How To Arrange Faux Flowers in Stackable Sculpture
Arrange Faux Flowers in Stackable Sculpture
Story by Diana Keeler / Photography by Troy House & David Chow
Hilary Robertson, the Brooklyn-based stylist, author, and creative director, recently
collaborated with Bloomist to design a new collection of EcoFaux™ botanicals,
as well as a series of Brancusi-inspired vases that are made to stack. The vases are
hand-crafted exclusively for Bloomist in small batches and slip cast in Brooklyn by
Japanese ceramicist, Michiko Shimada.
The Bloomist EcoFaux™ flowers are designed to to be perfectly imperfect,
capturing the nuanced beauty of flowers with attention to the realistic details
of textures, form, faded blooms, and even bug holes.
“I find that most rooms are improved with a little wildness and natural texture — and I find a room without flowers rather like an outfit without accessories: unfinished,” says Hilary Robertson, the Brooklyn-based stylist, author and creative director. Her latest role: our style collaborator in the creation of EcoFaux™, a new collection of environmentally friendly faux botanicals, and an assortment of handmade ceramic vessels.
Faux flowers are a bedrock design element for in-the-know interiors experts: Even the pros rarely have time to make daily tours of the flower markets, and a few artful faux pieces can provide the foundation for an ever-evolving assortment of blooms that changes with the seasons. And unlike fresh flowers, they last, which will mean significant cost savings in the long run.
The stacking Kado vases create a striking piece of sculpture when the small is stacked on top of the medium vase.
“A faux collection makes sense to me, as it allows me to style with flowers all the time without
having to source at the markets. When you get the hang of mixing them with real, you won't
need to spend as much money, and you’ll have a semi-permanent arrangement which can be
refreshed as needed, or when seasons change.” - Hilary Robertson
These faux botanicals pair beautifully with a new collection of vases that show off their beauty: “This year, the design world developed a crush on [Constantin] Brancusi,” says Robertson, referencing the famed 20th-century Romanian sculptor known for his organic forms. “Stylists made sculptural piles of everything from rocks to bread!
Though they could happily accommodate any botanical — fresh, dried, or fake — these
pieces pair particularly well with the EcoFaux™ collection. “The tall matte black vase is
the ideal size and proportion for a larger arrangement, and its neck is just the right
size — I wanted a shape with a neck that isn’t too wide, heavy enough and the correct
proportion for branches; even just one graceful branch will work perfectly in this
vase,” says Robertson. “When choosing a vessel for this kind of arrangement, stay
away from the wider neck as it needs so many stems to fill it.”
Shown Left: Buranchi Vase, Matte Black with fresh branches. Bloomist’s brass frogs also fit
these vases to create a fresh ikebana arrangement as shown above in the Small Kado Vase,
For Bloomist, one concern remained supreme in creating the botanicals: pushing the
industry to investigate and execute ever-more environmentally responsible standards.
Faux flowers are generally produced with non-biodegradable virgin and petroleum-based
plastics containing chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) and binding agents like phthalates,
which many experts believe leech into our food supply. In creating these pieces with our
suppliers, we’ve asked them to replace virgin and petroleum-based plastics with upcycled
and recycled fabrics. As we move toward products that are completely free of plastics,
we’re now working with bioplastics that are 60 to 70 percent biomass: agricultural
by-products and plastic bottles. For the moment, biomass has certain design limitations,
as it’s typically stiff and “plastic-y.” For spots where a natural bend is required — like
the leaf and foliage backings that support the flower’s centers — we’ll still use virgin
plastic. We’re working with suppliers to change this. They are digitally printing some of
the fabrics rather than dyeing materials to reduce waste water — and any incidental waste
water goes through an in-house treatment process.
Keeping it wild with a a simple spray of EcoFaux™ Heirloom Roses and Barlow flowers in the Medium Kado vase in Matte White.
The Small Kado vase stacks on top of the Medium Kado vase to create a stable
vase or striking piece of sculpture when empty.
“As a response to the Brancusi trend, I designed vase shapes that would stack. These
work well with a flower frog for an on-trend ikebana arrangement, but also
make a sculptural statement without flowers or branches.” - Hilary Robertson
Taken together, these efforts represent a sea change in how fake flowers have been
produced for the last 60 years. “Our suppliers are the first in the industry
to work on green faux botanicals,” says Alex Bates, Bloomist’s co-founder and creative director.
We look forward to continuing this work — and adding our voice to the necessary
change taking place in our industry.
While we’re aggressively advocating for new methods and safer materials, they
still rely on age-old artisanal practices for the design of our flowers, which
are created by experts in the art of botanical illustration. They work hand-in-hand
with mold-makers who ensure that all of a bloom’s complexities — the shapes and sizes
of petals, leaves, and stems, their beautiful irregularities and peculiarities, including
bug bites and evidence of aging — are transferred to their molds.
Shown at left above: Buranchi Vase, Matte White. Fresh seeded eucalyptus
shown above in a Medium Kado Vase, Matte Black. " I love the combination
of matte black with greens” - Robertson says.