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By: Ovando

New York Fashion Week is always such a captivating experience: the meticulous choosing of models, the adrenaline in the styling room, the breakthrough designers sending their first collections down the runway, chic after-parties lit with conversations of Anna Wintour’s choice seasonal looks. If fashion week shows us anything, it’s certainly that the latest trends are just as purposeful as they are inspired. Such is the vision of Ovando projects for Spring/Summer 2014 shows and presentations: the tender nature of flowers and plantlife to thrive in special seasons.

This year, we aimed not only to flatter the beauties appearing through the lens, but to imbue them with multifaceted life. Some may argue inspiration can be found easily, but the process of translation into fashion collections, artworks, floral composition, and event designs into innovative living art is an exciting challenge.

This Fashion Week, Ovando was honored to be a part of three stunning Fashion Week displays: Kate Spade Spring/Summer 2014 Presentation, Houghton Spring/Summer 2014 Runway Show, and Naeem Kahn Spring/Summer 2014 Runway Show.

All three projects were sparked by an inspiration of the natural fragrances in the open air (very much Dia de Campo). Kate Spade boasted a scenic Versailles boxwood garden-party atmosphere where models, styled by Brad Goreski, encircled the space on lush green elevated stages.

The Houghton and Naeem Kahn Spring/Summer 2014 Runway lines featured large scale live walls with floral and plantlife elements. The Hougton show, hosted at the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, created a natural organic texture to the presentation set to the open sky.

Flattering Naeem Khan’s latest line, a raw installation of tropical florals complimented an array of some of the most stunning models in all of Fashion Week. Topping the collection, a debut wedding dress was presented a new line of wedding gowns, elevated by a bright red Ovando bouquet.

We commend all of the successes of the Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Week designers this year!  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the awe of Fashion Week can render you speechless.

Langham_USOpen
By: Ovando

As the official floral designer of the US Open (our third year in a row!), Ovando is gearing up to present a radiant line-up of sculptural arrangements and themed floral creations in the hospitality area and in select sponsored suites. Ovando is making a green, white, and yellow splash across the entirety of The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

While each match comes fully-equipped with ferocious high-paced volley, the intensity of highbrow fashionistas observing closely alongside the 700,000+ attendees will be just as exciting. This year, Ovando is drawing inspiration from such tennis icons as Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, in addition to a retinue of fashion icons like Anna Wintour. Our floral creations are certain to create a brilliant splash.


Yellow pompom buttons, strategically positioned on a court of wheat grass, come together to offer a more literal interpretation of a US Open match.

(Above Left:) Working with a spherical subject, this floating flower ball appears to lay effortlessly within the square court. In actuality, each player, as represented by the flower ball, is struggling to stay above water and defeat their dexterous opponents.

(Above Right:) A loop of ever-chic lily grass emerges into a carefully fashioned bundle of Phalaenopsis orchids. The arrangement celebrates the fluidity and grace of the US Open players as well as the escalation and triumph of the ultimate winner.

May the best contestant win!

Step & Repeat
By: Ovando

Subtly playing their roles, florals and plant life have a powerful effect on the tone of a movie. An organic element in any scene, large plant life builds strong imagery, transforming a lighthearted, welcoming scene into a chilling stage, establishing an aura of uncertainty to a horror film, such as the opening scene in Halloween. Plush, fruitful foliage set the stage of a quiet peaceful, town while dead, barren trees create a sterile environment invoking danger and caution.

Meanwhile, flowers speak the language of love, compassion, spirituality, kindness, and care. The Rose in particular has a vast variation of meanings: red for love, black for death, deep burgundy for unconscious beauty, white for purity and innocence. The study of floriography and its adaptability in anthropomorphism is endless.

Ovando honed this adaptable aspect of plants and flowers to create extraordinary installations at the MoMA’s annual film benefit honoring Tim Burton. Inspired by over two decades of the film icon’s movies, our step-and-repeat installations and tablescapes created a sense of movement with orchids, roses and moss tangled among Wisteria vines.  Adding tea light candles to glax leaves created the appearance of light emerging from the plantlife themselves – as if they were coming to life, just like Little Shop of Horrors.

