Carnations Are So Hot Right Now.S

Apparently the carnation, that stalwart of prom boutonnieres and deli bouquets, is hot. Plan accordingly.

See, the carnation wasn't always synonymous with "cheapskate." As the Wall Street Journal reminds us, back in the day it was actually prized for its spicy aroma and was a frequently used icon in Renaissance painting. The flower's root even comes from the Greek word for "divine," if you can believe it. All that changed in the 20th century, when the hardy flower was bred to last and to ship, stripped of its scent, and dyed for Saint Patrick's day. Suddenly, January was stuck with the crummiest month's flower.

Now, it's back. Floral designers are embracing it, fashion designers are using it, and SJP wore one somewhere. Of course, the ones that are chic aren't the ones we can buy — no, no. They're the highly-perfumed Spanish kind, or the sort Martha Stewart grows in her garden, which she is careful to remark are "not the hothouse kind." These fancy carnations are, says the Journal, "much larger and showier, more vibrantly colored." Also, presumably, not $5 a bunch. So this is not so much a democratization as a coopting, in the tradition of the "reinvented moon pie," Marc Jacobs' brushed-silk "flannels," or the artisanal moonshine that's the latest craze in Brooklyn. In other words, it's still not cool to bring carnations on a date. No matter how many gowns Oscar de la Renta puts them on.

What In Carnation? [Wall Street Journal]