Floral designing today is quite eclectic. As floral artists we sometimes create designs that are quite classical in feeling and approach. Yet at the same time, we create things that are cutting edge if not “bleeding edge” stylistically.
Some people get hung up over whether a design is “old fashioned” or “trendy.” Has the design or similar floral art been created for the past decade (or more) or is it a dramatically new approach?
In art and design fields, these words (“old fashioned” or “trendy”) are often the source of much concern, conflict and debate. For one floral designer to call another floral designer “old fashioned” is the floral field equivalent of “name calling.” After all, who wants to be considered, “old fashioned” especially in a design field, where everyone likes to think of themselves as current and trendy! Call another floral designer “old fashioned” and you are essentially making an obscene gesture.
Frankly, I think this kind of verbiage is a waste of time and energy. The bottom line is that a floral design that one person calls “old fashioned” another will consider “romantic.” A floral piece that one person sees as “trendy,” another will dismiss as “strange” or “bizarre.”
Does it really make all that much difference if the origins of a particular piece of floral art are temporally closer or father away? In my opinion, I don’t think so.
It matters little if a design approach or style was developed nearer or farther away in time. Something that is aesthetically pleasing can still be pleasing even if Grandpa made something similar. (eg. Like those round bouquets that are all the rage with brides? Not exactly “this year,” but they still love them– and rightfully so!)
What is important is that someone somewhere likes that style and finds that it speaks to him/her. What is important is that people enjoy flowers in their lives, regardless of style.
This allows a huge range of expression in your floral art. What is wrong with greater eclecticism in floral expression? In my opinion, nothing at all.
Take the design illustrated above for example. If you look at it quickly, it feels very classical. It has a radiating fan shape, and includes carnations, often associated with traditional floral art.
But is this design really traditional? To start with the container is totally concealed, covered with moss in what many floral designers would consider to be a very contemporary manner.
Yes there are carnations, but a huge number of carnation stems–without the heads, are also filling space within this arrangement. (In fact the stems were left over from carnations used in other design projects.) Stems placed without heads is certainly not traditional….
The carnations are mixed with two wonderful upscale flowers (allium and viburnum.) Look closely and you will see these two upscale materials intricately interwoven into the entire body of this piece….
Finally notice the use of twigs… Yes there is branchy stuff… twigs… Kiwi vine placed throughout this floral design. The use of branchy materials is commonly found in contemporary pieces.
Is this design classical? Is it contemporary? A good question. Bottom line, is that it is interesting……and if someone out there likes or loves it, that is all that counts.