Se­crets of a celebrity florist

No-one can stem the tide of flow­ers tak­ing over ev­ery celeb’s home and Insta ac­count...

NW - - Nw News -

If you hadn’t heard, bal­loons are out and flow­ers ARE In. YES, they may have been around For­ever In your nan’s vase, But when some Ge­nius DE­CIDED to start putting them on walls AND HANG­ING them off THE CEIL­ING, It BE­CAME Busi­ness. AND not Just Any Busi­ness – were talk­ing show Busi­ness!

For­get THE small Fry of nor­mal-peo­ple WED­DINGS. Florists ARE now In CHARGE of trans­form­ing CELEBRITY Events with THE Help of A FEW thou­sand FRESH Blooms. TAKE A BRIEF scroll through In­sta­gram AND you’ll SEE flower wall AF­TER flower wall (KIMYE started It), tow­er­ing trees of mil­len­nial pink Cherry Blos­soms or GI­ANT top­i­ary Ele­phants (we’re look­ing At you, KHLOE KAR­DASHIAN).

AND It takes some­one with A LARGE Dose of tal­ent to put

to­gether de­signs that can make head­lines. En­ter “flo­ral artist” Jeff Leatham, about whom Cher once said, “Jeff is not a florist – he’s a ge­nius”. And if Cher says it, it’s gospel.

It’s all com­ing up roses

Since 1999, Jeff has been the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Ge­orge V in Paris, while cater­ing to a long list of VIP clien­tele. “It started as a fluke, and I turned it into a pas­sion,” he re­calls. Jeff now lives in Los An­ge­les, but re­turns to Paris for a few days each month to cre­ate the ho­tel’s grand dis­plays, which em­ploy up to 12,000 flow­ers a week with the help of his $2 mil­lion bud­get.

Part of Jeff’s suc­cess comes from his sta­tus as a semi-celebrity him­self. If you’re a fan of Keep­ing Up With The Kar­dashi­ans, you’ve likely seen Jeff along­side his BFF Kris Jen­ner. “My big­gest clients, my great­est friends – how did I meet them? In the lobby of the Ge­orge V,” he tells us. “I did Chelsea Clin­ton’s wed­ding. Where did I meet the Clin­tons? In the lobby of the Ge­orge V.” He elab­o­rates that when Kris stayed at the Ge­orge V in 2014, he filled her room with flow­ers, which caught her at­ten­tion – quite a fra­grant busi­ness card!

Blos­som­ing re­la­tion­ships

Jeff’s meet­ing with the Kar­dashian ma­tri­arch es­tab­lished not only a friend­ship, but a solid busi­ness re­la­tion­ship too. His com­pany, Jeff Leatham De­sign, now cre­ates spec­tac­u­lar sea­sonal dis­plays in all of the Kar-jen­ner homes and, in March this year, Jeff de­signed Khloe’s baby shower. Around 12,000 car­na­tions hung from the venue ceil­ing, roses were im­ported from Ecuador, but the stars of the show were the gi­ant bushes shaped into sa­fari an­i­mals. “I pulled to­gether some im­agery of kind of a fan­tasy English gar­den,” he says. “That’s why we had those top­i­ary an­i­mals made of greens and the sculpted flow­ers fall­ing from the ceil­ing. Peo­ple walked into some kind of crazy fan­tasy, Alice In Won­der­land­type at­mos­phere.”

The Kar­dashi­ans are so much a part of Jeff’s life that Kris of­fi­ci­ated his wed­ding to ac­tor Colton Haynes in Oc­to­ber 2017.

A wed­ding that was, of course, decked out with flow­ers. “If you’re mar­ry­ing Jeff Leatham, you ei­ther have to do some­thing g where you get mar­ried d naked on the beach in Cabo with noth­ing – it’s just you, a horse and sand – or you go big,” ” reck­ons Jeff.

Petal to the metal

While they may not be quite on the Kar­dashian level, Alex Bowen and Olivia Buck­land – the Love Is­land 2016 run­ners-up – weren’t far off with the flower ar­range­ments at their Septem­ber wed­ding. “Bud­get wasn’t a ma­jor is­sue,” flo­ral de­signer Bev­erly Ni­chols tells us. In the one-off TV spe­cial for the cou­ple’s big day, fans were shocked to see that Olivia had been quoted $36,000 for the flow­ers, but Bev­erly says, “The first quote I put in was higher, so we had to cut a few things that weren’t nec­es­sary.” The higher quote is hardly sur­pris­ing since, for a cou­ple like Alex and Olivia, it is all about mak­ing a big In­sta­gram state­ment– a fact Bev­erly re­veals is the cause of a few awk­ward con­ver­sa­tions for some brides. “That is a big chal­lenge for peo­ple with smaller bud­gets, be­cause they look at so­cial me­dia and see things that are out­side of their bud­get,” she says.

The scale of the re­al­ity stars’ event didn’t put Bev off, and she con­fesses that she would love to do an­other Love Is­land wed­ding. “I thought maybe Dani [Dyer] and Jack [Fin­cham] might get mar­ried, but it seems un­likely now,” she laughs.

Flow­ers fit for a duchess

From re­al­ity to roy­alty... El­iz­a­beth Mckenna – a can­di­date on The Ap­pren­tice to 2017 2 cre­ate – was a posy lucky for enough new­lyen­gaged e Meghan Markle in Not­ting­ham N at her first pub­lic ap­pear­ance fol­low­ing the news. The bride-to-be was pre­sented with a posy of pur­ple and white flow­ers, some­thing care­fully thought through by El­iz­a­beth.

“The thing about giv­ing flow­ers is that you al­ways put a lit­tle bit of your­self or the per­son who’s re­ceiv­ing in the de­sign,” she says. Meghan’s bou­quet was bound with lace, be­cause Not­ting­ham is fa­mous for lace. There were for­get-me-nots, be­cause I un­der­stand they were Princess Di­ana’s favourite e flow­ers. The pur­ples and whites were the colours of f the school [Meghan] was vis­it­ing, and I put some sil­ver eu­ca­lyp­tus through it, be­cause it’s an Aussie thing 2t and I’m Aus­tralian.”

But where is there left to go af­ter ful­fill­ing a royal ap­point­ment? El­iz­a­beth tells us she’d love to do flow­ers for El­ton John. “I think that would be a hoot.” We reckon Jeff could be in touch... n

Khloe’s baby shower was a bud­ding oc­ca­sion Jeff in the lobby of the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Ge­orge V The ceil­ing of Khlo’s baby bash was a flo­ral won­der­land d Jeff is in a bit of a thorny sit­u­a­tion!

Jeff’s work has adorned out­door as well as in­door spa­ces Kris of­fi­ci­ated at Jeff’s wed­ding to ac­tor Colton An­other low-key ar­range­ment at the Bel­la­gio! Top­i­ary ele­phant on the hori­zon!

Kris’s home looks fab at Christ­mas – thanks to her bestie! Sofia Ver­gara’s wed­ding venue was trans­formed Laura Dern and Reese Wither­spoon ad­mire some of Jeff’s work

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