Whether it be Fred Butler’s recent “Peyote tutti-frutti cutie” creation in AnOther’s latest Object of Desire or the tropical print trend for resort 2012 as seen at Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Versace, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Marni, this week on the AnOther Loves stream we have fallen for cacti as loved by AnOther Website commissioning editor Laura Bradley. Prickly and peculiar their distinctive appearance is a result of adaptations to conserve water in dry and/or hot environments and prevent animals and birds from eating them. Varying in shape and size the Pachycereus pringlei can reach an astonishing 20m whereas the Blossfeldia Iiliputiana only stretches to 1cm in diameter at maturity. Typically associated to the Americas, growing in as diverse regions as coastal plains and high mountain areas, cacti have been the backdrop to many a cowboy film. Relatively low maintenance – used to dry desert conditions they need little water – they are also popular potted plants for indoors. With numerous varieties producing vibrantly coloured flowers they can brighten up the dullest of window sills, whilst also acting as a deterrent for burglars, fact. Whilst many species have commercial uses, with some cacti bearing edible fruits, the peyote is a well-known psychoactive agent used by Native Americans in the south western United States.
When it comes to fashion the cactus has held a strong presence most notably in Jean Paul Gaultier’s S/S09 show for Hermès. Here cowboy clad models strutted their suede riding boots down the cactus-strewn desert sands of the runway, all in signature high-crowned, wide-brimmed cowboy hat. And Marc Jacobs juxtaposed large prickly pear cacti with two models dress in luxurious evening dresses and heavy knits for his A/W10 advertising campaign. Beautifully playing with visual textures and fabrics, the eye-catching campaign was shot by Juergen Teller and featured models Frida and Jac.
Here we speak to Bradley about why she chose to Love cacti and what her floral favourites are.
Why did you decide to Love these cacti?
I was inspired by Fred Butler's interpretation of Fendi's A/W11 Mary Janes, our latest Object of Desire. It made me think about cacti in a whole new way – they've never really been my plant of choice. In a Miuccia Prada kind of way, I realised something ugly can actually be quite beautiful. I love the way she forces herself to use starting points that she has a dislike for, like golfing which was the main inspirations for her men's S/S12 collection.
Where did you find them?
Google Image search, one of the greatest inventions ever (my current favourite search is "vintage erotica"). I found two brilliant images – this and an intriguing arrangement of penis-shaped cacti on top of a monochrome piano.
If you owned these where would you put them and why?
On the glass shelf above my bathroom sink, alongside bottles of perfume.
What are your favourite flowers?
Peonies, hydrangeas, ornamental cabbages and for potted plants, geraniums. Never a mixed bunch though, I'm a purist when it comes to flowers.
What do you think of the tropical print trend for Resort 2012?
I'm not usually a fan of print; I prefer a minimal aesthetic with interesting details. But I did enjoy the three-part floral look from CÉLINE. The prints at Givenchy were also standout; Riccardo Tisci is at the top of his game.
What was the last thing you bought?
An iPad. It's brilliant. I'm enjoying watching iPlayer on it, their programming is very strong at the moment. Just have to find the perfect case now. I have my eye on this.
Text by Lucia Davies