FlowerSchool in Paris 2013: Rungis Flower Market; Christian Tortu; Parisian Flower Shops & Giverny!

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After five amazing days in Amsterdam we next headed to France to experience the compelling, innovative and inspirational Parisian design style.  

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During our time in Paris we worked closely with Christian Tortu learning his design style and methods. Completing two workshops in total, we began where most designers begin their day, at the Rungis Flower Market thirty minutes outside of Paris.

 This was an amazing experience to see the market in comparison to our own in New York. Unlike the New York Market, Rungis is connected to the fresh food market filled to the brim with the most delicious and fresh fruits and vegetables we have ever seen. The bright colors of the produce and the packaging were beautiful and inspirational for many of us; Tortu selected some fruits to incorporate into our designs, the colors were so extraordinary. We also purchased a crate of strawberries to enjoy while shopping for the rest of our flowers.

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Upon returning to Paris, we settled into the St. James Hotel, our FlowerSchool away from FlowerSchool, where Christian conduct two technically driven designs largely breaking traditional norms. In the below design he choose to use a very large vase, but specifically limited the number of stems used in the design. A big vase does not necessarily mean that you have to use a million flowers, but rather give appreciation to each individual flower variety and texture.

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After our workshops it was time to explore Paris and the design styles set forth by some of the best floral designers and flower shops in the world.  We stopped into some of the most beautiful flower shops to speak directly to the designers and learn first hand the Parisian market.

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flowerschoolny_jeffleathamJeff Leatham installation at the Four Seasons

With the last item on the itinerary, and something on many people’s bucket list, we ended our second annual trip abroad with a grand visit to Giverny. With Christian Tortu at the helm, we were able to meet with the head gardener who spoke of the history of the grounds and the many varieties of flowers that grow there.  What a magical moment in Paris amongst the flowers of this extraordinary place!

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