Haute Couture of Flower Creations: Interview with Olivier Giugni of L’Olivier Floral Atelier

Olivier Giugni flower arrangement black

L’Olivier’s avant-garde artistic vision, incomparable beauty and relentless attention to detail has established the brand as the ‘Haute Couture’ of floral creation.

Each meticulously detailed arrangement that Olivier Giugni creates possess a rich elegance and strength demonstrating a deep love for flowers and their artistic expression; Olivier elevates blossoms beautifully.

L’Olivier Floral Atelier creates one-of-a-kind arrangements that adorn the homes and work places of celebrities and A-list New Yorkers from the worlds of fashion, finance and fine arts.

About Olivier and His Rise to Floral Fame

Book- Olivier's Living Art

Originally from the South of France, Olivier Giugni, the self-taught floral designer behind L’Olivier has always been at the forefront of creativity, influenced by the many elements of architecture and design in New York City. First recognized by the legendary Pierre Cardin, Olivier was hand-picked to create the look of Les Fleurs de Maxims in Paris, Tokyo and New York City. He opened his first boutique in 1994 at 19 East 76th Street and just celebrated his 20th anniversary with a complete renovation. In 2013, he also opened a production space, L’Olivier Harlem Studio, at 207 East 123rd Street.

Olivier’s Living Art, the Book

Olivier wrote a book released by Simon & Schuster called, ‘Olivier’s Living Art: Style Your Home with Flowers’ prefaced by Catherine Deneuve. From Restaurant Daniel to an 87th-floor city penthouse and Renée Fleming’s music room, Olivier’s unique talent blooms through his living medium, flowers.

Olivier x Perfumer Christophe Lauamiel Partner

Olivier partnered with French master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel in 2013 to create an environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly Bougie Parfumee collection with the debut of his first scented candle Vert de Vert, and again in November 2014 to craft Cuir Vegetal.

INTERVIEW


 Eat Love Savor Magazine was granted this exclusive interview with the talented florist and had the pleasure of accessing the insights and passions of this celebrated floral artist.

What drew you to the world of flowers and their artistic expression?

​I love nature and the outdoors and I’ve had an innate passion for nature and flowers for as long as I can remember. When I was 6 years old I was already experiencing gardening, plants and flowers because I always loved them. I was born in the South of France in the Provence region and once a week there was a “Marche de Provence” and they had a huge section of plants and flowers. When I was off from school, I would help the vendors just for fun because I loved to see all of the seasonal plants and flowers.

Where do you see as the future of flowers and how we live with them?

There are more and more people who I have met who want to leave Wall Street and become a florist or a landscaper. They want to connect more with nature and live a more natural and organic lifestyle.

Olivier living art florals apartment

What impacts do living with flowers have on those that do? Why is surrounding ourselves with flowers important?

​Everyday flowers are becoming more and more part of people’s lives, especially in big cities where you are far from natural surroundings. To have a beautiful bouquet of flowers in your home or a blooming plant on your terrace connects you to nature.  For many people, gardening is therapeutic and can help you de-stress from the hectic city lifestyle.  It also puts a big smile on your face!

What do you see as the role of flowers in our spaces and where do you feel people would most benefit from having them surround us?

Being surrounded by plants and flowers brings a very positive energy. They help you lead a more serene life and naturally allow for a path of meditation. I think there is nothing nicer than seeing flowers blooming and/or greens growing.

olivier floral atelier languedoc

Tell us about your creative influences and inspiration – from where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from all aspects of life.  Living here in New York, I am inspired by Central Park, of course. I also get very inspired by architecture; it is actually a secret passion of mine. I often go back to the South of France and it helps me to recharge and refocus my creative spirit. Between New York and the South of France, I am constantly inspired by the people, the cuisine, and the landscape.

What are your favorite flowers and what draws you to those particular blossoms?

​I particularly love black beard iris. When I started to work for French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who owned the famous restaurant Belle Epoque restaurant, Maxim’s on Rue Royale, the restaurant was decorated in the Art Deco style and they had a lot of irises throughout the space. Dark flowers are very sexy and mysterious; I find that flower extremely sensual.

Olivier and christophe candle collection

Why ‘living art’? What characteristics do you feel are different in floral art versus other forms of art like sculpture or paintings?

Ah, funny ! Living Art is the name of my floral book.  The beauty of flowers as an art form is that they are ephemeral and you need to constantly find new ideas to create every single day. That is the difference between a floral artist, painters, or sculptors. It is why the job is exciting.

Blending flowers and candles is a natural pairing. Tell us more about your candle collection with Christophe Laudamiel and what is the vision for the collection?

