Is it ever appropriate to use fake flowers in your home?
The thought of populating a beautiful vase with plastic flowers rightly sends shivers up your spine, but a small, über-chic movement has been growing traction in Paris over the last eight years.
This movement, one that incorporates the art of the fausse fleur into contemporary home design, is due in no small part to Hervé Gambs, a maestro of understated design who has been producing subtly elegant collections of, yes, false flowers, along with home fragrance, vases and small objects for the home.
The key here is never, ever overdo it. Less must remain more when working with false flowers or you will end up having bouquets reminiscent of a long dead great aunt. Notice how Gambs achieves a quietly elegant look.
His silk flowers come in single colors. The dark colors play off of a strong relation with black: deep purples, rich, blood red colors, and even roses so black they shimmer with blue.
The white flowers often contain strong, clean, linear slopes on long, green stalks, taking the shape of the calla lily. A single flower or a set of false stalks is then placed without additional decoration in a beautiful glass vase, one that is either tall and clear, or short, black, bulbous or square.
Finally, Gambs does not shy away from real flowers, but in fact encourages a rigorous blend of artifice and nature. Thus, one can arrange a beautiful bouquet of fresh hydrangeas in the same room as a small bud vase containing a single, false, black rose.
The result is a kind of beauty under disciplined pressure, a use of artifice that wields impact based upon how little it intrudes upon a room. Hervé Gambs has boutiques in Paris and Tokyo, outlets in London shops, and soon he might encroach upon New York.
For the moment, the inspiration is potent and there for the taking. In the virtual world in which we now live, perhaps we can transform the false flower into a virtual flower in order to embrace the idea. Taking a glimpse at Hervé Gambs and his beautiful work, and we are on the way toward becoming converts.