Kahlo-inspired story |CLICK HERE| for more floral fashion infusions

  • Nico

    This is really amazing! I like to red your blog, no one else makes things like this!

    New post on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion blog

  • Catalina

    Beautiful stuff. I am really interested in your post where you got all your clothes made in Vietnam. Do you know where else you can find places like this in NY, or if other people are traveling?

  • JSchiff

    “Small deaths occur constantly as we waltz through life. Relationships change and degrade, and a beautiful moment is gone forever as soon as it is lived, so the pictures of things often last much longer than the actual recorded objects.”

    Kelly, I have been reading your blog since the very beginning and I am 99% sure this is my favorite post so far. I’ve always appreciated how you wrap fashion and art up with intellectual curiosity and wanderlust, and in that sense, this post feels like the ultimate success. The pictures are gorgeous, but the way you contextualize them is even better–a feat, to be sure. It’s easy to describe a pretty image but it takes passion and research to make the viewer think about the image in a unique way, and to have their minds overflowing with different ideas based on one glimpse and a few words. BRAVO.


  • Great work!

  • awesome pictures!

  • Renata

    Great work. You’re so talented!

  • Alexa Noelle

    Blog blast, huzzah!


  • Shopopal

    Such beautiful prints! Amazing…

  • I have to say that I really love the written pieces accompanying your work lately. I love your insight and the way you so passionately and genuinely tell the written story behind your visual work. You are a true storyteller in every medium.

  • Saša Rakovec
  • Androbel

    amazing shots. Love flowers.

    http://www.androbelinsider.blogspot.com 🙂

  • Allison Maldonado

    I have been following you for about two years now, and in these past recent months I have truly enjoyed not only how much more inspired your photographs have become, but also your writing. You write with such passion, oozing with intimacy and culture, making your posts that much more influential. Thank you so much for these fantastic entries! Following you truly makes my life, as a reader and viewer, richer.

    Allison Maldonado

  • lena
  • Beautiful photoshoot, the last portrait with the crown of flowers makes me think of a tahitian portrait by Gauguin.

    Mafalda ❤

  • Tara

    Beautiful photos, love the femininity and summer colours, really good photography.


    Discover and Shop Emerging Designers from Around
    the World

  • Rhea

    You write beautifully. These pictures are like poetry. Brilliant work.

  • Alexa Noelle

    This is stunning!

    Faux Euro Femme

  • Sabrina

    This is an absolutely lovely shoot. So inspiring!

  • favorite text to date my friend. Xx

  • arathi

    how poetic!!! did you visit india while you were in asia?

  • Cristina Monti

    Love the floral concept!
    Check out:
    With Love,

  • AWolfinChicClothing

    Anything with flowers makes me smile, great shoot. xx awoo! http://www.awolfinchicclothes.blogspot.com

  • arathi

    Hi!! Ive been following you since more than two years.. but as another poster commented, your writing lately has been so succinct yet piercing… while your visual and sartorial genius are laudatory, your insight and writing really takes things to a different level!!

More Editorials

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
ALL MATERIAL © 2018 The Glamourai