In Fall 2013, I worked closely with French perfumer Christophe Laudamiel who understood me and we created a line of scented candles that reflected the personality of the L’Olivier brand. The scented candles, Vert de Vert and Cuir Vegetal are available on our website or at our Floral Atelier at 19 E. 76th Street. The candle gift set includes the original candle and vessel as well as an environmentally conscious wax refill of the same fragrance.

What do you predict is the future of flowers and how people will live with them?

In the future, I can see more buildings especially in urban areas created with green roof spaces. People are becoming more appreciative of nature, and they are incorporating it more and more into their everyday life.

L'Olivier Floral Atelier greenery living art

Olivier Giugni of L’Olivier Floral Atelier Top 5 Tips


 What are your top 5 tips for selecting arrangements for the home or office?

choose perfect vessel for flowers aalto vase

1  ​Choose the perfect vessel

For example, a glass vase or a stylish Aalto vase; it will inspire and help you to create a beautiful and simple arrangement. You can also choose a vase with a narrow opening, so if your budget is limited you won’t have to fill the entire vase but it will look beautiful in your home.

rose pave

2   Rose Pave

The classic, hand-tied bouquet of the past has been replaced by this soft rose pillow, a square composition I connect to modern shapes and styles. On your coffee table, place several arrangements, varying colors, sizes, and varieties of flowers, to create a welcoming burst of cheerfulness.

Materials

  • 1 square clear glass vase about 6 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 4 inches high
  • 1 aspidistra leaf, cut to fit edges of vase
  • 16 red roses, medium sizes
  • 2 bricks of floral foam, soaked
  • Knife to cut the leaf, the stems, and the floral foam
  • Scissors to trim the leaf

Composition

  1. Trim the floral foam to fit snugly into the square vase
  2. Wrap the four sides of the square-shaped floral foam with the trimmed aspidistra leaf, shiny side out.
  3. Trim flush to the floral foam. Place the wrapped floral foam into the container
  4. Cut the rose stems, leaving a pointy 2-inch stem. Remove broken or wilted petals. Plant the roses in the floral foam in 4 rows of 4 flowers, mixing large and small flowerheads.

blooming plants

3) ​Blooming plants

If you do not have the time for the maintenance of the flowers or the necessary tools, such as garden sheers or floral knife, a beautiful blooming plant, such as an orchid garden, is a great option to brighten and bring life to your home or office, especially if you display it in a beautiful pot or weighted basket.

Materials

  • 1 bowl, 8 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep ½ bag of stones, enough to layer the bottom of the bowl, to drain excess water.
  • 1 orchid plant, 20 to 30 inches tall
  • 3 peperomias or similar small plants requiring little water
  • 1/3 of moss tray
  • 3 white decorative crystals
  • 2 bamboo sticks, one 20 to 30 inches tall, depending on length of the orchid, and one 10 inches tall natural wire-bound raffia to secure leaf shine
  • Pruning shears to cut wire-bound raffia

Composition

  1. Place stones in the bowl. Remove the orchid from its plastic pot and transfer the plant to the bowl.
  2. Transfer the small green plants and their surrounding soil into the bowl, around the orchid.
  3. Place the moss on top of the soil and push it snugly inside the bowl around the plants.
  4. Remove the plastic garden stake holding the orchid stem up. Replace it with bamboo pole. Tie the bamboo with the wire-bound raffia. Trim the top of the bamboo at a pleasing height. Plant a second piece of bamboo, and tie them together for added visual effect.
  5. Spray the leaves with shine and remove excess with the paper towel.
  6. Display crystals at base of the arrangement.

romantic white rose orb

4   Romantic White Rose Orb

Three different varieties of white roses adorn this composition for a soft camaïeu effect, sure to seduce the romantic hearts in your household.

Materials

  • One 8-inch diameter floral-foam sphere, soaked
  • 50 white roses, about 1/3 each of the ‘Vendela’, ‘Escimo’, and Majolica varieties
  • Knife to cut the stems

Composition

  1. Cut the stems of the roses to 2 inches for the larger variety and 3 inches for the smaller one. Remove falling petals
  2. Plant the largest flower first at the top of the sphere and keep the others level, always inserting each stem toward the center of the sphere
  3. Keep the flower heads in clusters of the same variety and close together to hide the floral foam. You can leave the bottom part empty so that the sphere will stand easily on a flat surface.
  4. Display on a stand, a plate, or directly on the table, but protect the furniture from the water that can flow from the soaked floral foam.

bouquet of exotic leaves

5 Bouquet of exotic leaves

Sometime you don’t need to have flowers. A bouquet of exotic leaves tend to last for a long time and maintain their striking features.


For more information visit http://www.lolivier.com/

 

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