C For Men

Fresh Take

by slh

The Japanese Floral Art That’s Everywhere

Ikebana-infused avant-garde florals, with their wayward branches, ugly-cool asymmetry and exotic blossoms, are everywhere: dominating Instagram (where related phenomenon #freakebana has also taken hold) and decorating the most style-forward weddings. The floral artists fueling the resurgence embrace the Japanese tradition’s emphasis on oppositional forces and negative space, while each adding their own spin. “I can’t always pin down where the inspiration comes from,” says Sophia Moreno-Bunge of Santa Monica studio Isa Isa (isafloral.com). “I find it in so many things: from the colors of unfinished, abandoned walls in downtown L.A. to the rivers and hikes in Ojai.” Of the Flowers’ Felisa Funes (oftheflowers.la) courts improvisation in the bounty of The Original Los Angeles Flower Market. “I seek out the ‘weirdos’: whether it’s an outlier in a bunch, or an interesting, unique seasonal product,” she says. Embracing the imperfect, these ephemeral works of art feel intensely personal—a declaration of love for nature’s triumphs and quirks, as recognized in the eye of the beholder. There’s also an inherent minimalist bent, something Ivanka Matsuba and Amanda Luu of San Francisco’s Studio Mondine (studiomondine.com) see as an invitation to look closer. “With less in the vessel, we truly want each ingredient to be savored,” says Luu.