FLOWERSand LIFE

  • Photography by Kazuharu Igarashi
  • Illustrations by Isabelle Boinot
  • Text by Kyosuke Nitta
  • Handkerchief

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Andy Warhol’s art has blossomed into handkerchiefs.
Here are three ways that flowers can fill our lives with color: as works of art, on windowsills and around town.

HOME FLOWERS

A Life Filled with Flowers

Soothing pink bleeding hearts and cool purple lady bells. Red, yellow, green, lavender. With their adorable shapes, these charming, colorful flowers look as if they’re peering out into the sunny yard.

The picture of the window on the above was taken at home by Swedish ceramic artist Marianne Hallberg, known internationally for the trompe l’oeil and blue lines of her style. The fresh-picked wildflowers in a vase of her own making speak to the folksy nature of her lifestyle, and to the esteemed role of flowers in her life.

“My family has been in floristry for generations. Part of my dad’s daily routine was to bring fresh flowers home. My job was to find vases that matched the size and height of the flowers and set them up around the house. Since I spent my early years surrounded by flowers, having them around now doesn’t feel exceptional, so much as a part of life. They’re pretty and smell wonderful, encouraging a sense of calm and kindness toward others. Living in connection with the changing of the seasons gives your life more room to breathe. Flowers provide a sense of well-being that is truly beyond measure.”

After hearing about Marianne’s early life, it makes sense that she would gravitate toward flower vases. But what makes her choose mundane items for motifs, as with her signature perfume bottles (pictured on the above) and water bottles?

Social media post depicting “everyday life” at home.

“If a design is too flashy or idiosyncratic, things can easily get out of hand, so I try to keep it casual. That way the flowers don’t have to put on a show. What makes the natural beauty of the flowers shine through is the blue cobalt oxide, a pigment that has been in use for over 1,000 years. The combo of blue and white is never too pushy, blending in with its surroundings while emphasizing the colors of the flowers. Elegant and chic. Same goes for clothing, right? Better to be relaxed and restrained than conspicuous. These vases work for flowers of all colors. No rules here.”

Let the flowers do their thing. The freestyle hand drawn lines stand out handsomely from the white porcelain, making the flowers feel like something from a long-forgotten sketchbook, come to life. It takes substantial effort not to smile.

What kind of flowers does Marianne like best?
“Primrose, anemone, peonies. . .” and the list goes on. Gothenburg, where she keeps her studio, is plentiful with pretty wildflowers. “I’ll go and pick some more tomorrow.” Her casual tone and expression speak volumes to the richness that these flowers impart to her life.

Social media post depicting “everyday life” at home.

Marianne Hallberg

Ceramic Artist

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden. After traveling around the world in her younger days, she returned to her native Gothenburg and took up ceramics. Her signature style of cobalt blue lines set against white porcelain, which makes the flattish sketches stand out from the glaze, has gained her quite the following. Last year she released a collaboration with a traditional Seto Ware ceramic studio in Seto, Aichi Prefecture.

PAPER FLOWERS

Handmade Flowers Tell a Story

After Jonathan Anderson fell for paper flower brand PAPER EDEN at first sight, he asked Megumi Shinozaki of edenworks to create displays for “Threads in Bloom,” the 2021 Spring & Summer collection from UNIQLO and JW ANDERSON based on the themes of “flowers” and “handmade.” Megumi makes all kinds of different creations using flowers. What is it that draws her towards paper as a medium? “My mother’s always hated throwing away flowers, but she’s also really crafty,” Megumi says, sounding a bit embarrassed but nevertheless proud.

“At her house, a whole wall of the living room is decorated with flowers that naturally dried out. Back in high school, I thought it was so weird. When I asked her why she didn’t throw the flowers away, she said, ‘Because this one is from your entrance ceremony, and this one is from the time your brother won the tournament. This one here is the bouquet I got three years ago, on mother’s day.’ She remembered each one clearly. My mother is also into making flowers out of paper. Whether bundling or cutting and pasting, the work is done by hand. That warm touch, and this idea of making something people can cherish, is what led me to create PAPER EDEN.”

