It's around this time of year that we begin to crave bright and bold flowers - and with Valentine's Day just around the corner we relish in celebrating vivid crimson and other rich hues. For 2021 we're delighted to announce our special partnership with another brand who shares our love for joyful color and design - Frances Valentine. We were delighted to chat with one of the label's founders, Elyce Arons who shares more about the creative ethos that has led to their original and timeless designs.

Hello Elyce - thank you for joining us on the McQueens Flowers Journal. We are huge fans of your beautiful designs - we are particularly drawn to your use of color and print. Could you tell us a little bit more about your design ethos at Frances Valentine? To make timeless pieces that make a person light up with joy when they see them. We start with our favorite vintage classic pieces and add a modern sensibility and bold colors. Everything we make should be as relevant today as it was 20 years ago and as it will be 20 years from now. We want every person to feel great wearing Frances Valentine and simply wear what makes them happy.

What are your main sources of inspiration when designing a collection? Vintage prints, vintage apparel pieces, colorful works of art and flowers, flowers, flowers!

How do flowers and nature influence your work?
I am a huge gardener! I love growing vegetables and flowers. The most authentic, perfect colors come from nature. Every year I am in awe of the most beautiful hues of colors from flowers (asters, dahlias, zinnias) in my garden. Most of our spring collection is inspired by florals, either prints or embroidered.

We are thrilled to have collaborated on a bright and beautiful Valentine's bouquet - bursting with the best of the season. Did you have a particular inspiration in mind?

Yes, we used a vintage floral garden painting as our inspiration. We love the print so much we used it on so many of our favorite pieces: Embroidered caftans, embroidered midi-dresses, our Honey sweater, aprons and a beautiful hand rolled, French silk scarf.

Can you share any details of your favorite Spring/Summer '21 pieces?
There are so many! Our new Darling Cardigan in Blue peony and Wildflower Burst, our Cascading Peony Earrings, the Sweetie Sweater in Aster Flower print, the Honey sweater in Floral Garland print, the Floral Garland Caftan in pink and navy, our colorful Saskia blouse in navy and my favorite new Petrie cigarette pant.

Finally, what is your favorite flower?
This is the toughest question of all! There are so many I love, but three of my favorites are ranunculus, peonies and zinnias.