ISSUE 45  |  London Calling

Designer Visit: At Home with Miley Cyrus’ Favorite Florist

November 12, 2014 11:00 AM

BY Cheryl Locke

Emma Weaver was at the top of her game as a prop designer, having launched her career working on videos with Australian singer-songwriter Kylie Minogue. Then she had a change of heart, and went to a floristry school in Knightsbridge. Though it was “very ’90s and unimaginative,” she applied her pop-star showmanship and Central Saint Martins’ training to her designs. Since finding her calling, she is owner and creative director of Palais Flowers, an on-the-rise floral design studio (Miley Cyrus is a client) in East London’s Limehouse neighborhood.

We caught up with her via an interview with Glasshouse Journal‘s Olivia Crighton, who toured her green-crammed, work-live studio:  

Photographs courtesy of Jessica MacCormick. For more of Jessica’s work, visit her on Instagram at @roadstory_ or at her website.

Emma Weaver, creative director and owner of Palais Flowers in LondonAbove: Emma’s floral design studio, established in April, specializes in weddings and fashion styling. She also does windows (you can see her work right now at Anthropologie on Regent Street).

Her highest profile project to date? Fresh-petal confetti and daisies for the dancers’ wigs at Miley Cyrus’ concert at Wembley’s Summertime Ball. Recommended by her friend, set designer Petra Storrs, she found herself in a Marriott hotel room, “wiring fresh marguerites surrounded by the Bangerz crew, including director Diane Martel, a dwarf, a midget, five models, Miley, and her little sister dressed as a cat.”

A design by Emma Weaver, owner and creative director or Palais Flowers in LondonAbove: An arrangement with hydrangea, scabiosa, Queen Anne’s lace, campanula, and lupine (the latter are her current favorites) in a blue and white Victorian soup tureen. When it comes to sourcing flowers, “British is best,” says Emma, who is regularly at London’s Convent Garden, and makes the drive to Oxfordshire and Cornwall in search of the freshest stems.

Design by Emma Weaver, owner and creative director of Palais Flowers in LondonAbove: “I really like scabiosa. They’re a really big UK flower. I used to love hydrangeas too, but you end up getting sick of flowers that everyone likes,” she says. “Chocolate cosmos are also seriously cool.”

On the topic of floral trends, she says: “Peonies and delphinium are really popular right now, and anything in pastel shades. Dior did a big show with orchids recently, so now everyone thinks orchids will be cool again. I’m not sold on them yet.”

Emma Weaver designed her studio herselfAbove: The studio was put together using Emma’s DIY skills. She painted the gray brick a soft shade of white, hung curtains, and put up shelves.

A split-leaf philodendron hogs the scene in Emma's Palais Flowers studioAbove: A split-leaf philodendron greedily stretches out over a chest of drawers.

jessicamaccormick_palais-22Above: Emma, who studied sculpture at art school Central Saint Martins, has an eye for three-dimensional textures, which explains her attention to foliage: “It is as big an element to the design as the flowers.” Her choice of windowsill plants clearly reflects that, as does her advice to brides: “If I were getting married, I would do blue and white, and loads of foliage.”

Asparagus fern at Emma's Palais Flowers design shop in LondonAbove: Frilly asparagus fern in Emma’s favorite glass bottle.

A still life at Emma Weaver's floral design shop, Palais FlowersAbove: Thrift shop and flea market finds, such as this rustic vignette, adorn Emma’s studio. She admits 900 of the 1,000 square feet that is her studio is “crammed full of flower paraphernalia and house plants.” In one corner, she’s amassed a collection of animal lamps, which she hopes to sell online.

A yucca palm photo bomb at Palais Flowers in LondonAbove: A yucca palm photobomb.

Chocolate cosmos, one of Emma Weaver's favorite blooms at Palais FlowersAbove: Blooms with a chocolate fragrance.

What’s next for Emma? Between designing a Christmas collection for her soon-to-launch web shop and flower beds for a photo shoot with fashion label Oasis next week, there is her portfolio to attend to. “I’m forever striving to create the perfect three-dimensional, Dutch masters-style still life.”

For more thoughts on making a career in flowers, see a complete interview by Olivia Crighton at Glasshouse Journal. And to order flowers from Emma, please inquire on her website.

For more Gardenista coverage of flower shops around the world, browse our favorites below: