Dolce&Gabbana draw inspiration from all areas of life: from tradition, architecture, art, Italy in general and of course nature. SS12 saw a collection ripe with beautiful vegetables, but flowers, and the rose in particular, are motifs that keep springing up in the Dolce&Gabbana collections. And here is why.
Of all flowers, the rose is perhaps the most symbolic, often representing purity, perfection, love or marriage. The heavy symbolism attached to the rose is reconcilable with the many myths that circle this beautiful flower. Here is a selection of the ones I find most interesting.
According to a medieval legend, the first roses made a miraculous appearance in order to save a “fayre maiden” who had been sentenced to death by burning. Falsely accused, she prayed for deliverance and the fire subsequently went out. The logs which were already burning became red roses and the unlit logs became white roses.
In Christianity, the rose is the symbol of the Virgin Mary and is also often attributed to various saints, such as St Dorothea, who carries a basket of roses. The rosary, used in Catholicism, was once made from wild rose hips strung together. The red rose also symbolizes of Christ’s shed blood.
Sometimes an emblem of silence, sub rosa, under the rose, means keeping a secret. It was believed that Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, a rose to bribe him not betray the many amorous encounters of Venus. The rose thus became the emblem of silence and was eventually sculpted on the ceilings of banquet rooms, still seen today. At the dinner table, all confidences spoken under this were held sacred. In the 16th century, the rose was also placed over confessionals to signify absolute confidentiality.
The red rose was the sacred flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and has been a symbol of love and beauty from ancient times to the present day. Nothing epitomizes romantic love as much as a dozen red roses on St Valentine’s Day. Robert Burns’ famous song, My Love is like a Red, Red Rose is famous throughout the world for its romantic sentiments of constant love.
The white rose is regarded as a symbol of purity and secrecy, the white rose represents water and is the flower of moonlight. In parts of Scotland, a white rose blooming in autumn was thought to herald an early death. A white rose bud often symbolised a girl too young to love. In Saxon times, red and white petals were showered on newly weds to represent their union of passion (red roses) and purity (white roses).
The pink rose often represents innocent love and happiness. Less intense than the red rose, it can be a symbol of poetic love and admiration. Often among the most fragrant of roses, they are sometimes given as a token of thanks.
The Tudor rose with its red outer and white inner petals, the Tudor rose
symbolizes unity, from the union of the two royal houses of York and Lancaster.
It was adopted by Henry Tudor as his standard when he married Elizabeth of York
in 1485. The rose is still the emblem of England and few gardens are complete
without its fragrant beauty in one form or another, from old-fashioned, perfumed
damask roses to the smallest patio rosebud.
The meaning of roses:
Red: True love
Blue: Mystery, attaining the impossible
White: Silence or innocence, wistfulness, virtue, purity, secrecy, reverence and humility
Black: Death, hatred, farewell, rejuvenation or rebirth
Yellow Friendship, jealousy, infidelity, apology, a broken heart, intense emotion, dying love, extreme betrayal
Dark pink: Gratitude
Light Pink: Desire, passion, joy of life, youth, energy
Burgundy: Unconscious beauty
Orange: Desire, passion
Violet: Love at first sight
Red and White: Unity
Red and Yellow: Joy, happiness and excitement
Thorn less: Love at first sight
Styled by: Yuri Ahn
Written by: Valentina Zannoni