Fashion’s love affair with flowers is in full bloom for Autumn/Winter 2019, and nothing pleases floral designer Christopher Teo more.
For Givenchy’s winter of Eden, Clare Waight Keller adapts floral patterns from Japanese vases for printed plisse dresses. Dries Van Noten draws on his 55-acre garden of fuchsias, lemon-yellow roses, burgundy dahlias and blue delphiniums to pretty up creations of silk, chiffon and crepe de Chine. Miuccia Prada, meanwhile, attaches wilting silk bouquets to garments, which come plastered with graphic illustrations of the rose, some prickling with thorns.
Teo is the creative genius behind Floral Obsession, whose amazing arrangements have made it one of Singapore’s leading names in floristry. His works are sought after to decorate a room, to express love and appreciation and to mark an important occasion. They also recently feature in a fashion spread for the September issue of A magazine In Your Wildest Dreams.
“I had to work with what I had; if an arrangement didn’t work, I had to pull everything apart and start from scratch,” says Teo. “I had to work very fast too because we had several photos to complete. I enjoyed the challenge!”
In this enchanting coming-of-age tale about scarecrows and self-love, flowers and foliage share the spotlight with the season’s most fabulous ensembles. Teo’s set design brings the garden party to life with its fascinating array of
Teo wanted to become a fashion designer as a child but realised it would be too expensive to study, so he pursued electrical engineering studies. His love for beautiful things, especially nature and landscaping, culminated in a passion for floral design.
“Floral arrangements started as a hobby, something I did just for fun,” he says during our meeting at Floral Obsession at Scotts Square. “When I was young, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who had a large garden filled with fruit trees and flowers. So I often found it easy to, you know, just whip up something. My late grandfather often told me he wished he had hands like mine.”
In the mid-1990s, Teo started a floristry business and worked from home. In 2014, encouraged by his family, he set up a shop space for Floral Obsession. He relishes the challenges that come with his craft and takes everything in his stride. By everything, it can refer to completing a wedding bouquet in 20 minutes, or encouraging a customer to stick to darker hues for her deceased mother’s casket spray.
Teo says, “Working with flowers has taught me to learn to embrace life. Humans are like flowers – one day, our lives will be over. So I choose to focus on and appreciate what I have.”