Fleurs de Villes: Where Fashion and Florals Collide

Photos by by Alexandra Gunn

Get ready to stop and smell the roses. The must-see Canadian flower meets fashion show has been touring across Canada and is set to arrive in Ottawa for viewing on Wednesday, May 3rd through Sunday, May 7th at Bayshore Shopping Centre.

The unique exhibition features floral-dressed mannequins showcasing the breathtaking work of Ottawa’s most talented florists paired with leading brands. The award-winning event offers a beautiful blend of fashion and fresh blooms with bespoke floral-dressed mannequins and a pop-up fresh flower market.

Fleurs de Villes is definitely an Instagramable event for all fashion and flower admirers and the pairing of the two work seamlessly together. Fleurs de Villes co-founder Tina Barkley says there has always been a natural connection between florals and fashion.

"Flowers make us happy – much in the way art and fashion do. It’s creative, it’s ever-changing and fresh. Fashion has seen several spring and summer seasons of florals and more florals dominating the runway. When you meld the two together, the product created is greater than the sum of the parts. Florists are able to take inspiration from the runway, the wedding aisle, from nature, from film…anywhere to bring their designs to life with living supplies."

You could even go as far to say, that Ottawa now has a Floral Fashion Week and this season, even the blooms are following the trends.

"There has been a huge trend toward ruffles – we’re seeing buxom sleeves using orchids, smaller ruffles with ornate leaves, or layers using hues of roses. The interpretation of fashion into flowers is mind blowing. An award-winning mannequin in Edmonton, created a lingerie look, complete with garters, and a bodice made of rolled leaves, topped with a sheer, wide flowing robe” says Barkley.

After premiering in Vancouver and Victoria last year, the success of the event resulted in the demand for a cross-Canada tour, the first of its kind.

This year, Ottawa is the fourth stop on the inaugural tour and will help to highlight some of the top talent in our Capital.

Over a dozen top local Ottawa florists, including Flower Essence, Kelly's Flowers & Gift Boutique and Mill Street Florist will be paired with leading brands to design stunning displays and bring them to life with flowers. Each floral-dressed mannequin is clothed in a one-of-a-kind design made up of hundreds of fresh blooms.

“Flowers make us happy, they always have. They reach a broad audience, they amaze and they delight,” says Fleurs de Villes co-founder Karen Marshall. “Fleurs de Villes is a showcase for local, world-class floral design. Our pop-up shows are stunning examples of the artistry of flowers, presented in some of the most elegant shopping centres in the country. We are thrilled to bring our event to Bayshore Shopping Centre for the first time, to connect the public with a sensory experience they won’t see anywhere else.”

Following the VIP Preview Launch in a gallery-like setting on May 2nd, shoppers will have full access to peruse the display and vote for their favourite mannequin for a chance to win exclusive prizes.

The mannequin displays will certainly inspire anyone with a greenthumb (or even those who simply want to brighten up their home) to add some pretty blooms to their space at the European-inspired pop-up flower market.

On Saturday, May 6, the day-long pop-up market offers a chance to purchase fresh-cut flowers, bouquets, bedding plants, pots and other gardening supplies inside the shopping centre.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this amazing spring fashion and floral event – it’s a perfect way to welcome the season,” says Denis Pelletier, general manager of Bayshore Shopping Centre. “We’re always looking for new and inventive ways to gather the community and create a unique experience for our shoppers.”

While the photographs allude to the exceptional creations and the artistry involved, nothing compares to seeing the collision of high fashion and florals in person – it’s a feast for the senses!

Fleurs de Villes wraps up the across-Canada tour following Ottawa’s Bayshore Centre exhibit in Burlington’s Mapleview Centre from May 9-14.

For more information on Fleurs de Villes, visit fleursdevilles.com