Image via The Cut

The beginning of September means a lot of things in the basic cultural conscience: back-to-school, Labor Day barbecues, sweater weather, Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

But if you're at all style or design minded, there is only one thing you equate with September 1. It's time to start the countdown to fashion month. This year's shows kick off, as always, in New York, with the first runway scheduled for September 7. From there, it's on to London, Milan, and Paris for a whirlwind of what's new and next in fashion.

It goes without saying that we keep an eye on emerging apparel trends all month long, since it will only be a season or two before they trickle down to interiors. But we also find just as much--sometimes even more--tangible inspiration for our own work in the designer presentations themselves. Over the last decade fashion weeks in each major city have evolved beyond the presentation of new clothes and into the presentation of a designer's mindset or inspiration for the collection, or simply a chance to make a creative statement (who can forget Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel grocery store?).

One of our favorite-ever examples of "setting the scene" for a fashion show, however, was done last September at Dries Van Noten. The designer, always known for his dramatic, artistic collection presentations, tapped Japanese floral artist Azuma Makoto to recreate a show Makoto had previously done in Tokyo.

Image via Nordstrom

The premise: rare flowers, frozen in ice. In order to recreate the show, Makoto flew to the Amsterdam Flower Market to choose more than 100 varieties of flowers to complement Van Noten's collection. From there, he brought them to a Belgian ice house, arranged them into 23 bouquets, and froze them for a week, according to the New York Times.

Rumor had it that the heat in the venue was turned up to hasten the melting process. Image via Elle Canada

The best part: The Makoto said that working with the designer actually made this round of Iced Flowers better than the original incarnation.

A collaboration of creative genius > a pumpkin spice latte any day in our book.

#newyorkfashionweek #fashionweek #driesvannoten