Dior and I – How trends are born and a designer gets inspired

December 14th, 2015 by Alex

Ever seen the movie Dior and I? If you are in a creative field or you ever wonder how the heck do floral designers get inspired  (because boy we get this question all the time).   Or better yet, see how we feel on the day of an event you should watch this movie. I must admit that I cried a little at the end. The movie is about Raf Simons, a Belgian designer who took over the Dior Couture Fashion House in 2012. Although Raf is no longer the creative director at Dior he will be dearly missed, especially by all of us in the floral world and I’ll tell you why.

There was a video floating around and for floral designers it was a dream come true. Watch it here. We knew about Raf long before the movie came about. The five minute video showed  floral designer Eric Chauvin from Un Jeurs de Fleurs cover those walls with flowers. His mechanics are shown, the flowers he used and the absolute insane amount of flowers. Orchids, delphiniums, dahlias and roses galore.

Raf’s opening show would be a fall/winter collection and as fittingly so he decided that the walls of the Parisian mansion should be covered in flowers. He was inspired from Jeff Koons art work called “Puppy”. Are you seeing how a designer is getting inspired and changing the design ever so slightly to take on it’s own life form?  Covering entire walls in flowers its a statement.

Delphinium walls

Dior+garden+couture+2

I talked about flower walls last week. Kanye and Kim decided what the hell we will build one of those and get married in front of it. Eventually clients began thinking big and asking for flower walls too, and it trickled itself onto events. Thats how trends are created and inspiration works.

I wrote this post because I want you all to Think Big! Think outside of the Pinterest box.  Pinterest is great to help you form your thoughts and see how your colors work well together. But when you ask us to copy something to a T, it kills a little piece of our artistic soul. We don’t want to copy (although some do!) we want to create new things…. give us a little bit of freedom. I assure you we will come up with ten better ideas than any of your favorite Pinterest pins.

 

 

All About Garlands

December 11th, 2015 by Alex

The use of garlands has become quite popular in the last few months.  Add flowers, candles, tossed petals and it’s a great way to dress up a table.

We like using a minimum of two different types of greenery for garlands. Usually silver dollar eucalyptus as a base along with either salal (aka. lemon leaf) to bulk up a garland or seeded eucalyptus for a little bit of texture but still drape.

Garland Backdrop

 

Garlands on Tables

 

Thanks to the ladies from Soiree Wedding and Events for introducing us to Reba, and of course, thanks to  Reba herself for letting us have so much fun with her decor at Room 1520!

Ombre Aisle

December 9th, 2015 by Alex

Not a fan of the traditional fabric aisle runner but looking to dress up an aisle. Consider using rose petals to create a runner. We created this beauty for a southern beauty to walk down the aisle at Room 1520 alongside Soiree Weddings and Events.

Ombre Aisle Petals aisle

If you are wondering how many roses it took to create this effect…. well if you guessed around 1000 you are correct.

The Year of the Flower Wall

December 8th, 2015 by Alex

Pulling the cobwebs off the blog. It has been a long time since I’ve posted. Mainly I’ve been focused on our clients and also I wanted to makes sure our posts are informative and fun.  Since we got a little break,  I thought it would be good to let you know what we’ve been working on the last few months.

It has been without a doubt the year of the flower wall at Exquisite Designs.  Flower walls, champagne glasses walls, freestanding  walls, cacti walls, escort card walls….. we have done them all.

It only seemed fitting that we started this trip down the wall crazed with a champagne wall on New Years Eve with Lola Event Productions at the Bridgeport Art Center. Lori asked if we could just think out of the box for the escort card table. Well why not greet every guests with an empty champagne flute they would have to find with their names on a champagne wall.

 

Champagne Wall

Spring was rounding the corner and we got to do another  flower wall for our friends at (No Subject) we created a wall of roses, hydrangeas, peonies, jasmine vine and amaranths in a faux boxwood wall at the Westfield Old Orchard Mall. It was a great event with  Louise Roe and the Everyday Girl amongst a few other fashion bloggers.

 

Flower Wall Exquisite Designs

Next we got to do a 8′ x 8′  flower wall for a lovely bride with Honeybee Weddings at the Blackstone Hotel.  All roses, spray roses, hydrangeas and gilded lemon leaf accents on a green moss background.

Flower Wall at the Blackstone Hotel

 

The following day (yes you read that right! the following day) we got to head on over to the Chicago Botanic Gardens with Parties Etc and an escort card table turned wall! Because well…. why not!

