Beauty in Diversity

Beauty in Diversity as seen in Seattle Bride Magazine  in January 2021 as a featured article! Flori collaborated with a wonderful vendor team to showcase a sunkissed, neutral floral style that complements the best of PNW beaches, sparkling sound and golden light in a styled shoot that focuses on diversity of people and setting.  Just how stunning are the bride, the dress, the makeup and the photography. 

The florals evoke the the colors and textures of steep hillsides that anchor the rocky beaches of WA with sage green, ivory and white, and the palest hues of gold and tawny wheat hues using garden roses, shimmery lunaria, cosmos, air plants, bunny tail grasses and naturally preserved fern.  

I am a Seattle area wedding florist.  The brides and grooms who contact me are young, old, and of every hue.  I care about the florals I design with and try to use sustainably grown flowers and foliage. I care about diversity both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Celebrating diversity is a goal. 

I collaborated with a wonderful team to create some visual bridal art, hopefully with a deeper meaning, recently at the beginning of October.  We selected Jessica Hamilton, a professional model who is Native American, Latina and Black from the Seattle Models Guild because she has a look that can’t be defined – sort of an edgy ‘everywoman’ bride!  Emma Studley is a seasoned and talented wedding photographer who shoots gorgeous natural light photography and also shoots in film.  Lauren Brittany of Seattle Beauty Boss was the amazing HMUA who also happens to be Latina.  Emma Studley is a wedding photographer who shoots gorgeous natural light photography and shoots in film. Alex Gaynor is a recent graduate/wedding planner about to launch her business. Flori created a neutral floral palette that complemented the natural vista using elements from the PNW – driftwood, bunny tail grasses, white thistle flower, bracken fern, shimmery lunaria and air plants that have a sea life vibe. The white cosmos flowers look like seashells  and I grew them. The roses are David Austin Effie garden roses.  The bridal bouquet is finished with botanically dyed silk ribbons in fern green and ecru. 

The setting is a beautiful wild beach on the west side of Camano Island with views of Saratoga Passage.  Camano Island used to be part of the ancestral lands of the Snohomish Tribe and used for hunting, fishing and clamming in the summer.  When you drive to Camano from Seattle, you pass exits for reservations and casinos that are Indigenous owned.  The Sandra dress is a stunning, diaphanous two-piece dress from Flora Bridal, an Israeli designer, on loan from Seattle Dress Theory. It reminded me of clouds and was so light that it moved in the sea air with the slightest breeze.  For the water and beach shots, Jess is wearing a Halston jumpsuit.
Jessica was accompanied by her mother Heather and we had a great chat after the shoot about diversity, BIPOC vendors and when white artists try to incorporate diversity from a humble place with good intentions.  Jessica wrote this about why diversity is important in fashion:

“As a model of color I often look for my ethnic brothers and sisters and find far too few. While there has been some progress away from the marginalization and tokenism of brown and black models, I long to see more, everywhere and on every empowering platform. When beauty is formed through the pressures of adversity and oppression, a unique depth and character emerges. I myself am of African-American, Mexican, and Native-American descent – as well as European ancestry. My blood line includes historically targeted groups who have been recipients of systematic oppression and genocide. There is so much tragedy in this, but there is also a tenacity and the survival of rich cultural traditions that shows up and shines in our faces.