During the upcoming Fringe Festival this August, we invite you to take note of the inventive uses of flowers and plants in film. Let your eye catch colors, textures and patterns constructed to expose tones through your emotions.

WIndow
By: Ovando

Summer has finally arrived in New York and with the heat driving us indoors, we sought a unique way to spruce up our home décor (and our storefront windows) with a little life. Instantly, we thought one thing: terrariums. As an attention-grabbing taste of Victorian class, the ever-fashionable, low maintenance terrarium is making a comeback. As an elegant glass showcase coming in many forms it acts as an indoor garden that goes far to produce an extra comforting warmth to your home, setting your decor apart. Easy to create, the simple terrarium requires few items: gravel, chunks of charcoal, potting soil and moss (optional) and can be a cheerful activity for you and your friends.

Coming in a variety of shapes, your terrarium could house as little as just one plant or as many as you like. As a statement centerpiece, it provides chic elegance to any dinner or coffee table. Enhance any spread with medium vessels for an understated elegance or use smaller containers as placecards.

Now, before starting to put together your terrarium, it is important to remember that while your plants will live in a small environment, they will certainly still grow. Be sure not to plant too many shrubs and to prune as necessary before potting. When choosing your shrubs, be sure to select ones that grow slow so that your fine creation will last a long time. Once you begin potting, start with larger plants and work your way down to the smaller ones.

Step 1: To avoid damage to your plants’ roots, create a drainage layer 1 to 4 inches high with gravel at the bottom of your vessel to provide a place water can empty into. To gauge better, the layers of your vessel should total about one third of the entire space of your container.

Step 2: Over the layer of gravel, please a thin layer of charcoal to ensure freshness of your soil.

Step 3: Please keep in mind that the type of soil (cactus versus potting soil) you use will depend on the plants you wish to grow in your terrarium. Should your plant have a 2 inch root ball, arrange so that you have that much soil to plant it in.

Step 4 (Optional): Sheet moss can be pressed in along with the plants for an added “garden landscape” effect.

The Ovando design aesthetic is that real beauty lies in colors, shapes, and textures. To emphasize our signature flourish, we chose to enhance the our large terrariums with white rocks and custom black driftwood. Visit our boutiques to see our terrariums, purchasable with prices ranging from $425 to $585.


MH08050_01_0026
By: Ovando

June 5, 2003 marks the day Sandra de Ovando entered the brand new Bleecker Street Ovando boutique and began her incredible journey that has led to this week’s landmark event: the tenth anniversary of New York’s premier leader in innovative floral design and event production. Of Spanish and Russian descent, Sandra’s uniquely international heritage afforded her the taste of flowers through family, spending weekends with her mother reveling in the garden. Over the years, Sandra’s unique tastes in sculptural compositions has served as foundation for the signature arrangements for which the brand has become renowned for while simultaneously granting the opportunity to share her youthful memories of Mexico with the development and latest installation of the brand: Recuerdos de Mexico (Memories of Mexico) a home fragrance collection of seven unrivaled fragrances. Much, much more is in store for the acclaimed agency that has made its mark in the industry over the decade: a new studio location in the bustling Wall Street.Financial District neighborhood (next week!), future installments of exotic home fragrance collections, and keep an out for new Ovando boutique locations popping up in you neighborhood.

Recently, we sat down for a little Q&A with Sandra to reflect on the brand’s anniversary and the difference a decade makes:

What inspires you now, ten years after having launched the brand? Simply put, exploring nature and the latest fashion and designs. Truly what inspires most about fashion and design is innovatively creating a unique approach to expressing beauty.  I enjoy the juxtaposition of hard and soft architecture in my work to create a chic minimal design. I always recall what Coco Chanel once said when I make my designs: “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

What challenges have you faced while building your agency? The biggest challenge I faced was my competitors duplicating my designs.  However, with a flawless strategy, the tortoise always wins the race.  It was key for me to distinguish my agency flawlessly; Ensure the look and the feel of my arrangements have been consistent with my brand over the years. My clients always recognize a true Ovando arrangement.

