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Autumn blooms: how a dark floral romance became the biggest fashion story in Arnotts

A dark floral romance that emerged this season has become one of the most popular trends at Arnotts, writes Bairbre Power

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Floral dress, €220, Set; purple belt, €49, Guess; earrings, €140, rings, €125 and €110, all Scribble & Stone

Floral dress, €220, Set; purple belt, €49, Guess; earrings, €140, rings, €125 and €110, all Scribble & Stone

Long floral dress, 180, Set; neck scarf €20, Orelia; black boots, €165, Jonak

Long floral dress, 180, Set; neck scarf €20, Orelia; black boots, €165, Jonak

Floral top, €119, floral skirt, €159, both Lauren; Bag, €320, Furla; black boots, €129, Steve Madden

Floral top, €119, floral skirt, €159, both Lauren; Bag, €320, Furla; black boots, €129, Steve Madden

Floral print shift dress, €615, Goat; cross body bag, €445, Salar; earrings, €145, Scribble & Stone

Floral print shift dress, €615, Goat; cross body bag, €445, Salar; earrings, €145, Scribble & Stone

Cream cardigan, €79.99, floral skirt, €79.99, both Selected Femme; black bag, €460, Coccinelle; earrings, €140, rings, €110 and €125, both Scribble & Stone

Cream cardigan, €79.99, floral skirt, €79.99, both Selected Femme; black bag, €460, Coccinelle; earrings, €140, rings, €110 and €125, both Scribble & Stone

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Floral dress, €220, Set; purple belt, €49, Guess; earrings, €140, rings, €125 and €110, all Scribble & Stone

The fashion world has a time-honoured tradition of behaving like gardeners at this time of the year. Come autumn, gardeners steadfastly put the garden 'to sleep' and dig up tender bulbs like dahlias and gladiolus to store in a cool, dark place.

Meanwhile, in our wardrobes, we pack away favourite summer dresses in bloom prints and put them into hibernation while we pull on an armour of block colours and solid neutrals.

Not this year, though.

One of the major AW19 trends to take off and take some shoppers by surprise has been the blooming of a dark romance story with extravagant florals. Think gothic wallpaper with big statement flowers in dark colours.

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Floral top, €119, floral skirt, €159, both Lauren; Bag, €320, Furla; black boots, €129, Steve Madden

Floral top, €119, floral skirt, €159, both Lauren; Bag, €320, Furla; black boots, €129, Steve Madden

Floral top, €119, floral skirt, €159, both Lauren; Bag, €320, Furla; black boots, €129, Steve Madden

On the catwalk, Prada did Frankenstein florals with a bewitching rose print; Valentino tended to their blooms in strong two-colour prints, while Goat (below), a favourite brand of Victoria Beckham before she started her own eponymous label, excelled at wearable hydrangeas.

Irish designer Helen McAlinden is famous for her block-colour tailoring but she, too, has fallen under the spell of botanical prints this season. Her 'Beverley' dress (right) comes in a navy-based floral print which features rich tans and ochres - perfect for accessorising with leather bags and boots. The body-skimming dress has a crossover v-neck detail, back waist-tie, voluminous sleeves and front slit. The painterly quality of the print was stylishly tamed in our shoot by adding one of her olive velvet jackets.

Nervous types might prefer to explore this painterly trend by opting for a two-piece outfit, such as the Lauren skirt and top (pictured left) which layers up perfectly for a special occasion. Toughen it all up with chunky ankle boots such as those from Steve Madden (left) or Jonak (right), part of the shoe offering at Arnotts.

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Floral print shift dress, €615, Goat; cross body bag, €445, Salar; earrings, €145, Scribble & Stone

Floral print shift dress, €615, Goat; cross body bag, €445, Salar; earrings, €145, Scribble & Stone

Floral print shift dress, €615, Goat; cross body bag, €445, Salar; earrings, €145, Scribble & Stone

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