New York-based florist EMILY BUCKNER uses flowers to express her creative vision: A world of whimsy and dark romance.
EVERYONE loves flowers. But for emerging florist Emily Buckner, who launched her fledgling business FLWR a little over two months ago, there isn't a typical story behind her fascination for flora. Rather, flowers are a beautiful medium in which she can express her creativity. "Honestly, I lose myself in flowers...arranging is almost meditative for me. I’m using my hands to create something that has its own life force. Harnessing that type of energy is profound,” she explains.
"My favorite quote is by Edvard Munch – 'From my rotting body flowers shall grow, and I am in them and that is eternity.' There’s something so beautifully fragile about that sentiment…
Born and raised in Brisbane, Australia, Buckner relocated to New York in 2009, where she worked as a creative agent and producer at Hugo & Marie for two years (prior to that she was at another agency for three years). Not fully satisfied in her career arena, her foray into flowers happened rather sporadically. Whilst walking past a florist she commented to her friend how nice it would be to open a flower shop. He replied, “If you want to open a pizza shop you need to know how to make pizza.” A week later, Buckner offered her services to Sprout, a Brooklyn-based florist who has turned out many of the city’s most popular florists today.
"I lose myself in flowers... arranging is almost meditative for me. I’m using my hands to create something that has its own life force."
After three months spending every weekend learning all she could, Buckner decided to open her business. Much like the style of the moment (wild, handcrafted bouquets that seem to spill out of their vases, often comprised of unusual pairings), Buckner’s arrangement style is a mix of dark romance and light, delicate varieties. “Someone once called it the Tim Burton of flower arranging,” she says with a laugh. “I’m particularly interested in shape and form, so I gravitate towards stems and texture with character – the more peculiar the better! Just like a painting, each flower plays a unique role in the composition of an arrangement so I’m always thinking about the balance of shape and color when designing. In terms of hue, I definitely have a preference for moodier, romantic palettes."
When it comes to the world of arranging, competition is fierce, but each florist has their own particular style—a trademark if you will. That often comes out in signature flowers. "Asking me to choose my favorite flower is like asking a mama to pick her favorite child… ha!" says Buckner. "I love gestural stems, anything that is a little wirey and full of movement, like hellebores, frittalaria, ranunculus and flannel flower to name just a few..." Currently, Buckner arranges for weddings, events, and creates works for fashion editorials, and counts the creative process as the most fulfilling. "Connecting with someone and sharing their creative vision, and then realizing that vision with flowers is the most rewarding experience for me," she says. An endeavor she plans to continue into the future, with FLWR as her vehicle.
- All images courtesy of Emily Buckner
1. What do you eat for breakfast?
I’m out the door super early heading to the flower market, so brekkie usually consists of a very milky coffee and a banana on the fly.
2. What was your last dream about?
I had the most beautiful dream that my sister and I were pregnant, running alongside each other in a field of lavender. Dream versus premonition, who knows ;)
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Allowing my loved ones into my minds eye... there’s a lot of honey in there!
4. What is your spirit animal?
I’ve been told that it’s a wolf but if I had it my way, I’d opt for a sunfish – floating around in the sunshine, what a life!
5. What is your greatest creative achievement?
Maintaining enough drive, curiosity, and positivity to explore my creative impulses day in and day out – it’s a constant evolution, and not always easy.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
I don’t think I would. It’s easy to feel nostalgia for that which was, or will never be. Being present is so important!
7. What is your favorite song?
That’s tough… music is a huge part of my life. If I were a song, I would be, ‘Anenome’ by Brian Jonestown Massacre.
8. Favorite artists?
Francesca Woodman, Franz Kline, Gerhard Richter, Robert Motherwell to name just a few…
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My lover's cable knit and a pair of comfy trousers.
10. Any hidden talents?
I make a pretty mean bowl of pasta!