I'm lovin' New York Magazine's new The Cut, and here's another example of why. Recently, The Cut introduced us to Freakebana: The New, Ugly-Cool Style of Arranging Flowers.
Ikebana is the Japanese art of arranging flowers, writes Stella Bugbee. The centuries-old discipline features spare, off-center compositions of local and seasonal foliage, positioned to emphasize form, line, and color. The practice evolved with Buddhist philosophy, rooted in minimalism and precision, with plants chosen carefully for their symbolism. And it’s an object of renewed interest of late: Deborah Needleman, writing for T Magazine, attributed Ikebana’s contemporary appeal to “its direct and personal connection to nature, its awareness of and emphasis on decay in an era in which our own ecological and environmental ruin feels more vivid than ever.”
"True," says Bugbee. "But there’s also something else happening that has less to do with nature and more to do with attitude."
Freakebana (pronounced free-ke-ba-na) is what I am calling it. The turnt cousin of Ikebana, Freakebana is the art of arranging whatever-the-hell, in a way that nods at the traditional Japanese art form, but subs out years of study for a naive, new-wave naturalism. In Freakebana, the components are more likely foraged from the corner deli, as opposed to a Shinto garden. Good Freakebana mixes sparse, eccentric elements for maximum surprise. Say: pink carnations, cubes of jello, an air plant, and Maldon salt crystals.
Enough romantic, farm-to-vase florists like Floret and Saipua. Yes, the allure of peonies and roses is intoxicating, but how about this more hallucinogenic trend? In this followup visual extravagance for The Cut, Stella Bugbee unleashes floral designer Brittany Asch with styling by Diana Tsui and photography by Bobby Doherty in a freakin' uptown freakebana tour de force.