Fresh Floral Creations: A Holiday Wonderland on the Danforth

Many people will recognize the big pink sign that hangs over the door at Fresh Floral Creations on the Danforth but have you ever been inside??  I was invited to a sweet holiday-themed event at the store today and was swept away!  What a fabulous place!!  It’s a floral-themed wonderland so chock full of blossoms and creative ideas that I recommend stopping by tout de suite.  Creative genius Bruno Duarte wows with a riot of colour, organic-shaped vessels in all kinds of materials and a display that changes often.

 As a nod to this season’s hottest hue, Duarte covered the ceiling with orange baubles tied to rings of playable wood.  The effect is breathtaking (and must have taken about a million trips up a ladder).  Love it.

There is a tropical vibe to the store that is expressed through the bright-hot shades of red and orange.  Mix-in fresh evergreens or sprays of berries to add a festive touch.

These gold gourd vases look like sea-creatures from Neptune’s garden. So fun.

Planters can be found in all kinds of imaginative materials.  Use them for the holidays and then re-use all year round by replacing fresh evergreen boughs with a potted palm.

On this special afternoon, Duarte led a workshop to demonstrate how to build a simple festive arrangement made with hydrangea, amaryllis and orchids.  His (ahem) pupils did their best while sipping peppermint schnaps spiked hot chocolates and nibbling rum cakes.   Not a bad way to learn no?

Here are the required materials: cube vase, stapler, pre-soaked oasis and water sticks (for the orchids).  Oh and some flowers will help the situation…

Start by rolling your leaves into cute cigar-like shapes and stapling them in place:Cut and insert two hydrangeas into the oasis (don’t be shy about pushing the suckers down deep):Drink some schnapsy hot chocolate:Insert a beautiful amaryllis into the centre, group silvery berries on one side, add 2 rolled leaves into the left and 1 to the right and finally add 2 white orchids wherever they look the best.  Et voila!  A Fresh Floral Creations style arrangement perfect for any table.

And last but not least, you must check-out the amazing installation in the front window (so wide it wouldn’t fit in my frame).  Yes, those are real cherries still on the stems woven with orchids, moss and bare branches.  So, so beautiful.  Reminds me of how much you can do when you let your mind wander into it’s most creative place. Bravo Bruno!

Special thanks to Faulhaber PR for a another fabulous event.

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Today’s Bride Cover Shoot

Hey all you Brides-to-Be and Weddingistas, the newest issue of Today’s Bride is on newstands and it includes two fashion stories styled by yours truly!  Here is a collection of my favorite images by photographer Carlyle Routh as well as a few peeks behind the scenes:

This image showcases one of my absolute favorite pieces: a killer headband by Jennifer Behr at White Toronto.  When I found it I couldn’t wait to see how it would look on model, Alex, and I was so pleased with the result!  I think it’s great with this strapless gown by Canadian designer Jasmine, no necklace and a simple earring by Tara Fava.  She looks totally balanced, fresh and pretty.  I also LOVE the bouquet by Pink Twig, one of the best floral designers in the city. (I also featured them in my Toronto Life wedding story that can be seen here).

This is hair and make-up artist Michele Rosen working her magic.  She is just such a genius with brides (and everyone else for that matter)!  Please check out her work at the link above- you won’t regret it.

This gown by Pronovias Balta  was a stunner on our model and I love that Michele left her hair down with just a gorgeous hair comb by Erin Cole at White Toronto.  Again, kept the neckline bare and added accessories to her wrist instead.  And don’t you love that industrial wall behind her? It’s the Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery of course!  (PS fluffing out the train wasn’t easy so make sure you have a good crew of bridesmaids on hand if you choose this one!).

This image is a stunner: I’m in love with the lipstick colour and the way it coordinates with the floral (yes, it’s always about the props for me!).  Pink Twig did a vibrant combination of pinks and oranges for this one and it’s so on trend.  The glittery necklace by Tara Fava sits just inside the model’s collarbone perfectly and adds sparkle to her pretty face.  The veil is a modern take on a traditional idea and perfect for anyone who wants a bit of both worlds.

I love this shot of Michele and Alex in the window light.  Just had to share.

Alex looks so young and happy with her balloons and blue Manolos. I mean, who wouldn’t??  A simple pearl necklace was all she needed to finish the look.

We changed themes (and models!) with our second chapter: sophistication and uptown style shot at the gorgeous One King West hotel.  The little jeweled headband, statement earring and super-soft fur shrug all from White Toronto are old-school hollywood glam. Perfect for a sophisticated evening wedding.

A dress like this one by Jasmine is a perfect opportunity to show off a dramatic shoe!  This one is by BCBG in bright fushia.  Also, the train can be removed easily for a sassy dance-floor ready dress that will take you all through the night.

Speaking of shoes: I loved these Louboutins from Davids so much I just had to sneak them in.  She looks like a little confection in this shot- her headpiece by Blair Nadeau matches her cake from the Cupcake Shop to perfection. Yum!

This dress by Jasmine is from another era: it has a Grecian influence and 1960s Hollywood look.  Can’t you just see Elizabeth Taylor or Grace Kelly in something like this? I love how Carlyle shot this too; it shows off the open back and lovely draping.

That’s it for now….there are lots more images in the magazine so make sure to grab yourself a copy and enjoy!!  Many thanks to Art Director Jo-Anne Martin Grier who dreamed-up this lovely story and is such a pleasure to work with.