Fleurotica’s “Infinite Beauty” Wins with Creative, Imaginative, Extraordinary Designs
Flowers, foliage, branches and other botanical elements were the stars of Fleurotica: Infinite Beauty, the runway show held at the Museum of Contemporary Art and benefiting the Garfield Park Conservatory’s Horticulture Hall. The first Fleurotica, presented by the Conservatory Alliance in 2008, was a special event as part of the Conservatory’s 100th birthday celebration and was a visual homage to the Conservatory’s heritage. As one of the world’s largest botanical gardens under glass, the event was a collaborative effort between the Alliance, Chicago-area florists and students from the Millinery Department of the Art Institute of Chicago.
This year’s event, co-chaired by Deirdre Koldyke, Whitney Lasky and Shauna Montgomery, and now in its fifth year, utilized all four floors of the museum. Staircases and landings were decorated with performance artists and Factor models wearing floral designs from Neiman Marcus.
During the cocktail reception, guests enjoyed savory bites of glazed shrimp, tuna tartare, fruit sushi and watermelon cubes from Wolfgang Puck Catering, complimented by two Willa vodka cocktails, The Conservatory Julep and The Alliance Elixir, created by Rachel de Marte.
Thirty of Chicago-area’s premier landscape architects, floral designers and other design boutiques participated, interrupting nature’s bounty into extraordinary designs. Sarah Anderson’s design for Scarlet Petal of Chicago, “Mucha in the Fern Room,” was crowned this year’s winner with her lush fern-green gown inspired by the Conservatory’s Fern Room and Alphonse Mucha’s turn-of-the-century illustrations. A crowd pleaser was H. Bloom’s stunning creation with its magnificent headpiece and long foliage train.
The founders of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance were this year’s honorees and were recognized for their contributions: Jackie McKay, Mary Nelson, Rev. Eudora Ramey and Dr. Gwendolyn Rogers.
Coomi Bhasin, whose jewelry designs are fueled by her multi-faceted past as a textile designer, architect and landscape designer, donated a custom gold ring for the raffle item. As a parting gift guests received a copy of Inspired by Nature: The GarfieldPark Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side.
The event grossed approximately $200,000 with proceeds funding the greenhouses hail damage restoration project.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is owned by the Chicago Park District and operated in partnership with the Alliance. For information about Garfield Park Conservatory visit www.garfieldconservatory.org
Feature Photo: Factor Models wearing designs from Neiman Marcus