On the sofa with Alice Vine, floral designer

Spring florals at the launch of V&A Threads of India fabric collection

In March we introduced our exclusive V&A Threads of India fabric collection to the press at our new King’s Road, Chelsea showroom, followed by a celebratory lunch at nearby Stanley’s restaurant.

We were keen to heighten the sensory experience of the launch by adorning the space with vibrant spring floral displays complementing our beautiful new fabric designs. An exciting concept and creative brief was devised by the campaign art director and stylist, Sally Denning. Sally’s vision combined bespoke table linen created from V&A Threads of India fabric collection with immersive floral decorations for the room and tables.

Concept sketch by Sally Denning

 

Sally’s concept was beautifully brought to life by Alice Vine, a talented floral designer based in Somerset. The effect was mesmerising: a perfect fusion of seasonal flowers and a joyful colour palette.¬†Following the event, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Alice to delve into her inspiration and flower selections for this event. Plus, we seized the opportunity to glean her top tips for creating a sensational spring floral tablescape for a celebratory lunch or supper.

Alice, tell us what inspired your choice of flowers for the table arrangements?

Early spring is a funny time of year, we’re all desperate for colour and hyper aware of new life sprouting around us. For me, the new V&A Threads of India fabric collection is all about bold block print shapes and the punch of an exciting palette. I wanted to echo that in the floral design, while keeping it seasonal. Some of my favourite flowers in this design fullfilling that brief are the Icelandic Poppies. Their shape has a life of their own, and the colours are to die for. I love to offset them with the dainty blue Muscari for a totally different scale and shape. However, my favourite part of the design is the hand-sewn garlands in richly colored Marigolds, Carnations, and dried Helichrysums for a hint of traditional Indian decoration.

Spring floral table decoration for V&A Threads of India fabric collection launch, featuring icelandic poppies, muscari, tulips, carnations and hellebores

What are your tips for selecting flowers for table decoration?

Tablescapes allow your guests to really sit and have time to take in the details of the displays in front of them. I think mixing both large and small-headed flowers is a must. I like to create an overall dense flow of flowers for a joyful and luxurious feel. Then I love adding some weird and wonderful wiggly stems flying away from each arrangement providing character and interesting shapes. However, it’s important to me that guests can still talk and see each other over the designs so as not to disrupt the social flow and merriment.

Spring floral table decoration for V&A Threads of India fabric collection launch, featuring icelandic poppies, muscari, tulips, carnations and hellebores, complementing bespoke table linen

How do you approach your flower selection to enhance the ambiance and theme of an event?

I think colour palette plays a huge role in getting across the feel of the occasion. For something like this, the message was spring and celebration with touches of Indian influence, to reflect the fabrics at the centre of the launch. It’s easy to want to include all your favourite flowers but keep the message clear by really thinking through your intention and palette first. Then you can draw attention to those seasonal favourites by having some separate stems in smaller vessels for guests to really play with and interact with. Also, with our design at Stanley’s restaurant, I think adding the overhead meadows also made the design feel like it’s naturally growing of its own accord. Nothing says spring more than spontaneous new growth!

Hanging floral decoration in the style of Indian mala for V&A Threads of India fabric collection launch.

For those hosting their own celebratory lunch at home, what are some cost-effective flower options that still make a big impact?

I’m a big fan of bud vases. They are a fantastic way to connect larger designs together to create that full look while requiring fewer flowers. Even using bud vases alone makes an impact and can fit so beautifully amongst sharing platters and tableware. It means for roughly the same price, you can spread out the presence of flowers all the way down a table for everyone to enjoy rather than one central arrangement.

 

Are there any other considerations hosts should keep in mind when arranging flowers for a celebratory lunch?

Don’t be afraid to get your flower arranging done a little earlier than you might think. Ideally, you’d want your flowers to be in full bloom for your celebration. Flowers are tougher than they look and if stored correctly (somewhere cool with plenty of water) will last for a long time. They may not last as long afterwards, but much nicer to enjoy a fully open poppy showing off to the world than one looking a little shy and not quite opened up yet. Enjoy it! Flower arranging can be very therapeutic, go with your gut and don’t overthink each stem’s position

Spring floral table decoration for V&A Threads of India fabric collection launch, featuring Icelandic poppies, muscari, tulips, carnations and hellebores

To see more of Alice’s beautiful floral designs, why not follow her on instagram.

 

Our full V&A Threads of India fabric collection is now available in showrooms and online. The fabric can be used across any of our made-to-order furniture designs, or can be purchased by the metre for other soft furnishing projects. Why not order your free samples today?

Varanasi Wilderness from the Sofas & Stuff V&A Threads of India fabric collection
Pugin 3 seater sofa in V&A Threads of India, Varanasi Wilderness Pitch.
Abby Gadd