Fresh Flower Gown – World Flower Summit 18

What an amazing journey and fantastic honour to be part of this year’s WFC -WORLD FLOWER SUMMIT representing Australia! 

Creating art from flowers is what we love to do, it’s our undying passion, So when ‘Julia Rose’ was invited to ‘create’ for the Summit it was like a dream come true. 

Making magic, inspiring and being inspired by some of the worlds MASTERS of FLORAL DESIGN. We would like to say thank you to those who had faith in the ‘Julia Rose’ Team, but we’ll give thanks at the end of our blog for now here’s our own personal journey through the summit.  

PART 1 – The Baroque Gown 

It all started with a concept and as you all know I LOVE making smiles and sharing joy through the creation of my floral ART. So the plan was, why just take our piece to the stage at the summit lets take it to the streets and share something unique with the public, the people who don’t often see this type of Art in the flesh. Let’s bring a bit of joy to the unsuspecting person sitting on the bus on the way home from work, or that person doing the quickstep in the hustle and bustle of the big city. 

Obviously, first and foremost we wanted to WOW the WFC, but we knew there would be plenty of inspiration onsite created by other designers.  Plus we had a few fresh floral creations up our sleeve – reserved for the summit attendees alone. 


We will start from the beginning as there is no better place to start…

Our Baroque Gown – Usually in a traditional ‘Baroque’ gown you would imagine some Marie Antionette figure. A gorgeous woman, Ivory skin, sitting tall with a sense of elegance and opulence. Ankles covered, giggles, cakes and champagne pop into mind. Garden parties and Rose pink cheeks. Pale pinks and pretty tones are first instincts. Scratch that, back it up and hold that thought. My goal was to make her unexpected in a sense? Give her attitude and modernise her, yet still give her that ‘baroque’ look. 

First port of call, the skin, we need a beautiful ‘latte’ tone with gorgeous natural curls instead of ivory skin with a white powdered wig. And our darling Gabrielle Lennon suited this look perfectly, all the way down to the strength of character she embodies. 

Secondly, those legs need to be exposed, but that wasn’t enough, they need to say ‘attitude’. Hence the tearing of the stockings, the way her knees sat, her low slung shoulders, that non-cholent look of confidence and her pointed high heeled toes are all part of conveying this emotion. All very subtle elements but together they give this feeling we are wanting to communicate to the viewers of the final images. 

The colour palette played a crucial elemental in this design, keeping it muted was key. Greys, Blacks, grey greens and whites. All amplified by each factor of the design. Our tailored vest, edgy and modern was created by a Japenese designer, Dogstar,  and perfectly matched the ‘feel’. Black and white spotted Guinea fowl Feather collected from the farm. A variety of tules in grey tones, to add movement and interest. Makeup & Hair by the gorgeous Vanessa Suzette, clean and strong. Smokey shadows with a nude lip and rambling curls. And last but not least our hand dyed silk scarf from The House of Ferguson, dyed and print with natives that were to feature in my creation. Such a special little touch. 

Then there was the rolling stage! This would give us ease to move our model, the creation and the piece. All seemed to be ‘ready to roll’ until we reached the room. The night prior to the creation. The stage was 2.5cm (or 1 inch) to big to fit through the door. 1 inch, seriously??! So as lovely & talented June Shishikura & I lined my 6-star hotel room with black tarp and gaffa tape, And I mean we lined it, the whole floor and 1 foot up all of the walls. Rod set out to purchase a hacksaw. As no matter how much we wanted too we couldn’t use an electric saw at 10 pm in the W Hotel, well we could but I’m not quite sure our neighbours would be impressed? Funny side story – our blue tooth in the room wasn’t working? We had to call concierge, they arrived in a room lined in black plastic and sitting on the sideboard was a hacksaw, gaffa tape and 3 piles of rope? The flowers were yet to arrive. So yes – after awkward silence followed by laughter our blue tooth was working.  But all said and done Rod managed to overhaul our rolling stage and reattach our wheels. We settled in ready for bed around 2 am. 

The next day (build day) after a restful 2 hours sleep, we rose bright and chirpy at 4 am.  Christine (my Mum) arrived at 6.30am to find me on the slightly emotional side, (which I think may have had something to do with a week of back to back 15+ hour days? It’s all part of the game & I thrive on it, even if it breaks me at times). Our Model, Gabby arrived at 7 am closely followed by Makeup and hair, Vanessa. These two ladies not only did what they came for they also went above and beyond and assisted me with whatever they could whenever they had a moment to spare. Rod, Mum and I start fabrications on the gown. Next minute its showtime. 12.30 and we all had to head down to the main stage for the session. On que, our wonderful photographer Natalie Skoric arrives to capture it all, As we hustled into the lift and headed down. Only to find when we got to the stage, there was no ramp?! Boom! Spanner in the works right there! (And, Yes I did organise it, countless times) However, as they say ‘The show must go on”. we rolled in, my game was slightly thrown by this, but a few deep breathes later and we did it! Presented the piece to the designers. Insert ‘YAY’ here. 

Next step was rolling our creation out on the streets to capture what was in my head all along. We take Gabby and place her in front of some type of black painted scaffold wall, urban and dirty, but perfectly placed for us (insert another yay here). The whole team did their ‘thing’ and captured the image whilst buses, taxis and peak hour traffic whirred past just a few feet from us. Pedestrians hustled and the city moved around us. Exactly as I had envisioned. It was PERFECT & complete! 

We took the piece back inside the W Hotel foyer, shot a few more images for good measure then went to casually pop back in the lift and deconstruct in the room. However, this ‘casual pop’ took 2.5 hours as people gathered around us for photos…..again exactly as I envisioned. It is a true joy to bring people this much intrigue and happiness. This makes all of the 15-20 hour days in the lead up worth it. This moment, others Joy, is why I thrive on it. 


Now after all of that I would like to say my thanks. 

A massive thank you to Lynn Hoffman from the World Flower Council for having faith in me all along. 

Thank you to the Australian Floral Industry for your work on the world flower Summit. Shane, Janelle & Elaine.

A huge thank you to my team. You all know I love you to bits. Rod, Chrissy, Gabby, Vanessa, June, Kenny & Natalie. You guys are the best. With an extra special thanks to Rod, he’s my PA and without him, none of this would be possible.  

Other Thanks: Cairns Floral Supplies, W Hotel, Redlands, Lynch Flowers, Tesselaars, Apack. The house of Ferguson.


Stay tuned for ‘Part 2 – The Queen Show’ by Julia Rose 

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed creating them.

by Julia Rose