Alison Vagnini

Lalé, Turkish for tulip, is the proud passion project of floral designer, Stephanie Clark. A traveler at heart, Stephanie likes to live life on the edge but, when it comes to floral design, she’s found a home in something that she truly loves.

After working in a LA flower shop and then moving to Turkey to teach English and yoga, her need for adventure brought her right back to her devotion to flowers. With a degree in fine arts, a Bollywood dancer in her free time and the confidence to pursue her dreams - Stephanie is a unique floral artist that embraces her originality and shines through every one of her individualized designs. I had the opportunity to sit down and chat about her unconventional and wild style of designing and, trust me,  it’s oh-so easy to see why Stephanie couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

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How would you describe your style?

Across all mediums, I love the contrast of raw vs. soft, delicate vs. something unconventional. I love negative spaces and calm and texture. I love vintage and elegant, timeless designs but I will throw in something contemporary - whether it’s the angle of the design or I go foraging for branches with pine cones or fruits. I would say my style is alternative and unique. A part of this is because I was never formally trained, even though I’ve always had an academic eye for aesthetics. So, I know what looks good to me.

What is the first thing you ask a couple?

One of the first things I always ask a couple is, “Tell me about yourselves.”  I just want to know their story, how they met, what they were doing, where did they meet, and what they enjoy doing. That’s enough for me to usually run with. And then, when brides bring me ideas and bring me things they like, it’s helpful but, I can already get the idea of their aesthetic by learning about who they are.  I always promise my couples, and my number one goal, the reason that I like doing what I’m doing, is to deliver exactly what they want and even better. I can usually get an idea of them with an hour conversation just talking about what they’re into.

I, of course, love designing but I really like doing final vignettes on tables. Just love having all the pieces perfect and getting the candles lit, seeing that room, that whole décor and installation and then walking out satisfied that that’s what the couple wanted. We’re our worst critics, but that’s my favorite when all the final pieces come together.

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Do you have a favorite season?

I love fall. The seasonal textures are unbeatable. I like the warm tones and using blushes with burnt orange - things like that. There are so many berries and figs and branches and leaves – the foliage is just so great. It’s my favorite season, also for the health of the flowers.

How do you get started?

I was always intimidated painting on canvases because they are just blank white and I never knew where to begin. So I would paint on wood. And with brides now, you’re not fulfilling a tradition anymore.  At least not most of my clientele. So now, you don’t have a blank canvas ever. You sit down and in 5 minutes you already have a place to start. I love that. It’s not about outdoing friends or blogs or anything like that. All my clients are very dedicated to making it theirs. And that’s awesome.

Flowers – if there is only one or two colors – to me, there’s something missing. I feel like the use of an unexpected accent color goes miles. I do spend a lot of time working with Pantones and color swatches to create a perfect chart for my clients. From there I look at what’s seasonal and what would suit their style.

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What would you say sets you apart?

I would say that I have a very original style. When it comes down to the actual structure and ingredients of my designs, I know that’s what sets us apart. I’m not going to be doing the compact rose bouquet – it’s just not something that’s in my system. I feel like all my forms of art, whether it’s the music I like, what I’m drawn to, or my paintings, they’re all very the same in the sense of silences and drama and texture. My clients see that in my designs. There are so many great florists in Colorado but everyone does have their uniqueness. We’re a little edgier and not afraid to take risks, at all. I’ve had a bride come to me and be like, ‘Wolves. We want to incorporate wolves.’ And that’s great – let’s go for it! I think that’s something I’m really good at while making it pretty and elegant at the same time.

What inspires you?

Culture. Art. I love learning and seeing. Whether it’s textiles, patterns or colors. When you look at an afghan rug and looking at what color thread went into that – that’s inspirational to me. Nature, as well, I believe there’s a rhyme and reason why things grow where they do. There’s something to be said for what colors exist where and Colorado is one of the most colorful places I can think of so, we’re lucky!

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See more of Lalé Floral's stunning stems here | Lalé Florals

August is Fancy Florals Month here at mywedding and what better way to showcase your beloved bouquets and  artistic arrangements than submitting your favorite design to our Stems & Style Photo Contest! Enter to win an iPad mini & a free featured profile on mywedding.com for one year.

See you next Wednesday for more mywedding Musing's with Ladybird Poppy Floral Design!