Floral Design: Glam Hollywood Meets Shakespeare in our entry for Isn’t She Loverly

Tomorrow, I’m participating in a fabulous floral design competition hosted by Arena Stage in Washington, DC. to honor their new production of My Fair Lady.   Entitled Isn’t She Loverly, the competion brings to Arena Stage 15 floral designers from the DC Metropolitan area to present a new floral creation based on costumes wore by leading ladies in some of their more riveting plays.  During two “Meet Your Dress” days, the designers were presented with a variety of costumes, and  we all picked a number out of a hat to see what costume we were assigned.   The final product will be display alongside the original costume in Arena Stage’s Catwalk Café space from November 30 – December 3, 2012.

EightTreeStreet was given the wonderful design worn by Tony-award winning actress Alice Ripley in Shakespeare in Hollywood.  This magically delicious and fun-filled play by Ken Ludwig takes theater goers into a trip back in time to the mid 1930’s on the set of director Max Reinhardt’s Mid Summer’s Night’s Dream.   Ken’s play offers a fantastic and fun-filled parallel of Shakepeare’s Mid Summer’s Night’s Dream and the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

To prepare for my floral design, I have researched everything about Ken and his writing, I read bits of the play available online, getting  a gilmpse at Lydia Lansing and her dress.  I also researched the Golden Age of Hollywood, floral design of the era, Art Deco and grand divas of old Hollywood. New wedding style ideas in an Art Deco and Glam Hollywood style keep popping up, so if you are interested in something wonderful and new for your wedding, think of Art Deco and the clean lines and beautiful color combinations it offers for wedding decor.

The dress assigned to us is full of layers of texture and pattern, different patterns that mix and match within a color palette. I highlighted the colors as the foundation of my design and I must say, I did have a hard time trying to pick all the colors and see what directions I was going, but I am keeping it simple, a combination of Art Deco lines and flowers of the time, with a glam vision of Hollywood in 1935.  Pink, lilac, grey, black and a touch of gold are present in Lydia’s costume with intricate brocade and I have included them in accessories, flowers and containers.  I’m also looking forward to incorporating the Love-in-idleness flower, a wonderful pansy, used to create the love potion in Shakespeare’s Mid Summer’s Night’s Dream, the potion that wreaks havoc in the lives of the lovers in the play.

Photo Courtesy of Arena Stage
Lydia Lansig costume in Shakespeare in Hollywood, photo EightTreeStreet

Not sure what the judges will think about my final take on Lydia’s floral, but I have had a blast working on this project. I have enjoyed very much the opportunity to travel in time with the play to discover a little bit about my leading lady, her background and her personality. I enjoy this projet so much, as many of you know I started my career in museums and art centers, and the project allows me to pay homage to the living arts, something very close to my heart. Some of my first steps in floral design began while working at these  art centers in the Philadelphia and DC area. What grew as a hobby at that time, has become such a wonderful and nurturing part of my life today, creating floral displays, some intricate some very simple and working with flowers.  Tomorrow I’ll post the final design along with the dress from Isn’t She Loverly.  Hope you visit Arena Stage’s website and learn more about the project and the fantastic floral designers participating, I am honored to be part of it.  Besos lovelies!


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