Monday, January 12, 2015

Mexico with Jose Villa






To be clear: I like cold weather, dark days, misery, butter, lonely nights, etc. However, an invitation to flower for one of Jose Villa's infamous photography workshops in Mexico had me reconsidering my ability to embrace warm weather retreat and suddenly I was digging around in my closet for sandals in November.





photo by Jose Villa


I had never been to Mexico before! I was given fair warning that the flower market in Mexico is not what we're used to in NY. Fortunately I had eyes on the ground -- my friend Gabriella, who recently returned back to her home town of Mexico City to build her flower business there, was willing to be my accomplice and use her flower hunting prowess for the cause...


Mexico does not allow ANY imported flowers across their borders so everything we used on this shoot was Mexican grown. They seem to really love roses, and some of the more typical pedestrian types of flowers -- but also Mums! There are big gorgeous healthy mums all over the markets and I enjoyed them immensely.





Photos by Jose Villa

As soon as I was off the plane I was on the lookout for material to forage -- this is the key to remote location events; using what the landscape offers to elevate the staple roses, lisianthus and ranunculus that you can find almost anywhere.


This Bougainvillea is the stuff dreams are made of -- commonly found in hot fuchsia -- the soft peach colored ones are rare. People ask me about this holding up as a cut, truth is it rarely does, but photo shoots are the perfect showcase it. Admittedly, I also use it in real wedding bouquets -- cutting it at the very last minute, and using the thicker stemmed pieces.





Photos by Jose Villa


There was a village of creative collaborators at work for these workshops; those who worked closest with me on decor were Laurie Arons who executed the over all design for the workshop (and who introduced me to Creative Candles makers of extraordinarily tall taper candles -- 36" - sometimes size does matter)...and Diana, the inspiring owner of Casa de Perrin, the country's leading high end table top rental company.





Photos by Jose Villa

Photoshoots, you know -- NOT REAL. Could any bride ever make a table like this across an entire wedding? Maybe; but it would cost a fortune. I would never actually cut brugmansia and put it in real centerpieces (as it was, it barely lasted for the shoot). But its our job in these scenarios to make inspiration, and what a luxurious creative exercise to be tasked with making just one perfect table...and how better prepared we are to bring that pursuit of perfection to our next real wedding...






Jose spares no expense with these workshops; every single detail is thought through and dusted with gold - the welcome dinner photos below show that. Intended to set the tone of the workshop week - the first dinner with all the attendees was pretty spectacular. We worked with brighter colors here; more mums, foraged foliage I can't identify and lots of fruit -- something we didn't all agree on, but ending up staying put on the table...






Photos by Jose Villa


We also cut large pieces of agave and layered them down the center of the table to pull the ancillary arrangements together and make a sort of backdrop for the fruit. Thorny suckers, I had lots of infected little cuts on my hands after that.





Photos by Jose Villa


 I don't drink tequila. Would I be more fun if I did? Probably.






Photos by Jose Villa


One of the stars here was Mock Orange which Gabriella brought from Mexico City. I did not understand how Mock Orange could be blooming in November in the Northern Hemisphere, but Gabriella insisted over and over again -- in Mexico, it's always spring somewhere.
That's enough to make me want to go back. [If you're getting married in Mexico, please call me.]

Thanks to Jose and Joel for making the week such a great experience.








19 comments:

rosekraft said...

Single brugmansia flowers (without foliage) perform quite well for me as cut flowers, possibly because they're the double variety, and not quite as delicate as the ones you used.
Always have a vase of them on the kitchen counter, snapped off the tree in the backyard, mainly for their heavy evening fragrance.
http://www.rosekraft.blogspot.com/2011/12/fresh-start.html

Alyssa Rainville said...

Those candles are amazing. Thanks for linking to their website! Currently adding tons of them to the shopping cart of my dreams.

Daphne Cybele said...

The colors are stunning; a welcome treat for eyes adjusted to snow rather than spring in my neck of the woods(New England).

Unknown said...

Hi Sarah!!

Thank you for creating such beauty for our workshop.. We love you and cant wait to have you back.

jose

joel serrato said...

sarah,

thank you for being a part of such a special week. we are honored to have had you, you - your work is the biggest artistic impression i've ever experienced in a while. thank you.

joel serrato

Jo said...

Oooooohhhh....sigh. Those colors are so dreamy and romantic. Every shot looks like it was snatched from a daydream. You do amazing work, Sarah. It blows my mind. How incredible it must have been to get to do something so fantastical with such incredibly talented artists.

Addy said...

I just love you work at Saipua, and this photo shoot is no exception! What beautiful colors and textures. I've been following along with your adventures in the biz, and am always so glad to see the things you create!

LPC said...

That cut fruit!!!!

Anonymous said...

Looking at these photos from a -15 degree morning in Southern Vermont, I'm delighting in the colors, so richly saturated in delicicious elegance. Thank you for letting us visit .

Unknown said...

Sarah,
if you do a wedding in Mexico, call me as you can get flowers into Mexico from various other parts of the world; its a big hassle but can be done.
Really nice work, as always,
David

India Hurst said...

So stunning. Especially the fruits!

anna said...

Wow. Love this post! What an amazing combination of orange flowers.

http://www.thesmellofroses.com

Online Flowers Delivery in Dubai said...

Nice flowers and they can make any of the occasion really special. Their colors are really charming and spreading beauty all around.

Send Gifts to Philippines said...

This is really amazing, I mean the whole set up! I love the flower centerpiece, the bride bouquet, the flower decorations, everything! now, I believe mexico city has lots of beautiful flowers, I am really amazed with your flower arrangement, and those MUMS! I really love it! Thank you for sharing your pictures! =)

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curtis03 Lewis said...

So beautiful and eye catching dress you wore dear. I enjoyed watching every photograph shared by you here. The color used in decoration stuff is just amazing. I am going to decorate my banquet halls in Miami with same colors.

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