High Fashion is in Bloom This Week at Bayshore Shopping Centre

Photos taken by Isabel Payne.

In fashion this week: rose skirts paired with calla lily sashes, bright orchid dresses, and big, beautiful hats adorned with succulents! This week only, Ottawa florists have come together to showcase a gorgeous display of flowers and pure, raw talent. At a VIP event last night, the first floor of Bayshore Shopping Centre was filled with a sweet floral scent as hundreds of flowers decorated elaborately dressed mannequins as a part of a five day long Fleurs de Villes event here in Ottawa. The event marked the beginning of the fourth stop of their cross-Canada tour, which collaborates with local florists in each city to create stunning dresses made only of flowers and plant materials. The finished products are then displayed in a five-day event which celebrates local talent partnered with leading brands, and shows-off truly stunning pieces of art.

Since Fleurs de Villes collaborates with local florists in each city, the designs and trends that appear in any given show can vary wildly from one-another. According to one of Fleurs de Villes' co-founders, Karen Marshall, mannequins at the Edmonton show were decorated in big and ruffly dresses. Ottawa’s floral fashion however, trended towards slim, corset-like tops with a fuller skirt and plenty of butterflies. Each mannequin showed off many unique fashions, as well as floral arrangement styles and are truly a delightful combination of visual and olfactory senses. Florists are picked months in advance after submitting their design ideas showcasing what they planned to do if accepted into the show. This is done to avoid similar designs and ensure a variety of different dresses, and also to showcase the talent and hard work of Ottawa’s top florist. With the huge variety of dresses on display, it’s hard to imagine the amount of time and dedication it took to put them all together. One particular mannequin by Mill Street Florist took over 70 hours to create, two days to put together, and cost around $7,000.00 in flowers!

There are over a dozen Ottawa florists participating at this weeks event, including: Kelly's Flowers, Flowers Talk Tivoli, Trillium Floral Designs, Pretty Pots Flower Shop, Beaudry Flowers, Blumenstudio, Sage Designs, High Style Event Design, Crown Floral Boutique, Ottawa Flowers, The Design Co, Bayshore Flowers, Flower Essence, Mill Street Florist, and Flower Rainbow.

An award ceremony also took place last night, recognizing particularly outstanding work based on votes from judges and participants alike. Flower Essence won the Most Original award for their beautiful black and orange mannequin sponsored by Metro News. The second award, Most Realistic, was given based on the best interpretation of real life clothing in flowers and was given to Blumenstudio for their phenomenal mannequin sponsored by Brookstreet Hotel. The Best in Show award, meant to recognize the most mind-blowing mannequin, was given to the Design Company for their fragrant white rose wedding dress. Finally, there was also a Florist's Favourite award, in which the participating florists voted on their favourites at the show. Two florists wound up tying for the award: Trillium Floral Design, and Kelly's Flowers.

The event is open to public from today until May 7th and is free of charge. Shoppers can also visit a European-style pop-up flower market at Bayshore, this Saturday (May 6th) and purchase flowers from local businesses. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite mannequin, as well as enter for a chance to win a trip for two to Paris. Be sure to share your photos with the hashtag #FDVBayshore for a chance to win a $100 Bayshore giftcard!

The tour’s next stop will be in Burlington, Ontario from May 9th to 14th.