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:
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.”
Above: 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.
Above: “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.”
Above: 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.”
Above: 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.
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 Gardenista coverage of flower shops around the world, browse our favorites below:
- In Copenhagen: Shopper’s Diary Blomsterskuret, the World’s Most Beautiful Flower Shop
- In Melbourne: Shopper’s Diary: Wild Beauty at Fowlers Flowers
- In San Francisco: Trend Alert: Flower Truck The Petaler