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The Florist

"Your flowers shouldn't be paint-by-number."
Lewis Miller of LMD Events & Interiors

What's your aesthetic?
  • Photo by Brad Paris

It's a blend of modern and old-world; a richer, darker approach to classic. It's a bit predictable to reference fashion, but I consider us the bespoke florist.

And your clientele?
They tend to live the way I live, off the beaten path but never compromising their sense of luxury. They don't want your typical white wedding. They want this treated as if they're working with an interior designer in their home. But I also say, don't party the same way you live. These are five hours of consolidated fun: Cram as much light and color into them as you can.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From travel, nature, painting, films.

Any films in particular?
I'm a period-piece junkie. And I love when a period piece still feels very modern, like Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. We're part of this generation that's lived through minimalism. We're ready for over-the-top luxury that's still unassuming, that's a mix of the simplest elements with the most grand.

How does this philosophy translate into an actual arrangement?
I'll say to my designers, "Make me a centerpiece. Here's what you can use," and they'll make these perfect domes. Then I'll grab the whole thing and drop it back in the vase. Suddenly, it stops looking stiff; every flower moves into its place. It bores me when an arrangement looks like it took hours to make. I need lavish abundance that looks like it could have happened naturally. And usually, that takes more work than following a grid.

Any flowers you turn to when things aren't working as planned?
It depends on the season. Peonies are amazing in the spring. Dahlias are my workhorse in the fall. Anemonies and ranunculus in winter. I really like flowers that have a life span, that open and die beautifully. But when I design a wedding, the flowers are the last thing I decide. Because you can plan, plan, plan, but then two days before the event, I could see a truckload of purple lilac at the flower market and that's what we should use. It's right in the moment, unlike 10,000 overpriced hothouse flowers that are being flown in and may or may not make it on time.

What's the oddest object you're proud of working into a design?
My stuffed white peacock. He usually hangs out at my shop, and a bride's mother fell in love with him. So, for the escort table, I took this antique Indian cauldron, mounted it with fresh moss, and tucked the escort cards into it; behind it, I placed a pedestal, wrapped in white ivy, with the peacock overlooking it all. It was very dramatic.

Say you're doing your own arrangements. Are there any tricks to making them look truly unique?
Use either very special or nonissue vessels. Get a simple glass cylinder and cover it with leaves or hemp roping—something very organic. Or go the other way and have a gorgeous interior-quality piece, like a mercury-glass compote. Anything that's not run-of-the-mill. I would much rather see a mossy clay pot than a plastic bowl that's trying to look silver. Whether it's high or low, it has to be authentic. When it comes to flowers, don't rely on the old standbys. Trust the growers to get you something that feels like it came out of the most fabulous garden as opposed to some greenhouse in South America.

What are the old standbys you can't stand?
I don't like anything that looks suburban. Like gerber daisies. And certain flowers get used to death. I have to not work with them for a while to make them look fresh. For two years, I avoided hydrangeas, but now I'm ready to reincorporate them again.

437 E. 12th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-614-2734


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