There’s a movement afoot, a quiet revolution gaining momentum. Lately a lot of high-powered people (mostly fashion insiders) are quitting the daily grind for a new career in guess what – floristry. Seriously cool people, from Taylor Tomasi Hill in NYC to Jordana Simpson in Sydney, to Joost Bakker in Melbourne. They’re in good company, joining a cool posse of game-changing florists such as Brooklyn’s Saipua (I’ve spoken of my love for them before!), Ruby & the Wolf and Swallows and Damsons. Late night soirees are being swapped for early starts at the flower market, heels replaced by trainers and a whole new set of challenges – like sending 100 hanging baskets to the US (happy days Gem)!
We’re hugely excited by this new movement. So many florists play it safe with endless buckets of tulips, hothouse roses, carnations, blooms that while lovely have been seen so, so many time before. A group of us however are thinking a little differently, a new wave of floristry if you will!
This new breed of florists goes for wild, free forming, expressive arrangements. Almost as though they were just artfully thrown together, but with a heady dose of sophistication and a very discerning eye of course. Not following any rules, but instinctively creating something beautiful. The results are incredible… take a look at the slideshow to see some of these talented florists’ work. Gone are the days of rigidly domed arrangements of the sorts you found in hotel lobbies. Now it’s all change – asymmetrical arrangements, textured, off-kilter using foliage’s, jungly stems, vegetables even.
Gem and I sat outside a while back, on a balmy February eve in China underneath big old magnolia trees, and we made a list of everything we wanted to do differently. If we were going to make our own-label of fauxs, we wanted to really nail it. We didn’t want to sell anything ubiquitous, we wanted to sell what you would discover on strolls through forests and meadows (and even jungles!). We wanted to sell black flowers (our browny black cosmos are coming for SS16) we wanted sprigs of berries, mossy catkins, and feathery ferns – as though you’d just walked in from the field or hedgerow with armfuls of foraged branches. We wanted heirloom tea roses, faded blooms, and we wanted to emulate the beautiful discolouration you get in nature. Basically, nothing unnaturally pristine and perfect – we hate perfection.
It took time, but we found a team who could handpaint all these imperfections on – who actually tear the petals, add a few discolouration marks – all to make things look natural. They’ve embraced our slightly messy, mussed-up, just picked from the forest aesthetic and have gone with it.
The rest as they say is history. Blooms are flying out of our stores its gone a little bonkers to say the least. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you ever want to go into a field and think its flooded like the flower market has been and you think there’s no market or room to enter I want to tell you that you can always do things differently. ALWAYS. You can always have a different point of view no matter how flooded the market might be.
Oh and if you think floristry might be the life for you too, take a look at this video The Design Files shot, following a day in the life of Mr Joost Bakker. It’s enough to make me want to up sticks to Monbulk and become a florist in Melbourne!