Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fresh From Paris-Jeff Leatham

I'm smitten. Totally in love. Head over heels. But can you blame me? Jeff Leatham appeared on TLC's Flowers Uncut in the fall, tempting me with what turned out to be only a few episodes. I was disappointed, but went on with my life, until this month when TLC started running all the episodes, and I couldn't be happier! And since they air when I am busy in my own flower shop, well, thank you TiVo! There are muscles, flowers and drama in every episode-what's not to love?

So who is this Jeff Leatham? Most recently, he was the resident florist at the famed George V hotel in Paris (where he often used 17,000 stems just for the lobby!), and has done floral designs for private clients such as Gweneth Paltrow and George Clooney. Having conquered Paris, Jeff and his assistant Mathieu decided to move to New York City and try their luck at wooing
high-end clients in yet another world-class city. Not a shabby resume for someone with no formal florist training. He's brash and outspoken; definitely not a shrinking violet!

This beautiful church photo is of Eva Longoria's wedding in Paris a few years ago. Did someone say all-white flowers are boring? I think not!

I love the simplicity of his designs; the reliance on masses of form and color and balance rather than an elaborate 'arrangement', though his final design is far from simple. These are events that often have flower budgets in the 6 figures. Jeff is fearless with thousands of flower stems that need to be cut? He'll take the whole bunch and crack them against his knee! Obviously, these blooms are not meant to last for weeks. They are simply to be enjoyed for the moment, for the event. Many aren't even in water, which shocks and sometimes upsets flower lovers!

Though his favorite flowers tend to be hot-hued Vanda orchids, roses, Calla lilies, and Hydrangea, on a recent episode I was happy to see he used masses of hot pink Carnations for a designer's fashion show party. And it was beautiful!

I do have to say though, that his signature look occasionally makes me nervous. Leaning a bunch of flowers over the top of a huge glass vase: well, I just envision broken glass and wet party patrons! But I love the 'drowned' blossoms, the over-the-top blowsy blooms, and the masses of loose petals scattered everywhere.

What do you think of his designs? Do you think they are fabulous? Do you love the bold simplicity? Or do you think it's really all just too much? Do tell!

Bloomers has lots of beautiful ideas to make your party sparkle, even if you don't have a six-figure budget!


Terry Simmons said...

Debra, we love Jeff too! The drama is out of this world, and I am most impressed by the amount and quality of his floral product. What a great way to promote your flower shop, through this very interesting and well-thought out blog. Keep up the good work.

flower Philippine said...

Wonderful flowers! I love them all.