Fleurotica’s “Infinite Beauty”

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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, Fleurotica’s “Infinite Beauty” , 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 guest received a copy of Inspired by Nature: The GarfieldPark Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side.

The Fleurotica’s “Infinite Beauty” 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 at Fleurotica’s “Infinite Beauty” : Factor Models wearing designs from Neiman Marcus

About Margaret O'Connor

Margaret J. O’Connor is the founder/owner of MarCon Communications, a public relations and special events firm which handles the publicity and event needs for a diverse range of clients. She’s involved with numerous charities in Chicago and is active in its lifestyle and social scene. She grew up and was educated in Africa, Australia and America and holds degrees in marketing and finance from the University of Illinois. She is a contributing writer to many print and digital publications and her focus is lifestyle, culinary and nonprofit events. Read more from this author.