By now you guys have seen the out-of-this-world floral arrangements that were front-and-center in our Weddings campaign
. But did you realize that each bouquet was painstakingly handcrafted by a bona-fide Floral Artist?
Her name is Dara Paquette, aka FLORA LUX.
Her job is creating innovative, exciting ways to build bouquets. And she’s a freaking badass. Get to know a true original.
Fame and Partners: What was your inspiration for the Fame and Partner’s shoot?
Dara Paquette: The Fame & FLORA LUX collaboration is inspired by Fame’s Spring 2016 Wedding collection. Given a look-book of options, I got to select dresses for the shoot. Beautiful billowing ruffles, soft baby blues, delicate lace trims contrasted with clean lines and chic black contemporary evening dresses were the main inspirations for our collaboration coupled with a heavy desire for editorial-feeling floral beauty.
F&P: How did you get into floral design?
DP: Growing up in New Hampshire I received the immense blessing of attending a progressive high school which featured a robust arts and agricultural program. Some of you might’ve heard of FFA or Future Farmers Of America. From that branch I chose Ornamental Horticulture, today more commonly known as Floral Design. It was a 4 year course I chose in lieu of French or Spanish. In retrospect this is the most important decision I made in my life because I found my passion and committed to it. I attribute my love of flowers to my mother though, who maintained a beautiful garden brimming with forsythia, lilac, spirea, peonies, vintage and climbing roses at our family’s home in Southern New Hampshire.
F&P: What’s been your career highlight?
DP: The launch of FLORA LUX in 2012 which has allowed me the opportunity to make dreams come true like working with Teri Hatcher, menswear designer Derek Mattison and Tamara of House of Honey, and now Fame & Partners.
F&P: If you were a flower, what would you be and why?
DP: I would be a Carnation. A Carnation because when I was really starting to get a hold of my voice and technique as a designer, at the time it felt as if every client requested NO CARNATIONS. Determined to change the perception of the flower and what could be done with them, I would seek unusual varieties, heirloom varieties with stunning silver and white striations, antiqued ones with subtly nuanced picotee tips and vibrantly saturated jewel tones. In my off time I would experiment with designs and new looks. The heirloom carnations have a distinct clove note, they’re incredibly long lasting if you properly care for them (sometimes up to 3 weeks) and in the Victorian days, they meant “everlasting love.” It became somewhat of an emblem for me, my mascot. I view the Carnation as a symbol of rebellion, intrinsic to my nature of wanting to innovate and challenge the status quo.
F&P: How many flowers would you say are in your house right now?
DP: Roughly 300 stems. I live and work from a private studio.
F&P: Favorite floral emoji?
DP: 🌺 🌺 🌺
F&P: Most underrated flower? Why?
DP: I think the Carnation would also fall under this category but I have noticed more florists utilizing them lately so perhaps the most underrated flower award now goes to the Gerbera. Like the Carnation for so long, the Gerbera is a flower that’s currently getting a bad rep. There’s a time and place for specific flowers, so it’s understandable, but I also think it comes from a lack of creativity and what can be done with this beautiful babe. The color options are astounding when you seek out the unusual options. Everything circulates in trends and I’m just wondering when Gerbera will get her time to shine.
F&P: Best flowers for a wedding?
DP: Weddings are fun category for me right now because I’m working on changing perception of what is possible in the realm of wedding design and attire. The world of bridal is still very “safe” and I think it has potential to shift into something more bold and vibrant, maybe even theatrical. If you’re going to throw the biggest party of your life, why not really do it up?! To the 9’s I say! The flowers should amplify the overall visual story of the wedding so there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all method. It’s a fully tailored package that requires the bride and groom to put a lot of faith in their chosen floral designer as floral options, quantity and quality shift from season to season. Trust your artist!
F&P: How would you describe the relationship between floral design and fashion?
DP: I feel like fashion and flowers have always been inextricably connected. Like they’ve performed a ritualistic love dance throughout time. I’m constantly referencing fashion details/shapes/colors to imbue my work with, and vise verse: fashion references nature’s shapes/colors/patterns to inspire their collections.
F&P: Where can our readers find you online?