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The Debate Over DIY Wedding Flowers

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.DIYwedding_ovando

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.

 

DIYwedding_ovando2While 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.

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Living for Fashion Week New York

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.

NY_Fashion_week_ovndoThis 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.

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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.

 

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Vendor Spotlight: Carlos Huber of Arquiste

As seasoned admirers of all things floral and recent inductees into the captivating world of home fragrances, we’ve developed a discerning nose for floral fragrances in particular. Naturally then, it’s quite inspiring when a fragrance comes along that has the power to reinvigorate our senses and offer a new perspective. Behold: Arquiste’s newly unveiled Boutonniere no.7, a sumptuous gardenia cologne designed by Founder and Creative Director, Carlos Huber. Not only did we have the wonderful opportunity to design the launch party for Boutonniere no.7, but we also had the great pleasure of speaking with Carlos about his inspirations for the new fragrance.

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Ovando: Why gardenia?

Carlos Huber: Gardenia was the quintessential “Opera flower” used by men in black-tie during the Belle Époque. I thought it was interesting that its scent was so closely tied into the idea of masculinity.  To me, it represented the proper way for a man to use a flower.

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Ovando: Of all of the Arquiste fragrances, do you have a favorite fragrance?

Carlos Huber: Boutonniere no.7! We’ve worked really hard to create what we think is the best gardenia perfume possible.

 

Ovando: What initially inspired your interest in fragrances?

Carlos Huber: I’ve always been very connected to my nose; every time I would do research on a building or city I would come across an anecdote or a part of the story that led me to think, “What did it smell like?” I’ve also always been a real perfume and grooming aficionado, so I came into this as a very passionate customer. I realized that my passion for scent and the culture around it was just as strong as my love of architectural history. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux gave me classes on perfume for a year and a half, and he really has become a sort of mentor for me. At a certain point, I decided I had to find a way for perfumery to remain a constant in my life–to make it my own. I knew it had to be related to history, art, and architecture, and to me they are much intertwined. My fascination with historic architecture has always been connected to its experience, and if you are sensitive to scent, then what you smell and feel is just as important as what you see.

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Ovando: Tell us more about Arquiste. What distinguishes the brand?

Carlos Huber: Arquiste was born out of the idea to create the highest quality scents with a serious emphasis on story-telling and experience.  I wanted to do this through serious research, not a marketing brief. Fragrances are real works of olfactory art that allow us to see the value of a seemingly distant, or “disconnected,” past with our present–with our own emotions.

Ovando: You’re also from Mexico City! Tell us about how your upbringing there influenced your sense of design.

Carlos Huber: Mexico City is one of the most fascinating cities on earth, and I’m not saying it just because I’m from there. I think it’s a very creative place.  It is a city built on layers that mix and fight for preeminence: Aztec, Viceregal, Beaux Arts, Modernist and Contemporary. It is also a truly Imperial city (Mexico was an empire three times, during the Aztecs, and in the 19th century) which conquered, destroyed and continuously re-built. And, today as it was then, it is chaotic, rich, diverse and alive. When I am there, I swear it’s as if there’s a tingling feeling. The design references are so vast that your sense of design can pick up the craziest things.

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Ovando: As you know, Ovando has a candle collection that is similarly inspired by the fragrances of nature and the power of fragrances to conjure memories. What memory or feeling does your gardenia boutonniere inspire in you?

 

Carlos Huber: The gardenia boutonniere conjures both distant and close memories. The last time I wore it was during a gala night with my friends and colleagues Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Sophie Bensamou, and Yann Vasnier. It was a very happy night and I it was around the time of the launch of Arquiste. When I smell gardenias, it takes me back to the beginning of this great adventure.

Gardenias also evoke Mexico City to me, namely because on my way home from university I would buy little bunches of them that I would give to my mom and my sister. It also reminds me of the flower vendors in the streets of my old neighborhood. All positive things as you can see!

 

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Ovando: Give us the scoop…What’s next for Arquiste?

Carlos Huber: We are releasing a special edition of L’Etrog, Flor y Canto, and Anima Dulcis–three of our best-sellers– and the fragrances will come with a custom refillable atomizer that you can take wherever…it’s a very cool gift and we are offering it this holiday season.

We also have lots of traveling coming up, with Arquiste launching in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain! I couldn’t be happier!

Ovando: Anything else you’d like to share?

Carlos Huber: Flowers inspire and excite, and they soften your heart… They represent life and nature, but also fragility and artifice. To share a passion for flowers with an artist like Ovando, and to work together in this passion is an honor.

We feel the same, Carlos. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and beautiful inspirations with us.

Photos courtesy of Arquiste

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Steel Her Heart with Ovando’s Sweetheart Arrangement

We certainly don’t want to belabor our decidedly enthusiastic sentiment about Valentine’s Day. But we are florists after all!

So perhaps you can then imagine how excited we were to be included in the New York Post’s 2011 Valentine’s Day gift guide with this gracious introduction:

“Steal her heart with a contemporary — and clever — arrangement of pretty pink roses framed in a Lucite box from Ovando New York”.

Only 6 days to go…!

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Tantalizing Tulips: Ovando’s Spring signature Arrangements!

Alas, our darling Spring tulips are here, straight from the bulb belt of the Netherlands!  Fom mid-April through late-May, Amsterdam’s flower fields offer a truly incredible mirage of color, with sweeping fields of multi-colored tulip beds that stretch 19-miles long, laying right between Haarlem and Leiden.

Begotten with these beautiful bulbs? You’re certainly not alone. While the earliest blooms appear as early as January, true prime time demand ranges from mid-April through until mid-May. And as you can see, our friendly flowers come in the loveliest of hues, offering both gorgeous color and delicate fragrance.

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Naturally then, Ovando is thrilled to bring you this season’s signature tulip arrangements. Our chic compositions are truly the perfect Springtime affair!

We’d also like to offer our readers an opportunity to win a complimentary tulip arrangement. Simply like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and post “Tantalized by Ovando’s tulips”.  The winner will be chosen at random and contacted on Friday the 15th.

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We wish you the best of luck!