Every year, for the first week of spring, David Jones puts on a spring flower show in their Elizabeth St store in the city. They fill the windows with incredible blooms and completely overwhelm the ground floor with massive arrangements.
When I worked at a florist I worked on putting the show together one year. It is a mammoth effort! We had little more than three days to prepare and install everything, working in the store's basement and back rooms and avoiding moving through the main floors during opening hours. It was like being backstage on some strange film set - where the film was ladies shopping in the store. We worked 20 hours a day - and in those few precious hours sleep I dreamed of running up and down stairs with buckets of water, or trying to fit huge branches of gum in to service lifts, with the looping music in the background (it played all day AND night!!).
Now when I go to see the show, I don't just see magical displays of colour, but I see HEAVY branches perfectly perched, MOUNTAINS of melons balanced in symmetry and completely spotless floors - not even one drop of water spilled and left.The tireless efforts of a small team of florists.
This year the theme was a general 'Australian' theme, with no expense spared for the 25th anniversary of the show. I love the variety of flowers used, from dry green gum, to vibrant orchids. I also enjoyed getting the reflections of the city streets in my photos of the window displays.
I have to say, I am never blown away with the combination of fashion and flowers. When I worked on the show the fashion was coordinated by the store, and the flowers by the head florist. While they clearly communicated about the theme of each window, there wasn't great cohesion - colours were often slightly off or textures just a but mismatched. I would love to see one person build the whole picture - I think it could be quite incredible.
Now the inside... The ground floor is women's cosmetics. Each section had different theme.
A guide to the flowers used - displayed in test tube vases. And the David Jones pianist - a much appriciated break from the monotonous repeating soundtrack normally played in the store! (You probably haven't ever noticed the music they play... and I didn't either until I spent three full days with it in my head!)