 

Escort Card Wall at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

 

Finishing off the wall trend with a cacti wall at 19 East (formerly known as the Chicago Illuminating Company) for Create & Cultivate. If you live in Chicago, 19 East has 12 shelves that go high up…. almost 30′ in the air. We got to do an ombre cacti wall with 180 cacti. It surely didn’t take a few minutes to set this beauty up as it required a lift and someone who wasn’t daunted by the fear of heights (like me!). But I’m not going to lie, it was fun to see it and since Create & Cultivate is put together by the branding dynamos from (No Subject) we got to see the hashtag for the event on Instagram along with the attendees reaction to it.

What did we do with 180 cacti? We gifted, donated them and we even kept a few!

Cacti Wall at 19 East

 

We get asked how do we do these flower walls, and how do we ensure that the flowers stay alive for long periods of time. It is a little craft secret in our studio, but know we don’t use floral foam. I’m not one to say we don’t shy away from using floral foam but we certainly try our best to do without when we can. So there you have it! The year of the flower wall. We shall see what next year holds.

You have a crazy idea, give us a call.  We are happy to join you on the creative roller coaster ride and even help you hit the gas!

Flower I’m loving now… Tulips!

November 13th, 2014 by Alex

Yep, I’m loving tulips. It’s a spring flower but some of the best stuff is not only grown in California but when it comes to tulips Holland is the champ.  I certainly love my share of tulips. You see florists love them because they have these beautiful long and smooth stems. Tulips are phototropic which means they grow towards the light. Pretty cool right?! If you ever get yourself a bunch of tulips give them a fresh cut and put them in cold (I repeat…. COLD if you want them to last long) water. They drink quite a bit after that first cut so your tulips will grow about an inch. Don’t believe me? Try it.

One of the reasons florists love tulips is because with a little love and skilled handling I can bend their stems and do fun designs like this design. The stems are bent at a 90 and then 45 degrees angle so it follows the glass vase. How did I get them to stand on their own? I’ll keep that little secret in my vault of tricks.

Next time you see tulips at your grocery store make sure that they are blooms are tightly closed (that means they are fresh!), crisp green leaves. If you happen to see a parrot tulip, double tulip (it has so many petals it almost looks like peony), french (beautiful long stems) or fringed (petals look like they have a little fringe at the ends) you are in luck!

Centerpiece of white tulips

By the way, if you love gardening now is the time to plant those tulip bulbs!

From Mockup to Centerpiece on Wedding Day!

November 11th, 2014 by Alex

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post around here. Time to dust the keyboard, download some pictures and start posting. It’s been busy around the studio with meeting clients, ordering flowers, testing rose varieties, creating mockups, submitting to national blogs, growing a few flowers (and using quite a few of them for our designs), designing some pretty centerpieces and working on our newest venture The Flower School of Chicago….. more on that later!

I’m always trying to write a good blog post were we all can learn a few things and make the world a little better place by sharing a little bit of what I’ve learned from my years in the industry. Today I’m going to talk about our process from mockup to what clients see on wedding day. After a client hires us we create a full scale mockup of one of their centerpieces….linens, chairs and pretty flowers. Clients are invited back to our studio to see a what one of their tables will look like on the day of their event.

Wedding Centerpiece of hydrangeas, dahlias, blush flowers

Mockup at our studio for our client Katie who was having her reception at Galleria Marchetti. She loved pale pinks, whites, creams and anything blush. We paired it with soft gold tablecloths and mercury glass candleholders. Speaking about those candleholders we originally had pillar candles on her proposal, but after tweaking things a little Katie and her Mom decided they preferred these mercury glass candleholders. So we made a change!

Blush Wedding Flowers by Exquisite Designs at Galleria Marchetti in Chicago

It’s wedding day and her mockup translated to her centerpieces at Galleria Marchetti. We left right before the lighting company was starting to pin spot the centerpieces. Katie was able to breathe a little easier knowing that we made tweaks to her mockup and on wedding day she was pleasantly surprised to see her vision come to life. We did leave one surprise for her….. her bridal bouquet was quite the stunner.

Blush Bridal BouquetPhotography by Katie Kett Photography 

Although not all of our clients have budgets to create a mockup we certainly love to do them, it’s a place to tweak things, if needed or give it a final blessing before we go into production.