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By: Teo Spengler
No, “Fashion Azalea” is not the name of a hot new designer of clothing for the stars. What is a Fashion azalea? It’s the common name of a vivid azalea cultivar that you might want to invite into your garden. It you want more Fashion azalea information, or tips on how to grow fashion azalea, read on.
What is a Fashion Azalea?
A fashion azalea (Rhododendron x ‘Fashion’) is an evergreen shrub with brilliantly fiery blossoms. The azalea cultivar ‘Fashion” grows upright to 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall and wide. It is covered with crimson or salmon colored flowers from autumn through winter.
According to Fashion azalea information, this cultivar blooms in spring, fall and winter, unless its progress is halted by a serious frost. The flowers remain on the branches long after they fade.
Growing Fashion Azaleas
If you are considering growing Fashion azaleas, you may want to know the cultivar’s history. It resulted from an extensive breeding program by the USDA at Glenn Dale, Maryland. It is one of the 4,500 varieties called the Glenn Dale hybrids. Many Glenn Dale azalea varieties are vigorous plants with large blossoms that have greater cold hardiness than standard azalea shrubs. There are many varieties that bloom in mid- and late season. ‘Fashion’ is a midseason bloomer, and its flowering peaks in late spring.
If you are growing Glenn Dale hybrids, you can achieve a continual bloom of azaleas for much of the year. Many gardeners prefer a succession of blooming azaleas rather than one big explosion of color. Fashion azaleas grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. If you live in one of these zones, growing these azaleas is easy.
As for Fashion azalea care, you will be pleased to learn how undemanding this cultivar is. Plant Fashion azalea shrubs in shade, partial shade or sun, and they will still be happy. Provide your shrubs with well-drained, organically rich soil and give them regular and generous irrigation during establishment.
According to Fashion azalea information, these are acid-loving plants, so treat them to an acid-based fertilizer once the shrubs have bloomed. As part of your Fashion azalea care, protect their roots from sun and cold by adding a thick layer of mulch over the root zone.
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Five Ways Fashion Trends Begin
While traditional fashion houses still have an impact on the way that fashion trends emerge, it's not just those sources that play a role in popular fashion trends anymore. Fashion trends now start and evolve through five key ways: from the runway, from street style, through celebrities, through fashion bloggers, and through the different fashion capitals of the world.
1. Runway Trends
Many of today's current trends are certainly inspired by the looks that designers send down the runways each season during Fashion Week events in New York, Milan and Paris. Fashion lovers wait in anticipation every season to see what has transpired in the minds of the designers that they love over the past months.
Reasons Runways Inspire Trends
Trends start from the runway simply because runway looks are moments created by fashion designers that are purely fantastical! While a great deal of looks sent down the runway go into mass production, Fashion Week shows also feature many pieces that are considered to be couture - something that is made to fit only one person's body. These are the pieces that people wait in anticipation for because they are typically over-the-top designs that look as if they came from a dream. These are the pieces that viewers store in their memories and start modeling their wardrobes after.
Runway-Inspired Trend Examples
Examples of trends that began with runway shows include:
- Proenza Schouler Spring 2014 - At New York Fashion Week's Spring 2014 collections, presented in the Fall of 2013, designer Proenza Schouler sent numerous fringe looks down the runway, providing inspiration for designers to add many different fringe embellishments into their collections. This trend was dominant in the spring of 2014 and will continue to be popular into the fall.
- DVF Spring 2014 - Also during New York Fashion Week's Spring 2014 collections, Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) sent many different crop top looks down the runway. This had a trickle effect, leading to crop tops becoming an ultimate fashion trend for Spring 2014.
2. Street Style
The term 'street style' essentially refers to everyday looks that can be seen on the streets. These are the looks that people wear in their everyday life that make an impact on those who pass them by - and become inspired by them! Overall, 'street style' is a newer term in the world of fashion, but it shows how much of an impact that anyone can play in the way that fashion is perceived and trends are set!
Reasons Street Style Inspires Trends
People are easily inspired by street style for two main reasons:
- The looks are typically easier to recreate.
- People are inclined to follow the trends of an 'everyday person' because they believe these trends are something they can pull off themselves.
Trends Inspired by Street Style
Examples of trends that began with street style include:
- Colorful furs - Street style trend setters and designers alike made colorful fur a popular trend. One of the big trends for fall fashion began with Natalie Joos, as her collection sports the colorful fur street style trend in a more muted tone. As fall fashion is starting to hit stores, this trend is making a big splash using very brilliant royal blues and even bright orange!
- Coachella hippie look - The music festival Coachella launched in 2007 and became a Mecca for people to watch and capture street style. After the first year, the hippie look emerged and became very strong, as designer began using it an inspiration for their upcoming collections and it has rolled into being very dominant and lasting season after season.
There is no question about i t- celebrities are one of the biggest driving forces in trend creation! The public covets celebrities and follows their every move, hanging on to their every word. The fact that celebrities are highly influential is the very reason why huge companies turn to them to be spokespeople for their brands and products.
Reasons Celebrities Inspire Trends
Due to their huge fan base, celebrities can have a bigger reach than the latest fashion magazine. Eyes are always on them and their fans often copy what they do. Many celebrities have become known as trend setters and style icons over the years such as Maggie Gyllenhaal and Sarah Jessica Parker, who have an eye for fashion. Fans look to them to see how to wear garments, what silhouettes are popular, what is the newest 'it' handbag and more. They are a source of trend setting information that people admire and turn to for inspiration and advice.
Trends Inspired by Celebrities
Examples of trends inspired by celebrities include:
- Manolo Blahnik stilettos - Yes, Manolo Blahnik shoes are impeccably-designed in every way, but they really weren't put on the map until they made their big debut on Sex and the City and Sarah Jessica Parker incorporated them into her real life wardrobe. After this, it became such a trend to own a pair of these coveted shoes!
