Meanderings

Genius At Work - Thierry Boutemy

[Genius At Work - Thierry Boutemy]

On a grey Sunday afternoon in Notting Hill at our Portland Road store, famed florist Thierry Boutemy arrived quietly from his home in Brussels to create one of his dreamy installations. Surrounded by boxes of whispy, feathery flowers and leaves, it slowly took shape.  

You may not know him by name, but perhaps you know his impressive body of work, which includes Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, immersive arrangements on runways and
 in-store creations for fashion houses such as Dior, Hermes, Opening Ceremony, Lanvin, Victor & Rolf, Dries Van Noten... (and these are the projects he's allowed to tell us about).
 And then there's the small matter of that VOGUE shoot with Mario Testino and Lady Gaga.


By his own admission, despite glamorous work in fashion, movies and the art world, Thierry is most at home when he's surrounded by nature. He believes flowers have the power to humble us and remind us of our place in the universe. Standing under one of his creations, we just might be converted.

Please do swing by our store at 100 Portland Road, W11 4LQ and experience a Thierry Boutemy original for yourself. You won't be disappointed (and it's less crowded than the Chelsea Flower Show!).
S&B
xx 

[A day with Thierry Boutemy]
[ Thierry & his assistant Jennifer start work on the installation with forest branches ]
[ Check out those Air Jordan 1's - our CEO Seb was super jealous ]
[ The forest tree structure is in! ]
[ Tying the graminés together ]
[ All Smiles ]
[ Adding graminés, sépage and green leaves to the structure ]
[ June & Jon Summerill popped in to see what all the excitement was about! ]
[ Like candy floss ]
[ Quick break for lunch ]
[ Jennifer and Thierry adding the final leaf touches ]
[ Et Voilà - The beautiful finished installation ]
[ The incredible team ]

[In His Words]
A Q&A with the brilliant Thierry Boutemy
Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola © Sony Pictures

Q.
Why were you drawn to floristry? Was it always your dream?

A.
I was drawn to be a florist through my passion for nature. It's always been such a huge part of my life. It was not so much a dream as my life.  
Q.
When did you realize the kind of florist you could be? The grand scale of your vision?

A.
I have always wanted to do this. It is something that has always come quite naturally to me. 

'Vanity Fleur' by Thierry Boutemy for Studio Thomas Lerooy & Vanity Fair © Lydie Nesvadba 

Q.
How does your childhood inform your floral creations?
A.
Living in Normandy, I was quite a lonely child and nature helped me. 

Q.
What was your first big break?
A.
I was working on a French film with a set designer who introduced me to Sofia Coppola, and that's how I came to work on Marie-Antoinette. Then, once people in fashion saw the film, they started asking me to work with them. It was a chain reaction!

 
Installation végétale by Thierry Boutemy © Thierry Boutemy Instagram

Q.
Who have you loved working with in fashion?   

A.
Actually, I just met Roland Mouret while I was in London. It was a very beautiful encounter and I would be very happy to collaborate with him.

Q.
What has been some of your favourite or most memorable installations or events?  

A.
A collaboration with Thomas Lerooy for the exhibition 'Vanity Fair'.  

Thierry Boutemy for Pierre Marcolini  © Charlotte Deprez

Q.
What is your favourite flower?

A.
Germanica Iris

Q.
Are you drawn to scent as much as colour?

A.
No, I do not like flowers that smell too much. I really like the delicate scent of an Iris.

Flower Installation by Thierry Boutemy © Thierry Boutemy Instagram

Q.
What inspires you? 


A.
Nature.


Q.
What grounds you? 


A.
Encounters keep me grounded. Moving towards someone.

Un été chez Pierre Marcolini © Profirst

Q.
What flowers do you have in your home right now?  


A.
Irises. I usually only have very simple flowers at home... and often, there is only ever one type on display at a time. 


Q.
Where do you go to escape?


A.
My head.

Hermes, launch of their Apple Watch © Thierry Boutemy Instagram

Q.
What are people often surprised to learn about you?  


A.
That in my garden I don't have any flowers. I don't like them together.

Project in Syon Park House © Thierry Boutemy Instagram

Q.
What do you wish people understood about flowers?  


A.
That it is alive and uncontrollable, and that at a time where we want to control everything flowers bring us out of our self-vanity. We are only here for a small amount of time... just like flowers. 

Dior Homme Fashion Show, Spring 2016 Menswear Paris © Thierry Boutemy Instagram

Q.
What drew you to work with S&B?  


A.
What I love about Summerill & Bishop is that everything is done in an artisanal and independent way.

Fashion Show Vionnet  © Camilla Alibrandi for Villa eugenie

Q.
If you could invite any eight people (dead or alive) to your home for dinner, who would it be?


A.
My close friends, and then I'd also have Sergei Parajanov, the film director and artist, and Ohad Naharin, a contemporary dancer and choreographer—both of whom have inspired me.

Hermes Pre-Fall 2019, Paris © Thierry Boutemy instagram

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Thierry for traveling to our corner of the world and filling our store with his beautiful vision for Spring. It's been a huge thrill to work with him and have his creative genius form part of our 25th birthday celebrations.
( p.s. If you missed last week's newsletter, where we interviewed our co-founder June Summerill in celebration of our anniversary, click here to read the story!)