As a florist, it goes without saying that I find natural, fresh cut flowers absolutely beautiful. Nature creates the most exquisite intricacies in each flower petal, so that each bloom is stunningly unique. These are the details that we look to exploit when we put an arrangement together; we look at the minute differences and play around with the variations in colour and texture to build an arrangement that is eye catching and exquisite.
Often, our clients also have a vision when they walk through our doors. Perhaps they have a particular bloom in mind, or a specific colour. It is made all the more important when this detail is central to a theme for a party or event….so what is a florist to do if what the client wants is just not available?
“There is a place for faux flowers today,” says Whitney Robinson, editor in chief of Elle Decor. “They are essentially copies of what you would buy fresh…not everyone has the time or budget to be able to buy fresh consistently. We are entering a new era in faux flowers as well, toward a new generation of paper flowers that takes the artistry to the next level.”
It seems that with our busy lifestyles today, consumers are looking for a way to decorate their homes/offices or events without the maintenance that fresh flowers require. In the last few years many florists and homewares stores have begun stocking larger quantities of faux flowers to keep up with demand. With modern materials and more realistic production, these faux flowers are a very suitable alternative to the real deal. Sure, they do require some dusting and fluffing but they make sense for many spaces.
Some people will still turn their noses up….that is unavoidable, and sure, there are some blooms that look better and more realistic than others, the key is making the right choice for your space. And believe it or not, it is not only the humble working class that are embracing these no fuss, floral alternatives, faux flowers have got some real street cred.
When Michelle Obama, the then First Lady had tables adorned with hibiscus envisioned for a Korean State dinner, artist Livia Cetti set upon designing exquisite handmade paper ones as the fresh version was far too fragile to be up for the task at the White House. In fact, paper flowers are moonlighting at some of the best addresses, and are being accepted by decorators, designers and influencers around the world. Cetti, once a stylist for Martha Stewart has now written two how-to books on paper flowers. She supplies her paper flowers to some of the high end shops in New York and sells them on her website, with prices starting from $35 per stem (some are priced at $200 a piece!) “People like the fact that paper flowers stay around for a while,” Cetti says. “My objective isn’t to be as realistic as possible; it’s to find the character and feeling of each flower and interpret that.”