Interview with Mark Colle, the man behind the Fashion Flowers.
Not long before the activities for the Masters of Fragrance begin… make sure to stay tuned on twitter & instagram @myfashdiary for updates. This week, I had the chance to speak to Mark Colle, one of the 3 Key Opinion leaders (along with myself). Mark Colle is an Antwerp-based international florist, who makes one of the most beautiful and ‘chic’ arrangements and installations (the man behind the Dior Couture show flowers!). Mark will also be creating an original installation at the DFS gala event – can’t wait to see that. Check out my interview below to hear about his thoughts on the Middle East, how he got into Floristry as well and doing the flowers for Raf Simons’ farewell show for Jil Sander.
For more on DFS Masters of Fragrance, click here
Hi Mark! Is this your first time in the Middle East?
It is, so to say I’m very excited is an understatement!
How did you get into Floristry?
It was an accident truth be told, my dream was to work in advertising but at the age of 15 I chose to leave school and worked in a local floristry. I found I really enjoyed the work and have never done or considered doing anything else since.
You work with a lot of fashion brands and clients. What has been your most exciting project?
For me, it was Raf Simons’ farewell show for Jil Sander, together with his couture debut for Dior. Two very special occasions which also marked the beginning of an extraordinary adventure for me personally.
What you do is a form of Art. How do you get inspired?
I find inspiration all over from the set structure and rigidity of architecture to the nuances of the changing seasons – Autumn in particular is a time that inspires creativity simply by the colour of flowers available during this time.
The American film director and visual artist John Waters has also been influential in my work – even inspiring the name of my shop, Baltimore.
Working with DFS – what is the relationship between flowers and scent?
By their very nature, flowers and scent are intrinsically linked – flowers produce some of the most precious fragrance oils on the market, for example jasmine.
My designs are more visually led than fragrance but when working with high volumes of blooms it is important to be aware of scent as it requires carful balancing to appeal to all your senses and not over power.
To me Mimosa is a particularly evocative scent because of the fragrance it leaves behind, it is very subtle and soft versus powerful and intense but the fragrance left in its wake lingers beautifully.
Every Woman would love to have her home filled with your work. What tip can you give when floral shopping?
How lovely, thank you!
I like the challenge of working with flowers nobody else likes anymore, or buying five random bunches of flowers at a gas station and combining them until you get something truly amazing.
I believe in letting the flowers do the talking, many florists try to manipulate flowers and change their natural form, however, for me their beauty is in their original state, so don’t mess around with the flowers too much.
My favourite flowers are Dahlias, they are quite old fashioned and could be considered inelegant but they appeal to my sense of letting flowers lead design as they can’t be manipulated and are only available in the late summer.
I’m also very fond of mixing strong colours and have a particular penchant for using bright reds, yellows and electric blues.