THE NEW YORK TIMES
June 30, 2010
Home & Garden
Takashimaya Florist Resurfaces as Florisity
By Elaine Louie
Fans of Takashimaya's now-defunct flower shop, take note: While Takashimaya closed last month, the florist, with its remarkable pale pink English roses, double-petaled Dutch tulips and stems of baby crab apples, is still in existence, operating as a shop called Florisity in the Flatiron district. What distinguishes Florisity from some other top florists is its aesthetic. "It's a little bit Asian, with unusual materials," said Sandra Taurina, the creative director. The flowers are arranged as they were at Takashimaya — by color tones, on a 12-foot-long, 1,000-year-old walnut table. In each color group, the display is stepped, with the shortest-stemmed flowers in front and the longest-stemmed behind, to show off each flower. Flowers are sold singly (a rose starts at $3, a stem of baby crab apples at $15), and in custom arrangements (starting at $75).
"It's very important to find a florist you can trust and then leave some of the decisions to her. A good florist always knows best."
Sandra Taurina, Creative Director at Florisity
How did you get into the flower business?
I grew up with flowers. I come from Latvia, and my grandmother had a farm - she grew peonies, roses, hyacinths, tulips. When I was small, I would pick the flowers and put them together, and my grandmother would show me all the little tricks.
What tricks are you into right now?
I always like English garden roses with beautiful fabric around the stems. And I like added elements like scabies pods or raspberries and blackberries. Those are very cute right now.
If I have a limited budget, what should my priorities be?
Definitely the bridal bouquet and the boutonniere - you have to have those. The bouquet doesn't necessarily have to be a lot of flowers, though; it can be very simple. Some brides want a huge bouquet even though they're very small themselves, which looks ridiculous. Next is probably the centerpieces, if you're having a reception. But it doesn't have to be this big, lush arrangement; you could do little bud vases.
And it wouldn't look cheap?
No, it all depends on how you set it up. Of course, you can make it look bad, but if you choose the right size of bases - maybe using different heights - and you choose the right flowers, like peonies, hydrangeas, or roses, it can look really beautiful.
Do you have more people asking for organic and fair-trade flowers these days?
It's more like we educated them about it. They say, "Oh, I want this and this," and then we become teachers: "Why don't you do this instead?"
What are your favorite color schemes?
It depends on the season and the availability of the flowers. In the spring, blush, yellows — cheerful things. In the summer, you can add blues, like hydrangeas. Fall is earth tones, and winter could be silvery. But white and green is the most elegant and always will be. I think it works all year.
Do you get many oddball requests? [Laughs] We try to forget those. No, actually, I'm open-minded. If someone comes in and tells me to put candles in her bouquets, I would say, "Sure, no problem." We had a groom who loved ginger, and the bride asked if we could do something with it. When you picture ginger, you think, like Oh my God, no, it's so ugly and wrinkly. But we took ginger root and twisted it around with burgundy calla lilies, and it looked fantastic. I love those kinds of requests. It makes your creative mind work.
And then your beautiful creation gets tossed over the bride's shoulder and dies. [Laughs] Oh, you just let it go. You know it's going to be in the picture, and it's going to be remembered. It's painful to watch the flowers get bruised and worn out, but you also feel happy it's done. As long as everything is done perfectly, I really don't mind.
Photograph: Jacqui Hurst/Alamy (Swatches)
TOWN & COUNTRY
Bouquets: Your Best Accessory By Stephanie Wu
What flowers will you carry? It depends on the season, and whether you're classic or contemporary.
SPRING: Create a romantic vibe with ranunculus, mini calla lillies and Queen Anne's lace in a pastel palette, or go for the unconventional with striped begonia leaves and patterned orchids in an asymmetric arrangement. Both look stunning against a billowy chiffon dress. SUMMER: Sunflowers are the perfect outdoor-wedding choice, especially when paired with black-eyed Susans and button mums for additional color and texture. Or, incorporate seasonal strawberries and exotic flowers like the white-topped pitcher for a fresh twist. FALL: The warm colors of autumn are best evoked with either traditional garden roses in a variety of hues (which hold up beautifully in cool weather despite their perceived delicacy) or, for a bit of edge, textured scabiosa pods and light-brown cymbidium orchids. WINTER: Keep an all-white bouquet interesting with a mix of flowers, like lisianthus, nerines, and phalaenopsis orchids. For something that truly stands out against your white dress, velvetlike coxcomb and lotus pods are sophisticated and will last all day — even if you're getting married in the snow.
October 13, 2010
How to Arrange Flowers for Cheap
Tips from Florisity's Katsuya Nishimori
Your guests are due in ten, and you're shoving a fistful of wilty deli flowers into a vase.
Those bodega blooms have more potential than you might think. In today's video, renowned artist/floral designer Katsuya Nishimori — formerly of Takashimaya Floral and cofounder of the recently opened Florisity in the Flatiron — has tips for making a beautiful French-inspired arrangement for less than $25.
Really, you'll be amazed how good a deli bouquet can look. Of course, we can't discount the pros of going to a florist (more variety, bigger blooms, longer flower life, and the magic touch). But if you can fool one or two people in the meantime, consider it a success. If this puts a bloom in your bonnet, go to one of Florisity's beginner's classes on November 3 or 10, 6-8 p.m., $225.
October 14, 2010
'Florisity' Owner Helps You Make the Most of 'Bodega Blooms'
Daily Candy gives highly-deserved acclaim to underrated deli flowers after artist and floral designer Katsuya Nishimori, co-founder of Florisity, shows us how to make beautiful arrangements on the cheap. Nishimori sings the praises of 'bodega blooms' and offers us a tutorial on how to 'magic touch' our pretty petals without sacrificing our paychecks (see the awesome video here). Not that Nishimori is trying to downgrade a florist's expertise in making flowers beautiful and increasing their longevity... but, Nishimori himself says: 'if you can fool one or two people in the meantime... why not?' More on flowers and the amazing Florisity flower shop and details on its beginner classes at Daily Candy.
July 1, 2010
Florisity: The New Home of the Takashimaya Florists
Great news! The modern florist at Takashimaya has resurfaced in the Flatiron District at Florisity after the Japanese department store shut its doors last month. The New York Times tells us that creative director Sandra Taurina will continue her standout modern/Asian style of arrangements alongside designer Katsuya Nishimori at Florisity.
Takashimaya was never the same after they moved the floral boutique upstairs. After the store closes this weekend, I'm happy to announce that the floral creative team will be moving downtown to Florisity.
Ok - here is a little beauty on a grey day that feels like the beginning of fall - yikes! One of my stops on our NY trip - this gorgeous shop Florisity. The shop used to be in a different location and included apparel and was called Utowa but now they have broken out into their own space with floral design and a few home decor products, pottery, and gift items. It is chock full of gorgeous blooms and them are assembled with eclectic combinations of pods, branches, and succulents. The color combinations are dreamy. They also design these fabulous custom wisteria branch structures - one can be seen hanging from the ceiling. What an inspiration... worth a stop!
I fell in love with Florisity the moment I saw their window display- wisteria vine supporting vases of heliconia. Very unique. The wisteria continues on the ceiling of the spacious 19th Street location, canopying an artful mix of flowers, containers and objet d'art.