Fashion Photographer David Sims Celebrates Imperfect Roses In Classic Book
David Sims’ Roses was originally produced as a series of individual art work aimed at exploring the depth and imperfections of the world’s most iconic flower: the rose. The fashion photographer’s stunning images, which flawlessly captured the wilt and shadow of a selection of beautifully-lit roses, was later collected into a book that Visionaire published in 2003.
Now more than a decade after it’s publication, David Sims’ Roses continues to impress with its unconventional approach to floral photography. Just as with people, a flower’s imperfections are often the source of its real beauty, and Roses celebrates this iconography up close and personal in a manner that continues to impress gardeners and fashion aesthetes alike.
Roses was inspired by the native English roses Sims used to see on his walk to school as a child, and the curiosity and attention to detail within every photograph in Roses makes Sims’ deep-seeded fascination apparent. As an adult, Sims made a name for himself as an early photographer for the British trend zine i-D magazine, but he is now best known for his work at Harper’s Bazaar, where he often portrays the industry’s leading models in an unconventional way: he captures the models’ beauty by focusing on their imperfections.
With Roses, Sims takes the same approach to flowers as he famously does with people: he highlights their natural flaws in order to tease out what makes them so special. (There’s also an element of sentimentality: Sims returned to his own primary school to photograph the roses on grounds as they wilted.) Picture-perfect roses are impressive, but Sims’ slightly deformed, be-spotted roses are captivating because they look so regal in their natural state. His roses appear as nature intended them to look: imperfect, but majestic and alive.
As Sims says of his inspiration for the book, which is now an iconic collector’s item:
“The fragile and temporal qualities of flowers are well used as a visual metaphor for youth. But when I look at these roses close up and trace their own knocks and dents, I find a greater beauty and a complexity in their imperfections. The roses represent for me a very definite point in life and a state of mind.”
At Garden Collage, we think Roses is a great visual metaphor for Spring. A blossoming rose may still have a connotation of youthful, sensual delight, but David Sims’ photography reminds us to keep our eyes open for beauty in the unexpected– a beauty that exists because of imperfections, in people and gardens alike.
How The Palm Tree Came To Southern California
The Story Behind Andy Warhol’s Flowers
Chef’s Table Spotlights Jeong Kwan’s Gorgeous “Temple” Cuisine
Read The Entirety of Red’s “Garden Metaphor” From This Season’s Orange Is The New Black
The National Garden Bureau Has Announced The 2017 “Plants of the Year”
Scientists Are Using Sunflowers To Clean Up Nuclear Radiation