An inspirational escape to Northern England

 
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In July I flew to Manchester for a few days to meet floral designer Fiona who runs Firenza Floral Designer (she was listed by the Telegraph as one of the 20 top florist in the country). I’ve been following her work  and I like very much her style, so I decided to have a one to one workshop.

It was a beautiful sunny day  when I  met Fiona surrounded by  her dogs in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. We chatted in her romantic, peaceful garden and it was hugely inspirational to compare our styles. We both discovered that our main source of inspiration came from nature.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Als she showed me how to create one of her unique bouquets, I felt elated at designing something so different to my usual style.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and beau

Ph @Belle and beau

With the same flowers we both made completely different creations.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Over lunch in the sunny garden I got to know Holly an incredible photographer who took some beautiful photos of the day.

What do you do to find inspiration?

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

 
 

A medieval castle shoot

 
Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

 
 

At the end of winter, just before the approach of spring I was invited to do a shoo in a medieval castle.

When I received the moodboard about this shoot I started by choosing the  colour.

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Burgundy was my immediate choice for its elegance, timeless style and versatility. This shade always gives a deep and dramatic note to each creation.

Starting with the bridal bouquet, I paired  the burgundy to different shades of pink in order to highlight the romantic style of the bridal gown.

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

I wanted to create a luxurious and opulent bouquet where  different textures, petal shapes and flowers would add an ethereal and flowing style.

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valetina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valetina Fraccaroli

For the table decoration I picked flowers with amazing tones of burgundy: ranunculus, spellbinding anemones and dramatic tulips. To give a sparkling light I added  some peach tone flowers. Antique candleholders and small vases with candles added  a magical touch to the whole evening.

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Many thanks to an incredible team

Photo / Valentina Fraccaroli
Video / Forever Film di Paolo Brentegani
Drone / Andrea Bianco
Stationery / Bee in Love – Wedding Design di Elisa Tedesco
Mua & Hair / L’officina del MakeUp di Claudia Jclo Make Up
Wedding Cake / Cremerie
Dress / Marianna Michelon
Suit / Baratto Lavis
Shoes / Anniel
Rings / MIOeTUO
Venue / Ai Conti – Break, fast & slow
Patrocinio / Wedding in Arco
Bride / Caterina Brazzoli
Groom / Fabio Porta

 

6 floral installations at the Milan design week

 
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Every April Milan opens its doors to the design week and events of “Fuorisalone”.

For me the Fuorisalone has became an absolute must. In this edition two elements that immediately caught my attention were: flowers and the combination between modern and antique.

As soon as I arrived I went straight  to see the Danish brand “Hay” which was hosted at Palazzo Clerici. The Nordic style was perfectly integrated in the magnificent neoclassical rooms decorated with marble and golden stuccos. The floral arrangements added a cosy atmosphere to the grandeur of the palace.

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Moving on I stopped at the baroque Palazzo Litta, that held the installation  “Temple in the forest” designed by the London studio of Asif Kahn.

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Next I was taken by surprise by the pop up store that Raw had created especially for the Fuorisalone. The new collection of floral fabric born from the collaboration of the amercan brand John Derian and the English  Designer Guild, had a very romantic feel.  Intense pink flowers styled by “Flo” were surrounded by candles to set the scene.

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Arriving in Piazza Duomo I went to see Tiffany’s shop windows. For this occasion Tiffany had asked 5 artists to create a special installation in a silver greenhouse. When I stepped inside I was immediately enchanted by a spectacular curtain of flowers displayed before me.

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In the afternoon there were 2 palaces to visit.

In Palazzo Serbelloni’s courtyard there was the “Swarosky palace”. Upon entering I marveled at the effect of the glittering dancing lights everywhere.

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On the first floor of Palazzo Serbelloni I was blown away by the incredible and stunning floral arrangements created by Christian Tortu for  the Danish brand Gubi. The choice of colours, flowers and natural elements from the vegetable world were perfectly matched with the awesome rooms and furniture.

