Flower Magazine

JUL-AUG 2018

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

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her passion for entertaining and flower arranging. In fact, it was in helping plan a birthday party that she was introduced to renowned event designer Robert Isabell, with whom she apprenticed for nearly a decade. Under his wing, Graham became well versed in the principles of party planning while developing her own highly personal and somewhat unconventional approach to entertaining. Those lucky enough to score an invitation to one of her sit-down dinners, cocktail soirées, or afternoon teas can argue that the party starts not with the event but with the invitations. Often poster-sized and always hand-printed or hand-painted, each one is a piece of art in its own right. Adorned with feathers, rhinestones, or glitter, Graham's invitations illus- trate the artist's uncanny ability to shake things up while maintaining a level of sophistication. "Sometimes the invitation will set the tone for the party, and other times it will have absolutely nothing to do with it at all!" she says. "Once, I extended invitations to a Spam dinner. I decoupaged each invitation with pages from vintage cookbooks featuring recipes for mystery meats then glued on minia- ture cans of Spam that I found on eBay. Of course, that's not what I was going to serve, and all of my guests knew it. But they appreciated the humor and the unexpectedness of it. "At this point, I think most people just expect to receive an invitation from me that's outlandish. Maybe next time, I should consider sending out a normal invitation. That would be a real surprise!" Graham's event décor can be equally outlandish. One particularly cold winter, she hosted a lavish spring fling executed with brightly colored linens and bountiful arrangements of seasonal blooms to counteract the dark, dreary weather. She has also been known to dress flowers in doll clothes, like the time she placed diminutive sunglasses, purses, and scarves on single stems of ranunculus. "Entertaining should be fun for everyone," Graham says. "Even the stuffiest guests can find the quirky, crazy details amusing. Let those be the icebreakers that bring people of all personalities and backgrounds together." ABOVE: Mercury glass vessels and hand-dyed tissue-paper flowers made by Livia Cetti make a delicate counterpoint to daring curiosities such as the antique skull and mannequin head atop Graham's mantel. OPPOSITE: Graham in her flower room, where she creates her arrangements. 74 | J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 1 8

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