What, for you, has been the most memorable part of the last 10 years at Ovando? Being discovered by Donna Karan! Also, there has been such joy in opening the two boutiques and bringing Ovando creations directly to the community. In fact, I am excited to be planning to continue opening more in the future. The development of the candle line – Recuerdos de Mexico is only the first, but I always take a moment to pause to smell one or two candles throughout my day and remember my childhood in Mexico.

In the past, you mentioned fashion as an inspiration.  Who is your favorite fashion designer? How does their artistry translate into yours? Truly, I really love a variety of designers – keeping an eye on many of the newest trends is exciting. High fashion silhouettes translate directly into my floral art. However, if I had to pick just one, Hermes would be my favorite. The luxury of the product, the materials used and designs are perfection; These are the standards I live by, as well.

What can you tell us of the future of the brand in five 5 years? 10 years? I have plans to launch more home fragrance lines very soon and create an accessory line. As mentioned earlier, I plan to launch many more stores nationally AND internationally to continue bringing my brand directly to the public. Being a part of the community is important to me. I also would like to continue to expand the event production wing of the agency. Sharing my love for design is always an honor when putting on extravagant events.

What strategy have you actively kept in mind as you proceeded to expand the Ovando family? I keep an eye out for individuals with passion, unique personality, and nerve yet can recognize the elegance in simplicity. Being a part of my brand I expect them to remain authentic and make a commitment to excellence.

What is the best part of your day as Sandra de Ovando? Spending time with my family, who frequently come to our boutiques and offices to say hello and be a part of the Ovando family. Tucking my children into bed and kissing them goodnight is the most enchanting feeling every single day.

How have you been able to maintain the high level of clientele you have kept over the years? Fresh, cutting edge designs in my work and I have an expectation of perfection from my team.  Yes, mistakes do happen, but we are highly organized and I run a tight ship. Customer service and accessibility are extremely crucial.  I make sure to always be available to those who readily need me.

You’ve mentioned that much inspiration has also come from foreign environments. What travels do you have in the mind to continue your unique inspiration? Funny you should ask, I am currently making plans to visit many new countries; I’ll soon be visiting the Antarctic regions, exploring the Amazon rainforests, the stunning Galapagos Islands, and the Middle East deserts.

What about your staff stands out the most in terms of their contribution to your brand? They all possess the flexibility necessary to perform admirably under highly stressful situations and are constantly engaged. My team is creative, sharp and full of fantastic concepts.

What advice do you have for a young entrepreneur in the position you were ten years ago? Learn all aspects of your business, maintain constant engagement and integrity and have a true passion in your heart. As beautiful as your art may be, it will be hard work!

To share in the pride of its tenth anniversary, Ovando is offering a commemorative limited-edition floral design and home fragrance set which may be purchased at Ovando.com.

wedding flowers
By: Ovando

Wedding season creeps upon on. We’re thrilled, as you can imagine.

What is less encouraging, however, is when we’re approached by brides-to-be, just weeks before their wedding, with disheartening anecdotes about their attempts at DIY wedding flowers. We agree that do-it-yourself floral designs have their time and place  and, above all, we want our brides to feel that their visions have truly been incorporated. As industry professionals, however, it would be remiss of us not to share our expert insights beforehand.

One of the biggest challenges that our brides must often overcome is letting go of their attachments to specific flowers.  We know it can be heartbreaking to do but, the truth is, a bride will be more heartbroken if her wedding flowers don’t look perfect. While some flowers can be found all year long, these same flowers may not look good all year round… or perhaps not at a a less-than-extravagant cost. Without a doubt, we recommend laying aside any preconceived floral choices and using seasonal flowers instead.

The other significant challenge is that brides often have a certain idea in mind as to what their wedding flowers should look like. Executing this wedding wonderland, however, is not as easy as one might think. Brides: this is your one day! Spare yourself the stress. We adore hosting our monthly floral design classes and hope that our students walk away with a better sense of what goes into floral arranging. But as any of of class participants might also tell you: creating a breathtaking floral arrangement can be a truly challenging endeavor. Consulting a professional is important.

bridal bouquets

While we understand the desire to fully inject yourself into your very special day, there are certainly a few realities to consider as well. In the end, all we want is to make your day unforgettable.