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To end this amazing day I visited the installation created for Louis Vitton at Palazzo Bocconi. Just inside the courtyard was the incredible Hexacube House “Bubble house” designed by the Greek designer Goerge Candilllis in 1970. Stepping inside the palace, at the top of a majestic staircase I was welcomed by a cascade of 10.000 paper flowers.

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Did you have any chance to visit the Fuori salone? Let me know what surprised you most!

 

Backstage at a Verona wedding

 
 

Action!

Last October we made a video and I had real fun. It was the first time for me.

The main characters were:

Cristiana the wedding planner, who directed the whole day

Tiziana the make up artist who did the make up

as floral designer I created the bridal bouquet

Guido, the photographer

Noemi, the videomaker

Two beautiful young models

Not forgetting an orange red Fiat 500

And last but not least amazing Verona at sunset

Here is the day in photos.

During the preparation

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Last touches

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Creating the bridal bouquet

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

The happy ending

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Take a look at our video and let me know what you think! Il completo lo troverete stasera alle 21.00 sulla sulla mia pagina Facebook e sul mio nuovo canale Vimeo

 
 

Intensive floral workshop with an autumn twist

 
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There was a unique vibe during my last intensive floral work-shop in October.

The special ingredients that made these two days so incredible were: an amazing group of curious and focused women: Natascia, Alessia, Nadia, Giorgia, Caterina, Silvia and Elena. Each one with her own dreams, passions, but above all very determined to share this experience.

The wonderfully welcoming Relais Corte Guastalla location set amongst the Custoza vineyard was the perfect backdrop for our week-end.

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I chose the vibrant autumn palette of : the bordeaux chrysanthemum, the chocolate of the Cosmos, the ruby red of the hydrangea  and the more delicate tones of pastel pink of the perfumed O’Hara roses.

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At the beginning of the course I gave a small  floral patterned notebook to each partecipant. Here they could note down any tips that they’d picked up during the week-end.

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This was my fourth  intensive floral workshop and I must say it was a really magical experience for us all.  Here are some special words from Natascia from Parma:”Wood of Ceylon, powerful, crisp, exciting, magical, special  and unique. This was how Tania welcomed us on the  first morning. The morning light shimmering through the windows of the villa, candles flickering, a folded apron on the table, and a unique patterned  notebook. A small branch of red apples laid out to remind us that nature is a work of art, and all our flowers displayed magnificently on the mantelpiece.

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A special thanks to Elena, who captured those two days beautifully with her camera.

 

An autumn wedding with an essential flower

 
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Hi again, hope you had a good summer I’d a splendid one. As the leaves are starting to fall I thought I’d tell you about a wonderful autumn wedding I did last year.

Paula and Adam are a lovely couple who live in London and wanted to celebrate their union in Northern Italy. They chose the romantic location of Valpolicella amidst the vineyards.

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Paula had a very clear idea of the style, the hues and the atmosphere that she wanted for their wedding. Being passionate about flowers herself it was important that they played an important role on their special day.

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Constance Spry the English floral designer was a source of inspiration for Paula. This innovative floral designer was behind the creation for Elizabeth II’s coronation and many other royal events. She was a very strong, independent woman, passionate about flowers who brought flowers to the masses. Nowadays her elegant and natural style is very much in vogue and she wrote many books about floral design.

Going back to Paula’s wedding she chose a palette made up of different shades of bordeaux, burgundy, green and cream. A touch of light peach was added to give light and to create and edgy contrast. The chocolate hue of her moodboard conveyed elegance, smoothness and consistency.

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For the flowers we chose:

  • Dahlia "dark chocolate", a flower with a dramatic red-chocolate colour;
  • Dahlia “cafè au Lait” which I love deeply and its sole presence brightens up every floral arrangement;
  • Cosmos an ethereal flower with a bold almost black hue and velvet petals (check out my link);
  • Stonecrop and Amnivisnaga, the first is fleshy and the second has a vintage lace look;
  • Berries of black and red Viburnun, pink Symphoricarpos, peach St. John’s Wort and branches of small green rosehips;
  • Foliage of different shades together with the unique burgundy violet Cotinus.

And last but not least black grapes and pomegranates were placed on each table for good luck.

