Flower Addict is the fourth book by Saskia Havekes, florist and owner of Grandiflora – the renowned Potts Point shop that has been shaping the art of floral arrangement for two decades in Australia.
It is a beautiful, big, coffee-table book to be pored over. It kicks off with Saskia Havekes’ thoughtful musings on flowers and the role they have played in her life since the start. Havekes’ narration is then peppered throughout the book, introducing the different artistic avenues and people that have shaped Grandiflora over the years.
But flowers – in all shapes, colours and incarnations – steal the show. Photographed in exquisite detail by Nicholas Watt (whose work calls to mind Robert Mapplethorpe’s still-life images of flowers), they’re presented as rock stars and supermodels. In one chapter they look stunning encased in ice for Roland Mouret or Dom Perignon, in another. They upstage Kylie and Dannii Minogue in a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar.
“The photographs … are really the stars of the book,” says Havekes. “Without these close-up portraits of the flowers, there would be no book.” Seeing Grandiflora’s designs immortalised by a photographer’s perspective is one of the aspects of making a book that Havekes enjoys the most; “watching the style of our work emerging through photography,” she says.
Whereas Grandiflora’s previous publications focused on particular themes such single blooms or floral design for events and celebrations, Flower Addict is a complete layering of 20 years, with stylish and dramatic effect.
From its indulgent imagery and premium, tactile paper stock, to Havekes’ personal accounts of each project and chapters dedicated to her team members, it is also a very generous book. It’s in keeping with the collaborative spirit that Grandiflora applies to every project. For Havekes, this is a testament to the Baroque sensibility she tries to harness in, “life, work and living: ornate, extravagant, opulent and exotic”.
Flower Addict is out today, sold in all good bookstores.