There’s no better designer than mother nature herself. Well, not unless she’s in the dexterous hands of a McQueens florist.
London’s premier florist has been redefining the way we think about flowers since 1991. Its dedicated staff have primped and preened for five star hotels, fashion brands and the annual Oscar party for Vanity Fair.
McQueens School of Flowers, one of the best bespoke flower schools in the world, recently teamed up with Waterford Crystal to show us how it’s done. The big question – which flowers for which vase?
“Every vase has a different personality,” says McQueen’s head tutor Wagner Kreusch, “The trick is to relax; following the shape of each vase and arranging the flowers in a natural way, as if they were growing inside the vase itself.”
And he should know. The master florist was practically born among blooms, working in his mother’s flower shop throughout his childhood. Here’s what we learned about vase/flower matching from his speedy floral masterclass.
Wagner’s first pick is the dazzling Fleurology Tina vase (£280). “With all those crystal details, this vase is a statement in itself,” he says, “It’s extremely versatile, whether you’re arranging big luxurious blooms or a single flower.”
Best bloom: A deep garnet rose is Wagner’s choice, either packed together or teamed with similar-sized flowers as part of a beautifully-compact bouquet.
Watch the full video here
The perfect vase to have at home, according to Wagner, is Waterford’s Lismore vase (£120).
“Its classic shape is ideal for posies and hand-tied bouquets alike,” he says. The beauty is in its subtly sloping neck, elegant curves and comforting weight.
Best bloom: Lilac’s subtle colour variations are ideal for arranging layered displays. The flowers bloom around the flared neck, emphasising that heady scent and casual exuberance.
If your taste in vases is more angular and modernist, the Fleurology Kylie vase (£265) is quite something.
Designed for Waterford by florist to the stars Jeff Leatham, the vase is bold and stackable.
Best bloom: As Wagner says: “The vase itself is very beautiful alone so I’m just putting coloured lilies straight into the water. This is such a great arrangement to have at home and very simple to make. It’ll last much longer as well.”
Angled openings demand a different approach to floral arrangements. Particularly this emerald green offering from Waterford’s Fleurology collection.
The Fleurology Cleo angled rose bowl (£915) was also designed by Jeff Leatham and gives the illusion of flowers bursting from a crystal bubble.
Best bloom: “I love the colour of this vase and the way it reflects the light, so I’ve gone with a very simple design of white and green anthuriums,” says Wagner.
The Lismore Essense Angled Round Vase (£100) works with many arrangements, thanks to its slender profile and elegant dip.
Best bloom: “I’ve chosen tulips to work with this vase,” says Wagner. “I love that it has a lot of clear glass – you can really see the stems of the flowers.”
McQueens use rose bowls often, particularly when creating table centrepieces. Here, he uses the Waterford Lismore Rose bowl (£105) with its dramatic diamond and wedge cuts.
Best bloom: What looks better in a rose bowl than beautiful ivory roses?
Wagner says: “Basically, you cross the roses at the same angles, using a little string to tie them together. It’s great to bring a small bit of luxury into everyday life.”
The Lismore Diamond anniversary vase is the ultimate shape to display a blooming bouquet in all its glory. If you’re not buying a pre-made arrangement, learning how to make your own will come in handy.
Best bloom: “Flared vases allow you to make very big designs,” says Wagner. Go big with delphiniums; layering with lush foliage and delicate Queen Anne’s lace.
Fancy something a little darker? Read this guide to the new bridal floral trend – deep, gothic blooms.
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Dying to recreate McQueen x Waterford floral beauty in your own home? These stunning crystal vases are the perfect start.