The GC Staff Styles Flowers 5-Ways for Our Signature “Rose Bowl Challenge”
Last month when the GC Team was in Los Angeles, I presented the staff with a challenge: let’s go to Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena and try to find cheap, intriguing flower vessels for under $30. The creative possibilities were endless, and there were no other restrictions. We have a pretty creative team over here, and all of us have very unique perspectives on design, decor, and artistic expression. Plus: we love the idea of “recycling” and repurposing old decor into something new and unexpected. The next time you want to “think outside of the box” when selecting a flower vessel, head to your local flea market; the creative possibilities are endless and its a more interesting way to shop (see our gallery below). — Molly Beauchemin
Here is what the GC Staff came up with:
Daisy Helman, CEO
I found three fantastically kitschy “Don the Beachcomber” vases for ten dollars each at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, bringing back a time when the Tiki Polynesian surfer culture could be felt throughout California. This was the sixties, when my my parents were young, carefree, and throwing parties constantly. The men who came wore Reyn Spooner shirts with Aloha insignias, and the women donned mini dresses in bold fabrics printed that featured hibiscus or plumeria flowers. Trader Vic’s was the favorite restaurant of choice, and an old classic. It was the era of the exotic cocktail; Trader Vic’s, along with Don the Beachcomber, claimed to have invented the “Mai Tai”. My parents would bring home the flowers and the stir sticks for us kids, who collected them and used them in our own drinks at dinner. Years after my parents’ generation embraced this trend, we would still go for enormous scorpion bowls and the kitsch. I wanted my bouquet to vibrate with the colors of this era, with the feel-good vibes and bright yellow, hot pink, deep purple of Trader Vic’s. I went with freesia as a nod to the plumeria and used carnations to up the kitsch factor.
Nora Rose, Staff Writer
There’s something about flea markets that always makes me feel like I’ve entered a completely different time and place. In honor of the Rose Bowl’s anachronistic ambiance, I began by picking out the unicorn beetle, which for me captures the essence of a flea market: the preservation and appreciation of old and beautiful things. I chose the vase second, looking for something that would complement the dark red-brown hues of the beetle. Last, I set about creating a bouquet with an Old World feel. The eucalyptus pods seemed to me like something from antiquity, while the white rose added a classic quality. The various greens I added to ensure the bouquet still felt a little wild and untamed– there is something chaotic in the currents of the Rose Bowl. Altogether, the bouquet ($10.90), unicorn beetle ($15), and vase ($4) came out to under $30.
Molly Beauchemin, Editor-in-Chief
Within about five minutes of wandering into the Rose Bowl I spotted a Mexican cookie jar that I decided I would absolutely need to use for my bouquet. Every time I go to Southern California I am so inspired by the desert and adobe vibes that come with local Chicano culture. As someone who speaks Spanish, I love the cultural mish-mash that Southern California has come to represent, and I chose to channel that with my vessel (a mere $15) and by using plants that are symbolically important to Southern California. Aromatic Eucalyptus came to California from Australia during the gold rush, and its now got a strong association with the region– the same is true of Proteas, which originate in South Africa but which can now be found along the coast in resort towns like Big Sur. I bought all of my flowers at the SoCal flower market in Little Tokyo at 5 AM when all the florists were shopping– including some sweet-smelling lavender grown in nearby Santa Barbara. This, too, is an aspect of Southern California flower culture that I wanted to honor with this design.
Lena Braun, Marketing Director
The colorful marble swirls of this vase immediately captured my interest. Combined with the sandy hues of the clay that remind of the Californian desert, this pottery (which is Vintage Nemadji) can be wonderfully balanced with fresh flowers in deep purple and pink nuances. Hence I chose Californian lilies, buttery ranunculus, and my newest favorite: the everlasting hypericum.
Laura Braun, Creative Director
Searching for a nice unusual vessel, I walked by all the different stands but did not see one that really caught my eye– until I came across one vendor who had all kinds of antiques on the floor, and in the middle of it, I saw this trophy from 1966. It’s a Lions Club trophy for International Film, and the golden brass tones and the amber-esque middle piece looked very beautiful to me. The trophy is “such a character”, so I chose only flowers that could be described in the same way: thistles, lilies, hot pink ranunculus and Japanese sweet pea. Kind of like in a movie with a lot of strong characters, who surprisingly harmonize in their unusual ways.