RosaMexicana_categoryPage
By: Ovando

It’s true: we are hopelessly in love with O magazine. So you can imagine our delight when O magazine publicly proclaimed their love for our Valentine Irresistible luxury gift set in their February issue.

O magazine Valentine's Day gifts

The fresh cut rose arrangement is paired with Ovando’s Rosa Mexicana candle, composed in our signature sleek glasses vase, for a gift that is fabulously beautiful and fragrant.

It’s so wonderful to share a little love on Valentine’s Day…and, in the words of O, “Say it with flowers.”

2012 presidential election
By: Ovando

We may not have made it to DC for Monday’s inaugural festivities, but all of the excitement left us reveling in the memory of November’s bipartisan bash at the New-York Historical Society: the champagne, the Bill Cunningham appearance, and the very honor of being asked to design the unforgettable evening.

New York Historical Society event

presidential election 2012 event

The dining room floor came to life with red chairs, blue and white stripped linens, and florals that also payed homage to the great American flag.

2012 presidential election

2012 presidential election

New York Historical Society event

We were so honored to be a part of the historic evening, dressed to the nines in red, white and blue.

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By: Ovando

Have we already mentioned how beautiful Donna Karan’s Madison Avenue boutique looks this holiday?

Donna Karan holiday window 2012

Apologies if we perhaps sound like a broken record (!), but the holiday installation is always a rousing reminder of the inspiration we so eagerly extract from seasonal fashion.

Donna Karan Madison Avenue boutique

Donna Karan Christmas 2012 installation

Ovando installation at Donna Karan

Ovando installation at Donna Karan

And, of course, it’s also a beautiful way for us to embrace this most magical time of the year.

Wishing you and yours a lovely one.

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By: Ovando

We love everything about the winter holidays: spending time with loved ones, eating delicious food, unwrapping glamorous gifts, and, oh yes, decorating many of New York’s most exquisite homes–each one its own private world, and each one a stylistic reflection of its respective owner. Oh what fun it is to get to know a client through home décor! And holiday décor is no different. Yes, the color palette may already be laid out for you, but there are still many ways to imbue your holiday furnishings with your own personal style.

The perfect example: a recent request for a candy-cane themed Christmas wreath. It was to be chic yet playful. What a fun combination! In fact, it was so much fun that we decided to share our little DIY recipe with you…

DIY holiday wreath

Ingredients

20-inch diameter faux wreath

1 strand of red holiday lights

8 large holiday bulbs (candy-cane striped)

2 bunches of small red bulbs

1 bunch of pearly white bulbs

7 silver glitter pipe cleaners (or craft wires, 1/3 inch maximum diameter)

Hot glue gun

Spool of twine

Floral scissors

Holiday wreath

1. Gently untangle your red holiday lights and lay them out along your workspace, next to your wreath. Begin by wrapping the lights, from the inside to the outside of the wreath’s center. Leave some space so that the lights aren’t too close together. Leave one to two inches of space in between each wrap around the wreath.

Holiday wreath
2. Prepare your hot glue gun.  Once it is hot, you will begin securing ornament(s) to your wreath, beginning at the top center of the wreath. In order to avoid grouping like-bulbs, it may help to place mixed ornaments around the wreath until you come up with a configuration that you like. Then you may begin to glue your ornaments to the wreath, being sure to make any potential, last minute adjustments before securing the bulbs.

Holiday wreath

3. When you are done gluing the ornaments, take the silver glitter wiring and gently bend 5 pieces into 180 degree arcs. Using your hot glue gun, dab glue onto each end of your arcs. Adhere to wreath in the position you prefer.

DIY holiday wreath

DIY holiday wreath

4. With your last two pieces of wire, fashion bows and secure using floral wire. Then adhere to the wreath using the hot glue gun.

holiday wreath

5. Lay the wreath flat until all glue has fully dried.

Christmas wreath

Oh what fun it is…