Edit 5+ Event Styling, Lisa Madigan
Artist, florist, stylist and style maven - these are just a few words we would use to describe the talented Lisa Madigan. Lisa works closely with her clients creating the most incredible events combining her love of art and floristry. Her work extends from private events through to product launches, weddings and of course styled shoots and editorial.
I'm lucky enough to own three of Lisa's original artworks ( check them out HERE ) and from time to time, when in Sydney I bump into Lisa at the flowers markets as she prepares for one of her beautiful events. Not quite awake at 5am, I shuffle with a tea in one hand and my basket in the other weaving through the market stalls hot on the heels of Lisa taking note of what she is adding to her ever growing pile of foraged goodies.
Lisa's credits her flawless event style to a few tips/tricks.
The Story: The events you remember are the ones that connect. There's an undercurrent of truth & story & something unique. You feel welcomed. You feel special. You feel like you've been a part of something important. There are so many ways to make an event more personal & it doesn't always need to be glaringly obvious. Perhaps it's with an ingredient that features on the menu that has meaning to you, or you just simply love it, perhaps it's a sentimental flower, maybe it's something from the region you're in that brings the space to life. It could even be a little something for your guests to take home with them as a memento or using your heirloom crockery. Look at why you're bringing people together & what it's for, then ways to invite that story to unfold through the setting & aesthetic, through the flavours & the feel.
The Feel. Take a step back & have a look at what covers the foundations of your event. Where will it be, what time of day is it, what is the occasion, what kind of space will it be in. These all play a huge role in the feel of what your guests will experience. Work with your surrounds rather than fighting against them, embrace the textures, perhaps even integrate some of the colouring into what you bring in to the space. Have a think about what you're wanting it all to feel like. A warm & inviting, intimate gathering, or something grande. By working with this in mind, your creative elements also bring in a new meaning & rather than just dressing, they're there to enhance the deeper feeling of it all.
The Flow: Exploring & developing the flow of an event is just as important as picking your champagne or tweaking your signature cocktail & if you're anything like me, that's a pretty top priority. Without creating a framework, everything can dissolve & special opportunities may be lost. Create the structure. Perhaps it's drinks in one section, split by a welcome & then allow everything to progress naturally. There's nothing wrong with a timeline, even if you're planning a dinner at home for your nearest & dearest, jot it down & then also be sure to allow things to progress naturally. Your guests will appreciate the thought that has gone into it & they will feel appreciated. It also allows an event to evolve.
The Creative. Clarity, consistency & cohesion. Be incredibly clear with your creative direction, go wild in the process of getting there if you need to, but be incredibly clear with the end result. Sometimes more is less & less is more, be clear on how your styling & finishing touches will impact the overall space. Keep coming back to the key ingredients, your story, the feel & the flow. What are the things that are going to bring these to life, is it one kind of flower, just lots of them, or a paired back minimal setting with a focus on beautiful texture. Look at colour, texture, abundant bulk or streamlining with one statement element, refine it & keep it simple. Find the things that inspire you, draw from them & make something that is truly your own. Be honest, with the seasons, with the setting, with what the event is in aid of.
The Organisation: It's like the old measure twice, cut once rule, the more organised you are, the smoother everything will run & the easier everything will be. If you can enlist the help of professionals, do. If you're planning on hosting something yourself, be sure to give yourself enough time, more time than you think you will need, both in the lead up & on the day & remember that preparation is key.
Ultimately, whatever the occasion, it should be a celebration, what else would we be getting together for, so, embrace it & enjoy. Lisa x