DERELICT HOUSE.

floral wonderland in a

Floral Art Installation // Grey Gardens Inspired // 1920s-1970s Fashion

Styling & Planning: The Stars Inside
Concept, Floral Design & Venue: Twisted Sisters
Workshop Assistant: Bride and Bloom
Photography: Flora Westbrook
Videography: Matthew Walsh Photography
Hair and Make-up: Rebecca Humphreys

This one day editorial workshop co-hosted in collaboration with Twisted Sisters was all about flowers, humans, and the line between - a one day storytelling and floral installation workshop centered around creativity. We talked about the basic principles of styling and how to look at a space in terms of lines and light. We explored dereliction, wilderness, and how to balance natural and man-made - how to embrace the cycle of life and let the forces of time inspire our designs. The concept at the heart of the workshop was to find the line where beauty fades, where the past becomes present, where abandoned becomes tamed, and where broken becomes new. We wanted to play with light and dark, and show the raw beauty of things that aren't traditionally "beautiful". 

One of our sources of inspiration was the story of ‘Grey Gardens’, originally a 1975 American documentary film depicting the everyday lives of two reclusive, formerly upper class women, a mother and daughter both named Edith Beale, living in poverty in a derelict mansion in East Hampton, New York. The house was called “Grey Gardens” because of the colour of the dunes, the cement garden walls, and the sea mist. "Big Edie" and her daughter "Little Edie”, relatives of US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, lived together in the estate from 1924 and stayed there for over five decades, with limited funds, and in increasing squalor and isolation. Outside, the United States was upended by massive cultural shifts: the Great Depression, the second world war, civil rights protests, and so on – but inside, wayward vines blocked out the sun – really, the world – as Big Edie and Little Edie curled into themselves, abandoning the uninhabitable parts of the house room by room until they were crowded into just three. The two beauties withered, as did the walls around them. Their living conditions— a house infested by fleas, inhabited by numerous cats and raccoons, deprived of running water, and filled with garbage and decay—were exposed in various papers and magazines, and eventually filming of a documentary was approved. This is the story we paid homage to – with colour, texture, fabrics, flowers, and light.