The Language of Flowers: The Inspiration Behind July's Cover

Flowers have had symbolic meanings for thousands of years—roses represent love and, as Shakespeare’s Ophelia made famous in Hamlet, rosemary is for remembrance. But today, Lucie Doughty, John Paul Mitchell Systems Global Editorial and Digital Director, uses flowers to create a beautiful yet fashion-forward style in this exclusive collection.

“I used to press flowers in between books as a child,” says Doughty, who actually returned to this childhood pastime when conceiving the collection. But it takes about two months to press flowers. “I realized I couldn’t make enough and I needed more variety,” she laughs, and says she then turned to Etsy and other online sites for supplies.


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As for inspiration, that came from spring runway shows. “One that really caught my eye was the Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Spring 2017 show, where all the models had pressed flowers on their faces,” Doughty says. The challenge, however, was how to ensure the flowers stayed put without ruining them. “They’re really fragile and anything too wet or oily disintegrates the delicate petals and leaves,” says Doughty. Luckily, John Paul Mitchell Systems just happens to have a product that offers a little hold and stick yet isn’t oily, so the flowers remained intact: MITCH Barber’s Classic. 

To make these looks more salon-friendly, Doughty suggests applying flowers in small areas, “like a side or a parting—they’re just like an accessory.” She expects the decoration trend to move beyond the part to areas like the temples and nape. “I also like to decorate and create fun hairlines,” she says. 

Does Doughty have a favorite look? “I have to say, I am partial to the full head of flowers,” she says—and it was our favorite too, since it’s our cover image. “It was the last shot of the day, and it really brought the collection home. I love the vibrancy and number of flowers combined with the texture from the hair and blouse.”