Lichens are composed of at least two organisms, fungi and algae, which photosynthesize symbiotically. The other day, the Brooklyn Museum was overtaken by a lichen of unusual composition. About 20,000 chrysanthemums, carnations, zinnias and cockscombs made up a vast puddle of swirling greens, pinks, browns, reds and yellows that covered the museum floor.
These are the work of New York floral designer Emily Thompson, whose taste is wild and lush. Moss is a pet attraction. “I grew up in a place with very beautiful rocks,” said Thompson, who is from Vermont. “And, of course, the best rocks are those with lichen development.” Thompson trained as a sculptor before turning to flowers, creating projects for fashion shows, restaurants, and the White House. found a client who fulfilled her longtime fantasy of lichen-inspired flower arrangements. Fashion Her designer Ulla Her Johnson’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection debuted in the Brooklyn Museum’s Beaux Arts Atrium.
Johnson’s show was scheduled for 10morning On Sunday the flowers started arriving at 8morning Saturday. Thompson came on her bike to say hello to the track, where she was working with her team of 14 other florists. Her curly-haired Thompson wore reading glasses on thick green chains, a sturdy cotton shirt, and forest green trousers. She compared her own look to a park ranger’s uniform, and after hauling a ton of flowers to her second floor in her freight elevator, she put the team at the center of her 10,000-square-foot space. gathered in a circle. She handed me a clipboard with a floor plan, a reference photo of lichen in psychedelic colors, and a sample of the lichen flower mosaic she assembled in her Manhattan studio.
“This is not a map for you to follow,” she said. The floor plan looked like her five continents of irregular size and shape, carpeted with stemless flower heads laid flat on the ground. “What I really want to see is your own idea of how the colors mix and contrast,” she explained.trend Shots’: The road down the runway where press cameras capture the definitive photo of each outfit. Ideally, it should not be too clean. “Seduction Repulsion, Anytime!” said Thompson.
The florist got to work arranging the flowers on a cotton tarp spread across a section of the floor. Thompson began building a wall of crabapple branches, which he is one of the few elements of the installation that rises more than an inch from the ground. “It’s like a beaver,” she said. Her dam was tall, tall and stout, and she paused to circle the atrium and study the patterns that formed on the tarp. Her green chrysanthemum flowers, neon-tipped with pale lavender petals, nestle beside rumpled burgundy carnations edged in pink, interrupted by ripples of yellow cockscombs.
“I love this awful grey-purple,” said Thompson, pointing to a clump of carnations. “Like a corpse, like a rotting corpse.” This progress excited her. With all these human brains, you can do much better. “
But progress has been slow. (Actual lichen often grows less than a millimeter in her a year.) “Smooth the carcass,” she advised the team. “I need to crank it up. I want to see 50% soon.” After lunch she walked to a vantage point trend With my hands on my hips, I photographed and investigated the space. She considered joining Tarp, but she trusted other florists more. “We have a strange fellowship,” she said. “Your heart will melt a little.”
Ulla Johnson was scheduled to test the lichen earlier that evening. (“I’m very hands-on,” she explained. More pink moms were on the way. “Flowers are always making something out of saliva and toothpaste,” she said.
Johnson was concerned that the green and brown patches looked too much like camouflage when she arrived.
“She’s getting rid of the ugly,” Thompson said to a colleague. The florist’s work, which blended into the heart, was embedded in the larger ecosystem of the event.
A few minutes of fashion shows created a biome that dissolved almost as quickly as it took shape. By Saturday night, the atrium was filled with photographers, electricians, lighting technicians, carpenters, and musicians with dramatic hair, in addition to Johnson’s closely-talking pack of mostly blonde staff. , a traveling group of models arrived, followed by the show’s 325 invited guests.
The scavengers, a team of event cleanup services called the Goddesses of Garbage, were the last to show up. ♦