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6 Experimental Florists You Should Know About!

Creative People

After sharing the finalists in The Floral Design Category for the TDF Design Awards last week, we couldn’t help but be inspired by the new era of floral artists who are redefining the local industry.

Today we chat with six young florists who are creating unique work that defies the norm, and discuss what the future of floristry looks like – from the #nofloralfoam movement and removing single-use plastic, to the increasing opportunities for large-scale floral installations (like last year’s impressive Flowering Now).

This is by no means an exhaustive list. We’d like to give a special shout out to Katie Marx Flowers, Doctor Cooper, and Lisa Kingston Flowers for their awe-inspiring floral artworks, and of course, must pay our respects to established florists such as Flowers Vasette and Grandiflora, who have paved the way for a new era in Australian floral design!

5th September, 2019

Eliza of Primula Floral Styling, taking a masterclass. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Eliza is interested in supporting local growers to create her arrangements and installations. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Eliza showing a group of students how create a floral piece. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Touching flowers, and the earth gently, with Eliza Rogers. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 5th September 2019

Primula Floral Styling

Eliza Rogers, aka Primula Floral Styling was always drawn to flowers as a teenager. But it was discovering the incredible floral artworks in the New York events scene that really excited her. This exciting ‘new era of floristry’, of large scale sculpture and installation, was what inspired Eliza to explore floristry as a career.

Eliza is passionate about creating a more sustainable future for the floristry industry, and since moving to Hobart is excited about being directly connected to the local growers. She explains ‘there’s no flower market in Tassie, so instead I have a network of local growers who I source my flowers from.’

Beyond hoping for a floristry future that is ‘a little more wild and weedy’, Eliza also shares her botanical expertise through ‘The Hosting Masterclass’ series, where she shows students how to ‘go beyond the traditional “flower arranging” realm.’

A bright and explosive arrangement by Pomp and Splendour. Photo – Sabine Legrand.

A bursting arrangement. Photo – Sabine Legrand.

Pretty in pink by Pomp and Splendour. Photo – Miranda Stokkel.

Pomp and Splendour creating a blue and brown vertical delight. Photo – Miranda Stokkel.

Pomp and Splendour

Petra Cremming of Pomp and Splendour found floristry while sleeping on the couch of a friend, whose housemate was a florist. After shadowing her for a few weeks, Petra was ‘completely enchanted!’ Her dramatic designs draw on her training in theatre, and she loves to work on large-scale projects that capture a specific mood.

She sees the future of floristry as moving towards ‘more sustainable floristry etiquette, with education around where our flowers are sourced and better farming practices.’

Seasonal designs from Sophia Kaplan include yet to open blooms, and glowing vegetables. (Left) Photo – Saskia Wilson. (Right) Photo – Claudia Smith for Mineraleir.

Small moments, and explosive blossoms from Sophia Kaplan. Photo – Saskia Wilson.

Sophia Kaplan

Sophia Kaplan has always been fascinated by nature, and in 2012 started her own blog for garden, flowers and design. Within a year, she had quit her job and moved to Paris to work for famed florist Guillon Fleurs, and after a stint back in Sydney with Jardine Botanic, launched her own business.

Sophia’s work is underpinned by a commitment to make the industry more sustainable, especially in considering the air miles that flowers have travelled, and the plastic packaging involved. Her work responds to the changing seasons, which means ‘you never have time to get sick of anything before it is replaced with another interesting specimen.’ It goes to show that sustainable practice delivers the best aesthetic results!

 

A dramatic red staging of flowers by Georgie Boy. Photo – Miranda Stokkel. Stylist – Nomad Styling. Venue – Firecracker HQ2.

Art and floristry meet with Georgie Boy. Photo – Miranda Stokkel. Stylist – Nomad Styling. Venue – Firecracker HQ2.

Gina of Georgie Boy creates bold landscapes with her designs. Photo – Miranda Stokkel. Stylist – Nomad Styling. Venue – Firecracker HQ2.

Georgie Boy

Gina Lasker, the founder of Georgie Boy, was introduced to experimental flower design by Saskia Havekes of Grandiflora in Sydney. Now based in Melbourne, her vibrant installations are part of a move in the industry from ‘the more traditional bouquet to something that resembles an art practice.’

Gina highlights the #nofloralfoam movement and emphasis on sourcing local product as a major shaping the future of the floral industry. Georgie Boy’s pieces combine environmental responsibility with a love of colour and a careful consideration of the site the arrangement is designed for.

Close details of a Hattie Molloy creation. Photo – Courtesy of Hattie Malloy.

Hattie Molloy incorporates non-traditional materials, alongside botanical elements. Photo – Courtesy of Hattie Malloy.

A pom pom of flowers by Hattie Molloy. Photo – Courtesy of Hattie Malloy.

A swirl of lilies by Hattie Molloy. Photo – Courtesy of Hattie Malloy.

Hattie Molloy

Hattie Molloy remembers the first time she felt like a ‘real florist’ was when she was given full creative freedom to design a runway installation for Melbourne Fashion Week. Hattie is excited about this ability to explore personal styles in the industry, as she explains ‘I think floristry can now be whatever you strive to make it.’

Based in Collingwood, her Ikebana-like sculptural work combines single stem flowers with non-traditional florist materials, and a deliberate lack of leafy foliage, to create innovative and unexpected results. For anyone hoping to get into the floristry industry, Hattie encourages ‘be confident in creating a style that is individual, personal and unique to what already exists.’

A bright and sprawling arrangement by Cecilia Fox. Photo – Stephanie Cammarano.

Cecilia Fox’s installations create evocative moods and change spaces for events. Photo – Marcel Aucar.

Table detail from Cecilia Fox. Photo – Marcel Aucar.

A bright pathway from Cecilia Fox. Photo – Marcel Aucar.

Creating a meadow flower vibe with Cecilia Fox. Photo – Marcel Aucar.

Cecilia Fox

Melanie Stapleton of Cecilia Fox needs little introduction. Perhaps it’s a little cheeky to put her on a list of ’emerging’ florists, as several of the other florists on this list mentioned her as a guiding influence in their own practice! She explains that her Melbourne-based business started small, ‘slowly doing weekly flowers for a few retail stores out the back of a van’, later on working from her garage.

Now with a small team, based in a warehouse in Brunswick, Mel is ‘hopeful that floristry will head back to its roots, celebrating the wild abundance of nature, and being an ambassador for the natural world.’

For aspiring florists, she offers this brilliant practical advice, ‘Learn how to drive a van, don’t look at Pinterest, cultivate bravery and resilience, lift some weights and practice using a broom.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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