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A Bouquet of True French Elegance

The floral creations by Agnès de Villarson help decorate the most fashionable weddings in Manhattan and the surrounding areas. After working as a math teacher at the Lycée Français de New York, she was trained in floral design at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, and has now been providing her loyal and demanding American clients with flowers for seven years.

Agnès de Villarson’s studio on the Upper East Side is home to wealth of colorful treasures. Arranged in wide vases, some 300 red, orange, yellow, purple, white and black flowers fill the small, ventilated room. The scent of Kenyan roses blends with the fragrances of Japanese buttercups and Dutch tulips.

Public institutions, luxury companies and private clients make up 60% of the florist’s market. Her past orders include black-and-white bouquets for Chanel, table decorations for a banquet hosted by Ladurée, and flower arrangements for several Christian Dior fashion shows. “My clients are looking for simple, natural arrangements with a pastoral touch and harmonious colors.”

Weddings count for 20% of her revenue, and second-biggest source of income. “I am generally asked to create a unique, single bouquet for the bride at intimate weddings,” says Agnès de Villarson, who designs around 15 individual wedding bouquets per year. “Every now and then we also receive major orders with a budget to match. The latest was for 15,000 dollars,” she says.

Succulents, Wild Grass and Peonies

The florist provides a variety of services, and her website offers table centerpieces, interior decorations, funeral wreaths, and bouquets to say thank you, for weddings and for birthdays. The flowers are sourced from a wholesaler on 28th Street in Chelsea, and are kept at a constant temperature of 37°F on their way to the United States after being picked all over the world. They arrive in New York in less than 48 hours. “I only work with fresh flowers,” says Agnès de Villarson. “The ones you can find in drugstores and supermarkets are usually picked in Latin America a month before. They’re frozen and spend a week or two in a container in Miami before being sent to New York.”

Succulents, wild grass and peonies are in fashion this year, according to the florist, who generally designs small, round, European-style bouquets in shades of white and cream. “Just like French women, the simple elegance and tiny flaws in my flowers provide the real charm in my floral creations,” she says.

=> French wedding professionals like planners, florists, caterers, dressmakers and jewelers have crossed the Atlantic to develop their businesses in the United States. Every week, discover in France-Amérque the profile of a French artisan who is involved in the U.S. wedding industry.


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