By  on February 11, 2008

It’s no secret that artists have long turned to nature for inspiration—just look at Monet’s Water Lilies and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. But creative types don’t need to stretch a canvas to revel in the breathtaking bounty of flora, fauna and glorious color, as this spring’s dazzling assortment of accessories indicates. Miuccia Prada, for example, has turned the shoe-as-sculpture concept into a veritable masterpiece, one perched atop ornate flowery heels that step toward Art Nouveau. And, as tribute to his friend, the late Isabella Blow, Alexander McQueen featured hats aplenty on his runway, many brimming with butterflies, dragonflies and topiaries.

Yet the season is not only about the natural, but the unnatural, as well, as surrealism emerged as a major motif. It turned up first and most dramatically in a stellar show from Marc Jacobs and continued to surface in accessories. These beauties beg a second look as things aren’t always what they seem, as is apparent in our feature, “The Art of Deception.”

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