The detail and texture transcend manufacturing, entering the realm of craftsmanship. Although paper flowers are not so hard to come by, PAPER EDEN is all the more appealing for its loose approach to realism. These flowers have a cool and glassy quality, a sense of vacancy.

“I used Japanese paper for my flowers. Either handmade washi from historic papermaking studios in Gifu and Toyama, or momigami, which takes a lot of time and energy to produce. I draw up the patterns myself and paste on all the leaves and petals by hand. It might be more efficient to mechanize things, but I’m afraid it would dilute the overall effect, so when it comes to the details of the petals or the curvature of the stems, I prefer a human touch. It’s also crucial not to try to make the flowers too realistic, or the viewer won’t have any room to use their imagination. That’s why I simplify the features, making sure things don’t get too fancy.”

Paper flowers at UNIQLO TOKYO. The minute details of the flower petals are exquisite.

Using paper gives her freedom, while adding a new layer of meaning.

“Florists are constantly tossing flowers that are past their prime, but paper flowers exist outside of life and death. It looks bad if a cut flower starts drooping, but for a paper flower, it’s fine. That said, the fact they’re not alive doesn’t mean anything’s fair game. The goal is to convey a sense of life, so we do our best to keep them from looking sad. Flowers spread joy, whether you’re giving or receiving. They help us tell the story of the major events in our lives, just like my mother taught me.”

Paper flowers at UNIQLO TOKYO. The minute details of the flower petals are exquisite.

Megumi Shinozaki

Flower Artist

Since 2009, Shinozaki has been producing all manner of floral creations, from department store displays and retail decorations to props and compositions for magazines and advertisements. In 2015, she opened edenworks bedroom, in Yoyogi-Uehara. She also directs EW.Pharmacy, PLANT by edenworks, and ew.note. Her practice of not throwing away flowers, but finding interesting ways to keep them, has earned her lots of fans.

UNIQLO FLOWER

A Hallmark of a Good Town
is a Good Florist.

What makes a florist compelling? At the top of the long list would be an atmosphere welcoming to all, a good stock of fresh flowers, affordable prices, and a strong local reputation.

“Flowers and clothing have a lot in common. They add color to our lives and make them richer. They also help us feel in touch with the seasons. We’d like for you to personalize your flowers, just like you do your clothes. Here’s to a life full of flowers.” Opening with this statement last year at UNIQLO TOKYO, our flagship store, UNIQLO FLOWER is the sort of downtown flower shop that keeps you coming back. To make it easier for anyone to casually stop over, the shop is set up market style, just outside the entrance to the store, offering seasonal flowers for 390 yen per bunch or 990 yen for your choice of any three. Each of the flowers that we carry comes with a card detailing the variety and how it should be cared for, while those in high demand are replenished right away, on the next order. The idea is to provide a space where anyone, regardless of gender or age, can casually drop by and find the flowers that they need among our seasonal selection. Since quality is of the utmost concern, we bring in fresh shipments from the wholesale flower market several times a week. These extra efforts toward building a relationship go a long way in ensuring a good shopping experience.

A community of flower lovers is sure to be an open, joyful place. Flowers have the capacity to change our lives. In that sense, a good florist makes for a good town. Summer is the time for polo shirts and sunflowers. Just like winter is the time for knits and roses. Clothes and flowers both give us a way to enjoy every passing season to the fullest.

Flower sleeve. Water reservoir keeps flowers fresh in transit.

1. On the several mornings per week when a new shipment arrives, fresh flowers create a “sea of petals” by the entrance. 2. Hand drawn signage offers tips for each variety of flower. 3. Flower display in one section of the clothing store.

UNIQLO FLOWER is open for business at our stores in Harajuku, Shinjuku-Nishiguchi, Okachimachi, Asakusa, UNIQLO PARK Yokohama Bayside, and Sagamihara-Chuo.

UNIQLO TOKYO

1F-4F, Marronnier Gate Ginza 2,
3-2-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
OPEN 11:00-20:00 Daily

UNIQLO TOKYO

*Days and hours of operation subject to change.

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