Currently featured on Style Me Pretty is a series of posts and photos about Parisian floral arrangements and bouquets. They are exquisite in a way that blends rustic and romantic. Visit Style Me Pretty to learn how to create your own displays that are“lush, garden-style bouquets with tumbling vines and branches, adorable country-style bouquets…”
The French approach blends the inherent beauty of flowers, gathered simply from the garden, with the personal vision and passion of the floral artist. It is this rapport between nature and artist that gives the French bouquet, whether rendered in the haute couture or garden style, a distinctive personality, flair, and emotional impact. This season, be sure to look for inspiration from the garden and Farmers’ Markets, in historical styles, and from fashion, to create your own masterpieces in the French style.
Here are some tips and techniques for creating your own cutting-edge designs. Let yourself be inspired by these gorgeous, pastoral creations! The look will lend sophisticated charm to your autumn celebration.
Bouquet végetal. Fruits and vegetables, always a key ingredient in the French bouquet, are especially au courant this season. At Catherine Muller’s design studio, we added a sprig of plaintain bananas, a single courgette (zucchini), and a ripe plum to a romantic bouquet of blue and purple hydrangea and pink garden roses. Other ideas include surrounding a vase of elegant white lilies with fresh green beans and using large orange carrots to form the base of a striking bouquet of fuchsia phaleonopsis and pink mokara orchids. Fruits and vegetables add color and substance to floral arrangements, making the “bouquet végetal” not only trés jolie, but cost-effective, too!
Marie Antoinette luxe. As enduring style icon and the archetype of luxe, Marie Antoinette reigns as the ultimate taste-maker, and her legacy continues to influence contemporary trends in French fashion, décor, and floral design. At the Grand Palais, Marie Antoinette’s objets de luxe were celebrated in a special exhibit that generated rave reviews and renewed interest in her vision. To achieve the look of romantic decadence and sumptuous opulence in your party décor this season, incorporate signature design elements such as boules de plume (feather balls), romantic flowers (Yves Piaget garden roses), and layers of posh fabrics (tulle, silk, taffeta). Use rich color schemes (French blue and silver, Versailles pink and gold, royal purple and peridot green) to create a sense of unabashed, over-the-top, classic French style.
Fleur couture. In addition to deriving inspiration from history and nature, French florists are influenced by haute couture fashion, which creates incredible excitement and innovation in their designs. In my strolls through the Parisian fashion district, I noted how the new trends – structured, architectural shapes, strong, primary colors, exquisite hand-detailing (ruffles, layers, pleats), etc. will provide rich inspiration for nouvelle bouquets this season. To create the fleur couture style, use fashion-forward colors in chic monochromatic combinations, incorporate layers of textures (including a variety of natural materials), and add special flourishes and finishing touches (plaid ribbons, tweed wraps, jewel accents) fresh from the fashion runways.