Innovative brides searching for a fresh and fashionable approach to floral design are likely to fall in love with the high-style botanical couture of Francoise Weeks.
Her captivating creations — shoes, purses, jewelry, headpieces, even parasols — would fit right in on the runways of Paris or Milan. Each stunning piece is filled with rich detail and constructed with masterful precision by the Belgian-born floral artist.
At her studio in Portland, Oregon, Weeks draws deeply on her roots for the unique wedding and event designs that are her specialty. At the same time, she eagerly looks for ways to stretch the boundaries of her art.
Fashionable, Wearable Floral Art
“Curiosity drives me. I learn a lot through experimenting,” she says. “I became interested in botanical wedding couture about seven years ago.”
Inspired by photographs — and intrigued by the idea of creating something totally new — Weeks began working on the underlying mechanics of wearable floral fashion. The look she calls “Floral Forward” has become one of her signature styles.
ABOVE: Kate’s bright raspberry/magenta petals are offset by green hellebore and succulents in this parasol-shaped bridal bouquet. Even the bottom of this exquisite piece is covered with fine detail. | Photo: Joni Shimbakuro
ABOVE: The elegant, pale pink fluff of a single Charity wedding rose and accents of pieris, green blackberries and trillium, highlight the toe of a shoe encased in cyclamen foliage. | Photo: Joni Shimbakuro
ABOVE: Deep red blooms of David Austin’s Tess decorate a rectangular botanical purse. The shape is constructed of foliage-wrapped foam. | Photo: Joni Shimbakuro
Weeks creates shoes that are wearable, but many brides who don’t plan to wear them ask for the shoes as part of their decor. “One bride wanted a shoe and purse for a centerpiece. Another asked for four different shoe designs to decorate a mantelpiece,” she says.
“The purses have been very well received,” Weeks says. “We do a lot of them for flower girls and bridesmaids” and as decoration. “We did one event where we used them as centerpieces on bistro tables.”
Weeks’ floral headpieces — particularly crowns and fascinators — are also very much in vogue.
“A few years ago someone called me a trendsetter, says Weeks, admitting she thoroughly enjoys “doing things that aren’t being done by everybody else.” At the same time, she’s a popular floral educator who happily shares her techniques with fellow designers at workshops and training programs around the world.
“If somebody copies my work, I don’t mind at all,” she says. “It just pushes me to create something else that’s new.”