Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs

Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs

In the flower trade they call him “Thierry the Firecracker” or “The Colourist”. Two nicknames that suit Thierry Féret down to the ground and which could apply equally well to his floral creations. Bouquets that are free-form, full of life, that the artist likes to call his “flowerbombs”. For them to come to life, he heads first for the Rungis wholesale market. Every morning, Thierry tirelessly repeats the same actions. He selects floral materials, enters into lively discussions with French producers, and then after taking inspiration from the market, he heads back to his headquarters in the Rue de Chabrol, in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, where the day’s precious purchases will be cleaned and arranged. The rest is pure magic. His touch transforms the flowers. They are teamed with dried materials, with twigs and with greenery sprayed in precious colour pigments, and the mix of colours is a joy to behold, spreading out in height and in volume. It’s totally spectacular, defying all convention. Thierry Féret does not play by the rules. And that’s a good thing! Here, what is important is the person who will receive the flowers. He wants to know for whom, and why, he is creating each bouquet. It must be done with feeling. An emotion that can come from anywhere. From the perfume of a flower as it opens, or from the surprises that the passing seasons offer to those who know how to observe and respect them. Like Jean-Paul Gauthier and so many other faithful customers to whom he has become a friend, The Socialite Family has over the last few years regularly used Thierry “The Stem” as we call him. Flowered By, his incredible boutique, is part of our daily lives. And will be for a long time. An interview with an extraordinary magician in his ‘second home’. A man of boundless imagination, who proves that sometimes insolence is a good thing.

Flowered By, Thierry Féret. 37, rue de Chabrol, 75010 Paris. Open: Tuesday-Saturday, from 10am to 8pm. Contact: boutique@floweredby.com. Phone: 09.83.56.40.12

Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs
Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs
Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret

Thierry, who are you?

Thierry

I’m a man in his 40s, happy in his new career, and single! (Laughs)

Becoming a florist, was that a vocation for you?

Thierry

No, not at all! I worked for over 20 years as a restaurant manager and then, courtesy of a midlife crisis, I felt I wanted a change of scene. I was a bit depressed, and a florist friend asked me to come and help him. One day, when he was away on business, a client came in and asked me for a bouquet. I told her that I wasn’t florist, but that I’d like to have a try! She was pleased with my creation, and she said to me “you should become a florist!” And that’s where it all began.

Can you tell us about your typical day?

Thierry

My typical day starts very early! Of course, I go and pick my flowers at Rungis, that’s a ritual that is very important to me. I love choosing them, and I develop ideas for arrangements by seeing what the producers are offering right there and then. It is a real source of inspiration, and I like to talk to them; I don’t want to have my deliveries directly from Holland like all the big chains. Once back in the shop, we clean and prepare the flowers before we start creating our Flowerbombs, which are then delivered throughout Paris. Add to this my real life as a businessman, with customers, some of whom have become real friends coming and going, it’s all pretty awesome! The shop closes at eight o’clock in the evening, so my days are full, but I’m very happy as well.

Where does the style of your bouquets come from?

Thierry

My nicknames in the trade are “Thierry the Explosive”, or “The Colourist”. Those two names say it all about my flower bombs, In other words, bouquets which explode with colours and varieties. I blend all sorts of flowers and plants, and I ignore conventions. I indulge myself totally. Fresh seasonal specimens sit alongside others; dried flowers, the exotic along with the most colourful… I like to draw my inspiration from Nick Cave’s soundsuits (not the singer, the performer), as well as from the huge Flemish bouquets you see in Dutch paintings or even from the couturier’s fashion collections.

Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs
Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Boutique Flowered By Paris Portrait Thierry Féret
Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs

What is the background to your shop?

Thierry

I’ve lived in the 10th arrondissement for many years, and after three years in my very first shop at 26 Rue de Chabrol, one of my neighbours offered me these larger premises across the road. So I decided to settle there and stay in this neighbourhood. I love it because it’s ordinary, but it’s trendy too.

How did you design its layout and decoration?

Thierry

When I arrived in the shop, everything had to be redone. So I designed it as I’ve always thought about it, that is to say as a laboratory for floral experiments. I designed the work surface as a bench with the help of Maison Singulière, who helped me to implement what I had in mind. My world is like my bouquets, very eclectic. A terrazzo table I found at auction, toys from Kaws, entomology boxes, Scandinavian string: each element is different, but everything is in harmony.

Can you tell us about the process involved in bringing together one of your creations?

Thierry

All my flowers come from Rungis, the flower market. It’s a place I love, and it’s where I really enjoy going to choose my flowers right there on the spot, taking advantage of their quality as well as their superb freshness. Then I prepare and assemble them in my shop.

Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs
Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Boutique Flowered By Paris Portrait Thierry Féret

Which flower, plant or vegetable do you like to work with most?

Thierry

I love to mix seasonal flowers and those which are a bit rare or exotic, things like the Royal Proteus and the Imperial Fritillary, which are my two favourite flowers: you’ll find them on my logo.

What’s most original, spectacular order you have ever completed?

Thierry

I work very regularly with Sacha Walckhoff, Creative Director of Christian Lacroix, who asked me to design a floral composition for a four-metre table in the style of Alice in Wonderland. It was a spectacular floral work featuring the designer’s tableware collection, which served as containers for creations combining seasonal and exotic flowers. The installation was a huge success and encouraged leading brands to take a greater interest in my work. We have been regularly called upon to work together in recent years.

What does The Socialite family mean to you?

Thierry

To me, above all, The Socialite Family is about atmosphere. The re-drafting of a world that is a little bit vintage, comfortable, and using noble materials like velvet or brass. And the products are beautiful, often made by craftsmen. I like The Socialite Family because it’s not complicated or contrived. It’s like being at home, where you find people in their kitchens or sitting on their sofas!

Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Boutique Flowered By Paris Thierry Féret
Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs
Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs
Thierry Féret, Floral Bombs

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