One of my favorite aspects of attending press previews is that, whether low-key or large-scale, there are almost always floral arrangements. Carefully selected to enhance the nature of the product/collection, the venue, or both, blooms add texture and color to the tableau and generally make everything feel more festive and luxe. And there’s no better way to elevate an Instagram shot.
And on the East Coast anyway, some flowers are the perfect harbinger of spring. I was reminded of this at a recent dinner party hosted by Texas-based jeweler Ylang 23, where glorious golden Japanese poppies dressed the center of the long, rectangular table amid glass cloche displays of jewelry, and at Monica Vinader’s presentation in the penthouse of a downtown hotel. There, tight bouquets of ranunculus in every shade of pink nearly distracted me from the perfect–for–Mother’s Day bracelets, earrings, and charms.
I follow a number of florists on Instagram, and one of my favorites is Popup Florist, whom I first discovered at a Fernando Jorge press breakfast at Barneys. And last week, when I finally got a chance to check out Hudson Yards, I happened upon Popup Florist’s work once again during a stroll through Neiman Marcus. There, at a supercute white cart, a stylist was hand-tying bouquets and assembling arrangements live on the spot. Customers could select the blooms they wanted for a personalized look or choose from the ready-made options. I loved this as an activation idea for a jewelry store. Especially with Mother’s Day coming up.
But knowing that there may be neither space nor budget for such a novelty, I reached out to the Popup Florist herself (IRL she goes by Kelsie Hayes) for some DIY store-decorating tips. She’s created installations and event design for a lot of chic brands and retailers, from Michele watches to Vivienne Westwood.
With some of the year’s best flowers now available locally (peonies are coming soon!), now’s the perfect time pick some beauties for your window displays and countertops. Get creative!
Less Is More
“It is more impactful to pick two or three interesting blooms than lush, full arrangements that will take away from the product you’re merchandising.”
Dry Is Fresh
“We have been working a lot with dried florals lately, which I highly suggest because they will last and maintain their look for as long as you need them to. I did something recently with eucalyptus and pampas grass in the window, and it looked really lush despite being dried.”
“For interior florals, I think it’s okay to stick with neutral colors that complement the product, but for window displays I always think bold colors look best.”
Vases and Bases
“The vase you choose really depends on the brand or company’s aesthetic. I think acrylic, simple glass, or neutral ceramics are always the safest choices because they let the florals speak for themselves.”
The Long(evity) Game
“There are three easy rules to getting most mileage out of florals: Change the water every day, cut the floral stems at an angle once every two days, and don’t put the flowers in direct sunlight.”
Top: April showers bring May flowers—how about an in-store flower cart? Here’s one at Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards, featuring blooms by Popup Florist (all photos courtesy of Popup Florist).
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