The return of the ‘90s flower: meet the florist putting gerberas in the spotlight again

Home / The return of the ‘90s flower: meet the florist putting gerberas in the spotlight again

Image credit: Hattie Molloy

What goes around, comes around. It might be a cliché, but in the fashion, design and art worlds, nothing could be more true. From the return of the ‘80s silhouette in our furniture to the continuing reign of the ‘90s in fashion, designers, artists and makers all over the world can’t stop drawing inspiration from the near-past. Now, it seems our love for nostalgia has made it all the way to the flowers we want in our homes. 

“Flowers used in floristry can be considered like any other artistic practice — art, fashion, and music — there is always room to look back at history and take it forward to contemporise past ideas,” says Hattie Molloy, a Melbourne-based florist making waves for her unconventional use of traditionally dated flowers. 

Focusing on colour and shape, Molloy’s arrangements are less about quantity and more about telling a story and conveying a feeling. Works of art, but for the everyday. 

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Image credit: Lucas Dawson Photography

“I would consider carnations and gerberas to be making a real comeback,” she says. “Gerberas have recently been a huge component in my work, as I was inspired by a new colour variety. I enjoy the challenge of using any flower that inspires me, even the ‘90s gerbera, a flower some might consider an uninspiring flower from the supermarket, can be given a second life on a contemporary platform.”

It’s a bold statement, and one some florists would balk at. Known for their plastic-wrapped, often cartoonish-like flower, the gerbera is one plant most contemporary arrangers would steer clear of. But, as Molloy’s healthy Instagram following and sold out workshops will attest, it’s clearly got an audience. 

Image credit: Hattie Molloy

Molloy’s unexpected love of gerberas and carnations follows a wider industry trend valuing individuality and unpredictability, which has seen fellow Australian florists like Christelle Scifo of Fleurette and Ruby Mary Lennox find success in offbeat, sometimes peculiar arrangements, often featuring single stemmed flowers, individual pieces of fruit and sculptural, pared-back silhouettes. 

Image credit: Hattie Molloy

“I always say to keep it simple,” Molloy advises when trying out an unusual flower for the first time. “Use it on mass or with only one other flower variety. Any flower can be stimulating on mass, the dynamic form which the flowers are arranged into is particularly important, this allows the eye to dance though the arrangement.”

Image credit: Hattie Molloy

As for what’s next, Molloy doesn’t have the answers. But, just like with the humble gerbera, it’s best to check your expectations at the door. 

“I never thought I’d see the day where I would be obsessed with a gerbera… so anything is possible! The shedding of preconceived opinions about any material in a creative practice allows room to reinvigorate old ideas.”

Image credit: Hattie Molloy

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