Agricultural shows like Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, as well as regional shows, like Brisbane’s EKKA have always included some sort of floral design competition. In addition to prize winning specimens of stunning camellias, roses, and of course the local gigantic pumpkin, a variety of arrangements are submitted, displayed and judged on a a list of criteria.
This years EKKA took the concept of ‘manscaping’ to a whole new level. Instead of removing excess hair, the challenge at yesterday’s EKKA instead was to decorate the beard and head area of a (brave and) a willing participant using a combination of flowers and trees native to Queensland. In addition to exploring creativity, the event was able to shine the light brightly on the gorgeous native flora from the region, which can often be overlooked for imported varieties.
The trend has featured at EKKA over the last couple of years and provides an interesting medium to work with. Florists are accustomed to working on intricate floral crowns, floral fascinators, head bands, corsages, neckpieces, buttonholes, even pieces to attach to your clutch bag.
Competitions often provide an opportunity to experiment in ways that we don’t get in our usual business dealings. Over the years I have seen challenges like this where you get to dress a mannequin in flowers, or create wonderful scenes entirely from flowers. It is an incredible to experience to ‘see’ your materials in an entirely new light. I’m reminded of this often when playing with my children. Like when you’re lying on the grass looking at the clouds and seeing shapes and scenes, similarly, my middle child will pick up a coloured leaf on a walk that may have an unusual shape and will see a way she can use it in a piece of art.
I do not anticipate that floral beards are the next big thing. However for the hipster crowd it may provide an interesting and certainly unique way for men to incorporate more florals in their outfits for a special occasion. Just as men began wearing engagement rings a few years ago, we may see some orders for a floral beard adornment for a wedding. Why do the girls get to have all the fun? 😉 Floral expression is something entirely personal and so that means that our designs are guided by what our customer wants.
In the meantime, it gets our creative juices flowing simply thinking about the possibilities. And sometimes, the act of just thinking differently can be the key….