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Paula’s gown  was simple in style and light golding colour, a perfect background for her beautiful, big bridal bouquet. The curvaceous branches of green rosehip and cosmos gave a lightness and flow to it.

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As you can see from the photos the final result was stunning"!

Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

PH: Dave Watts

Some photos are from Pinterest and some are mine.

 

Flowers and Fuorisalone in Milan #2

 
 

I spent the evening in the iconic district of the Fuorisalone: Tortona. Everybody, youngs and old alike were enjoying the spring air strolling between the Mudec (Modern art museum) and the nearby area with galleries, showrooms and open spaces.

My last day was spent wandering around the area of Brera where all the most famous design showrooms are situated. As well as my planned itinerary I also enjoyed exploring . Suddenly I across a deconsecrated church which hosted Bulthaup's amazing work. The furniture was in perfect unison with the simplicity of the church. Vases full of white ranunculus stood out on a dramatic wooden table.

My next stop was the Botanical garden at the University of Milan. A small restful oasis in the middle of the city. The Botanical garden was created in 1774 by the Austrian Empresses Maria Teresa. Outdoor furniture was scattered around the garden. Fully blossomed white peonies, light blue orchids and a opulent old wisteria caught my eye. On the first floor of the University there were 50 reproductions of iconic design objects. A perfect match between modern and antique.

And then off to visit designers like Hay and Marimekko in via Palermo. Marimekko had decorated and furnished an entire apartment. Each room had a feminine, seventies feel about it with a splash of colour. In Via Palermo n. 1 a kinetic vegetable garden had been created on a rooftop. A colourful and earthy corner mixing flowers and vegetables.

And I must tell you about the Day-time Hotel, a magical place which had been opened especially for the Fuorisalone, beautifully restored by FAI. This place which was designed by architect Piero Portaluppi between 1923 and 1925, can be found at the Porta Venezia stop of underground. As you enter, you step back in time and see where there used to be public bathrooms, barbershop and hairdresser.

A particularly fascinating apartment is that of Piero Portaluppi whose nephew currently lives there. Just next to it lies the Museum of the Attenali, home of Leonardo’s vineyard.

On the whole a very enjoyable experience and I would strongly recommend it to everyone.

 
 

NEW BRIDE's MAKE UP TRENDS 2016

 
 

One afternoon in December, I was speaking to Tiziana Artduini, a make-up artist, about the new make-up trends for brides-to-be in 2016. So seeing as I’m also passionate about make-up,we decided to do a shoot together combining flowers and make-up.

We were inspired by the colours Pantone chose for 2016: rose quartz and serenity.

Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace” - Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone® Color Institute.
In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, founded the Pantone company, and created an innovative system of identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community.

The choice of these colors for 2016 is very meaningful: romanticism is really very important in our daily life.

Leafing through the January issue of Vogue Bride I came across some amazing photo shoots where flowers, colors and dresses were romantic but at the same time contemporary and eclectic.

Coming back to our shoot with a young model, Tiziana thought about the make-up and hair styling, Marco Bravi studied the best sets and I carefully selected the flowers

This season the flower that best represents the rose quartz is the marvellous “Ranunculus cloni” (I talked about this flower in two recents posts) combined with the airy false goat’s beard and the timeless classy Hellebours .

For light blue serenity I chose a satin ribbon because in winter we can’t find this light blue shade in nature. In summer however it can be found in Hydrangeas, Larkspur and Scabious.

The first look was inspired by boho chic, a natural style with loose hair and a very delicate pink palette make-up. The second one was very romantic and elegant with an up-do hairstyle and a more intense make-up with a touch of marsala red.

For a similar look, Tiziana suggests using:

  • Mascara: Sumptous knockout Estèe Lauder
  • Eye shadow: Wet&dry Diorshow mono ,826 bikini, : Illusion d’ombre Moonlight pink Chanel
  • Foundation: Sheer and perfect di ShiseidoContouring: New dimension Shpe Sculpt face Estèe Lauder
  • Blusher: Luminizing Satin Face Color Shiseido, Joues Contraste Chanel