Parisian-trained designer, Laura Dowling specializes in crafting such imaginatively-themed bouquets ... When she sent us her newest creations, we knew they would be true inspiration for each and every one of you ... no matter the season, the style, or the ultimate design of your dream celebration. They are simply amazing.
from Laura, Interieurs et Fleurs ...
Bonjour! Celebrating the arrival of spring, we wanted Style Me Pretty readers to be the first to see some of our new images of French bouquets, representing fresh ideas and color trends for 2009. Every year in mid-February, often coinciding with “Fete de la St. Valentin,” Parisians enjoy a brief reprieve from the gray winter chill and revel in the unmistakable signs of early spring. The most vivid indicator that spring is on the way is when Parisian fleuristes fling open their doors and haul out buckets of flowers to display on the street -- colorful tulips, anenomes, ranunculas, and mimosa from the south of France -- tantalizing passersby to splurge and celebrate the season by purchasing an enchanting French bouquet. So, with Valentine's Day just past and a hint of spring in the air, I wanted to share new photos of Parisian inspirations and bouquets, fresh from a mid-winter collaboration with my friend and neighbor, Kate Headley.
Jardin Style (top row, left) ~ Garden-style flowers continue to be the major trend in Paris right now since there is an innate attraction to bouquets that are natural and free-flowing, especially in an urban setting. The trick to getting the French garden style look is to incorporate plenty of foliage and greens, in different shades and textures, to achieve a natural balance with the flowers. This bouquet of mixed hydrangea, viburnum, berries, and ivy in every shade of green is refined, yet rustic -- inspired by the secret gardens of Paris – providing a fresh and classic backdrop for any occasion.
Bouquet Orange (top row, right) ~ The vibrant paintings of Paul Cezanne and Marc Chagall provide the inspiration for this bouquet, arranged in a vivid combination of roses, tulips, and orchids, tempered with deep green gardenia foliage. Orange is a perennial favorite color in French fashion and design, appropriately used in flowers at any time of the year.
Bouquet Fuchsia (second row) ~ At dusk, when the upper chapel at Sainte-Chapelle provides an inspired setting for a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the light streaming through the richly-hued stained glass windows is exquisite, taking on a soft pink and violet glow. This bouquet of violet carnations, bundled together to give more impact, combined with fuchsia orchids and viburnum berries and finished with a coordinating ribbon wrap, is designed to capture that feeling of pink and violet splendor.
Parisian-Chic Bouquet (above left) ~ This bouquet was inspired by the elegant décor at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliee, a private club located on the fashionable Rue Faubourg Saint-Honore. In the beautiful and opulent dining room, decorated in lavish layers of exquisite French furnishings, the most striking element is the simple centerpiece: an aqua blue opaque glass vase holding a single, deep red rose. The color combination is so fresh and chic and adds a note of unexpected surprise to the regal setting, providing the perfect inspiration for a bouquet of red roses and ivy berries wrapped in French-braided blue ribbon.
Bouquet Végetal (above right) ~ In spring, the neighborhood Parisian farmers’ markets provide endless inspiration, showcasing the bounty of the season in artistic and colorful displays. Vegetables add earthy charm to even the most sophisticated bouquets, and are a wise and thrifty choice in the current economic climate. In this bouquet, kale cabbages are reminiscent of garden roses, and create festive and elegant wedding flowers.
Bouquet Téte a téte (above left) ~ A petite yellow bouquet of mixed jonquils and spring flowers exudes undeniable sweetness and charm. When it’s wrapped with a frilly moss green ribbon and paired with a paper parasol, the bouquet adopts a witty and jaunty personality, setting the tone for a perfect spring wedding or garden party. I envision bridesmaids carrying bouquets of mixed yellow jonquils, each wrapped in a different pastel-colored ribbon trim – pink, lavender, green, and cream – and a party featuring French macaroons in corresponding colors from Ladurée. Magnifique!
Bouquet Féerique (above, right and below, left) ~ From the ancient stone monuments and cobblestone streets to the silvery light at dusk, Paris sparkles in shades of gray. Coincidentally, the color just happens to be a major trend in fashion and design right now. This bouquet, inspired by the French grisaille painting at the Musée de Carnavalet, is ethereal and fairy-like, composed of all-gray flowers and foliage, including silver brunia and eucalyptus with a touch of wintry crystal branches. Wrapped in navy blue satin (below), it has a sophisticated feel, while a pink braided ribbon (above) gives off a delicate, vintage impression.
Bouquet Violette (above, right) ~ Adorable bundles of French violets start making their appearance in the Parisian flower shops and markets this time of year and they are the inspiration for this bouquet. Here, I’ve used deep purple carnations and ivy berries along with purple and teal blue ribbon accents to create a garden-style bouquet that is at once traditional, yet modern.
Wishing you hearts and cupids, champagne and chocolate, and French fleurs and bouquets -- a joyeuse fete de la Saint-Valentin.
Photography by Kate Headley.
Interieurs et Fleurs is famous for Laura's modern yet romantic designs, from the most chic French bouquets to glorious profusions of floral displays. Laura's website is full of so many more gorgeous examples of her work ... you simply must take a peek! Thank-you Laura for sharing this glimpse of the fresh beauty of your designs.