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Fashion in Hong Kong and China

New York fashion-friendly florists share their skills in Hong Kong floral workshops

They count Cartier, Dior and Jason Wu among their clients, but the biggest moment for Putnam & Putnam was their recent 14-page shoot in US Vogue. The couple behind the business look forward to their Hong Kong workshops

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 April, 2018, 7:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 12:23pm

In 2014, New York-based couple Darroch and Michael Putnam started florist Putnam & Putnam.

“It’s been a wild and beautiful few years … watching the brand’s growth has been incredible,” says Michael.

The icing on the cake came this month when their work was featured in the April 2018 issue of US Vogue. Shot by a team comprising photographer Steven Klein and stylist Grace Coddington, the whimsical 14-page shoot of a flower field fantasy stars model and actress Mia Goth (Goth is wife of Shia LaBeouf, who she met on the set of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, a role that landed her a Miu Miu campaign).

The pair says the Vogue shoot is the highlight of their career. “We will be pinching ourselves all weekend,” they posted on Instagram.

Their creative coup will be no surprise to some. Although only a few years old, Putnam & Putnam has been setting the New York social scene on fire with its lush and romantic floral creations, which have a Victorian feel. The pair’s client list is long and impressive, many of them fashion brands.

“We are so inspired by fashion and current trends,” Michael says.

They are also aware of the need to be sustainable, especially in an industry such as theirs that has a large carbon footprint.

“The events industry can be very wasteful,” says Michael. “There are many ways we push ourselves to be more green and conscious, starting with minimising waste. By composting our green matter when possible, we save bags of material from being dumped into landfills.

Floral design started as a hobby, but I soon fell in love with it. I’m a very tactile person and interior design wasn’t fulfilling my need to work with my hands
Michael Putnam

“Another step taken is to use as little floral foam as possible when creating events. For centrepieces we use wire instead of foam, which is filled with toxic chemicals and is non-biodegradable. And we source as much local product as possible, depending on the season. Every bit of effort makes a difference.”

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It’s not surprising the duo, who met while waiting in a line at grocery store Trader Joe’s, make such a successful creative partnership. Before flowers, Michael worked in interior design while Darroch was a photographer.

“Floral design started as a hobby, but I soon fell in love with it. I’m a very tactile person and interior design wasn’t fulfilling my need to work with my hands,” Michael says.

The hobby soon morphed into a successful business – all thanks to the power of social media.

“On weekends, Darroch would photograph my work and I’d post the images on social media. People quickly started taking notice, inquiring about small jobs and editorial projects.”

“A year in, Darroch quit his job to join me and Putnam & Putnam was born.”

What they have built is a business where the sky’s the limit.

“We push ourselves when designing installations – we never take the easy way out. Regardless of the scale or size of a project we take everything very seriously, our attention to detail is paramount and we always keep the pressure on ourselves to do the best possible job we can.”

For those in Hong Kong keen to get an insight into the world of flower arranging, Putnam & Putnam, in partnership with Ellermann Flower Boutique in The Landmark mall in Central, will host workshops from April 18 to 22, covering everything from large-scale installations to conceptual editorial sets.

“Our hands-on approach always makes for an exciting and fun experience. Darroch photographs all student work, so everyone will leave with not only a floral creation, but images for their portfolio,” says Michael. “We can’t wait to explore the Hong Kong flower market and all the city has to offer.”

For more details about the workshops visit ellermanndesign.com