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Snag Some Floral Inspiration From This Women's-Empowerment Pop-Up Exhibition

Just in time for Women's History Month, "FEMMES" from floral experiential company Fleurs de Villes is headed to 16 cities across the globe, highlighting history's revolutionary women with over-the-top floral displays.

FEMMES, Fleurs de Villes
Kicking off March 30 in Chicago, "FEMMES" will travel to cities around the world to host more than 35 free pop-up shows featuring floral-clad mannequins of trailblazing women, such as this one of Queen Elizabeth, which was crafted by "fleur"ist Amie Bone and inspired by how the Queen appeared in the painting "The Ditchley Portrait."
Photo: Veronica Castillo Photography

The Me Too movement was coined by Bronx, N.Y.-based activist Tarana Burke in 2006, and went viral through the use of the hashtag #MeToo in 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted to support victims of sexual assault who spoke up against Harvey Weinstein. Now, in 2022, inspired by the Me Too movement—and in perfect timing with Women’s History Month—Vancouver-based floral experiential company Fleurs de Villes is putting on "FEMMES," a pop-up series dedicated to female trailblazers and harbingers of change throughout history.FEMMES, Fleurs de VillesEach floral mannequin is accompanied by a QR code that leads to a biography of the woman being honored. Here, Grace Kelly has been adapted "en fleurs" as she was photographed wearing an Edith Head design cut from $4,000 worth of French satin.Photo: Veronica Castillo Photography

Kicking off March 30 in Chicago, "FEMMES" will travel to cities around the world, including Costa Mesa, Calif.; Toronto; Edinburgh, Scotland; Sydney; and Johannesburg; each event will feature mannequins modeling ensembles made entirely out of flowers and inspired by the likes of Billie Jean King, Oprah Winfrey and Joan Didion. By Sept. 25 of this year, the bespoke pop-up will have traveled to 16 cities in four different countries to host more than 35 free pop-up shows in town plazas, malls and shopping centers alike.

“Everyone loves flowers, and everyone has their own story to tell about flowers," co-founder of Fleurs de Villes Tina Barkley told BizBash. "Through the Me Too movement, we have learned a lot about so many remarkable women, so we decided to bring the two together."

Designed as a self-guided exhibit, "FEMMES"—which translates to “women” in French—is not just about stopping to smell the flowers. Fleurs de Villes’ team has also created a unique QR code to accompany each mannequin, which leads guests to a biography of the woman being honored. “We do this all in-house,” Barkley added.

The mannequins, which are made out of thousands of blooms, are constructed by the company’s team of “fleur”ists, who are selected for their “sound understanding of mechanics,” Barkley said, adding that, “several florists, even experienced ones, can be timid about joining the show, but we have a great support and mentoring system in place to help them.”

“We like to give the florist as much creative license as possible, because this is what makes participating in Fleurs de Villes so much fun for these artists. The designs begin a couple days prior to the start of the event using materials that will last, dry or age gracefully. Forms are built, equipment is prepared and flowers [are] conditioned. Then, the process moves on-site, and that usually takes a full day. It’s a fairly detailed process, but the results speak for themselves,” Barkley explained.

Keep scrolling for a closer look at Fleurs de Villes’ "FEMMES."
FEMMES, Fleurs de VillesAlong with mannequins modeling the likes of Billie Jean King, Oprah Winfrey and Joan Didion made entirely out of flowers, Audrey Hepburn (pictured) will be captured through flowers as she appeared in My Fair Lady when it debuted in 1964.Photo: Veronica Castillo PhotographyFEMMES, Fleurs de VillesCaroline Astor, a prominent socialite throughout the late 19th century, was constructed with thousands of blooms by "fleur"ist Anne Hess.Photo: Veronica Castillo Photography

FEMMES, Fleurs de VillesKatharine Graham—the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company and the first female newspaper publisher in the U.S. when she headed The Washington Post—will appear in "FEMMES."Photo: Veronica Castillo Photography

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