- Hobo trend - You could call the hobo trend a modern-day grunge look, but no matter what name tag you place on it, the trend was clearly started by the Olsen twins! Mary Kate and Ashley them began rocking this look anytime they were out in public and became widely known by the press as "bag ladies." Their fans loved it and began copying this look!
4. Fashion Bloggers
Over the years, fashion bloggers have proven to the masses that they have great taste and are creating trends in the fashion world - not following them! Designers often turn to fashion bloggers - just as they turn to celebrities - to wear and help promote their products, because they are well aware of their influence. Once fashion bloggers get these designer garments in their hands, they set trends by styling the garments various ways, photographing themselves and sharing the images - and their thoughts - with their very large audiences.
Reasons Fashion Bloggers Inspire Trends
Fashion bloggers are highly influential in their niche areas. While people watch celebrities just because they like to, people watch fashion bloggers as a way to go directly to the source of how a trend is made so they are able to be aware from the very beginning. Fashion bloggers offer a fresh perspective on the fashion industry and their readers adore and respect that.
Trends Inspired by Fashion Bloggers
- Military style - World known fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni set the tone with the popular military style that has trickled down and inspired many designers worldwide. She used details such as patched and the beret hat to complete her look and help start a major trend!
- Shoe trends - Fashion blogger Peace Love Shea inspired her huge audience and designers alike with her daily style posts on her blog and through her Instagram feed. She has made such a huge impact in the design world that shoe company Steve Madden approached her to partner in a shoe collection, inspired by her style!
5. Fashion Capitals of the World
Because fashion and trends are different all over the world, people often look to see what happening in the fashion capitals of the world - New York City, Paris, Milan and London - to see what people are wearing and adopt those trends to fit into their lives.
Reasons Trends Begin in Fashion Capitals
Whenever people - including designers, fashion lovers, bloggers and magazine editors-in-chief - look out of their geographic area to trend-source, they often reach towards these highly fashionable cities looking for a unique newness. Trends from around the world show fashion through a different set of eyes and enable fashion lovers to bring something new into their world.
Trends Inspired from the Fashion Capitals
- Mini skirts - While many people think the mini skirt trend started in the United States, this trend actually migrated from London in the late 1950's through designer Mary Quant and slowly migrated over to the United States. This trend definitely hasn't disappeared, as it is given a fresh twist pretty much every season!
- Dr. Martens - Affectionately referred to as 'Doc Martens', this shoe company started in Britain in 1960, originally to provide functionality to the wearer. They were quickly adopted by the youth of London's High Street and became a hallmark of youth culture. Popularized worldwide by Pete Townshend of The Who, these shoes found their way over to the U.S. and became a huge part of the rebellious grunge era fashion scene.
Dwarf Encore Azaleas: Small in Habit, Bold on Blooms
As today’s modern landscapes have gotten smaller, Encore Azaleas have made sure that you have plenty of choices when it comes picking colorful blooming shrubs that will fit to perfection. The Encore® Azalea group has grown to 33 varieties, and 16 of those stunning selections are classified as dwarf. While they may be compact in habit, they are bold on blooms.
Now you can choose your favorite colors of azaleas for evergreen foundation plants knowing they will not cover your home’s windows. You’ll be able to enjoy their riveting color throughout the year from indoors or out. We proudly say throughout the year, as Encore Azaleas are the number one repeat blooming azalea in the market.
Dwarf Encore® Azaleas typically reach 2 ½ to 3 feet tall, allowing you the opportunity to create dramatic vistas and partnerships throughout the landscape. Consider the possibilities of layering your azaleas, perhaps utilizing taller Encores in the background and dwarf in front. You might like the pink Autumn Jewel® with the dwarf purple Autumn Lilac® and white Autumn Angel® in the front for a festive Easter-colored assortment.
The Southern Living®Plant Collection, however, offers incredible companion choices allowing you to maximize leaf texture – and even leaf color – to make your landscape the envy of the neighborhood. The collection offers several dazzling abelias that could be partnered with Encore®dwarf azaleas to create a wow moment.
Miss Lemon™ is one. It reaches about the same height as dwarf Encore® Azaleas, but features a graceful arching habit with everchanging foliage color variegation that is green, with gold to chartreuse centers, aging to a rich with ivory. A sweep, or odd numbered cluster of three to five of these abelias with your favorite dwarf red Encore®Azalea, like Autumn Bonfire®, or the pink Autumn Carnival®, would surely bring out the cameras.
Consider also ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia, with flaming golden yellow leaves that turn rusty orange in the fall. Again, plant in a sweep, drift or odd number cluster, and combine with the dwarf purple Autumn Lilac® or Autumn Embers®– one of five dwarf red selections. These stunning abelias all offer summer light pink or white blooms that will bring in butterflies and hummingbirds.
The complementary color of red is green, and for that reason we think there is a lot to be said for partnering one of the dwarf red Encore®Azaleas like Autumn Fire® with the elegant Christmas tree-shaped Robin™ Holly. Picture using this holly as an accent and seeing the bright red berries in the fall simultaneously with the cheerful red blooms of your azaleas – can you say “Happy Holidays?”
Mention spring-blooming shrubs and you’re most likely to think about camellias and azaleas competing together to see who can be the most beautiful. Imagine duplicating that same picturesque landscape in the fall. It’s possible, and the combinations are only limited by your imagination.
Like the classical concert that ends in a finale, Encore®Azaleas are similar with an explosion of fall blooms. So, envision the landscape full of dwarf Encore™Azaleas boldly planted with your favorite choices of the 11 October Magic® camellia sasanquas. Fall will forever be redefined with this canvas of extraordinary blooms.