Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Wedding" Trending at City College of San Francisco



Emerald Green

Design by Heather Logsdon

Trends are one of my favorite topics to explore and teach.  The Floristry Department at City College of San Francisco is very fortunate to have dedicated, passionate and talented design students.  I want to share some of my students design projects with special focus on floral wedding trends of 2013/2014.  The designs are from the 80C Advanced Floral Design class.  The students worked all semester learning classic and contemporary styles of wedding design.  This class is offered in the 2014 Spring Semester beginning Wednesday, January 15th, 5:10pm to 10:00pm.  There are still spaces in the class and time to sign up.  If interested you can register online at

The above bouquet is designed by Heather and she themed her final wedding project "A Mod Loves a Rocker"   She envisioned and was inspired by Vintage 60's fashion and design. The bouquet is composed of craspedia , artistically curled Ti leaves, succulents, tillandsia and a vinyl record collar with stems covered in slate gray satin fabric.  The solid colors, groupings, geometric shapes  and choices of materials categorize it as a contemporary style.  Emerald Green the color of the year is dominate in this bouquet and this is another factor that makes it current.  This bouquet is designed for that special bride who would enjoy this themed styled wedding.

Design by Paula Lam

Paula designed the above scepter bouquet in a clear lomey column.  She has impeccable taste and a natural flair for fashion and trend spotting. Moss, branches and decorative copper wire are designed inside the column and through out the design.  This is pure, clean, simple designing which is difficult to achieve. The gorgeous succulent grown from my home garden is the only specimen used because this diva stands on her own.  This is also a contemporary bouquet featuring a succulent which is still considered a trendy material.  Shades of Emerald Green are also used in this bridal bouquet. 
Design by Jennifer Rossi
The above design by Jennifer displays another scepter concept for a bridal bouquet.  Today the handle treatment for a bouquet is just important as the bouquet it's self.  The bouquet was designed in a pvc pipe which was then wrapped in ribbon and then finished with curly willow and decorative wired pearls. The treatment adds a woodsy flair and a "Once Upon a Time" element.  This would be fantastic for a winter wedding.  The bouquet is designed mainly with white calla lilies and accents of Emerald Green trick dianthus.
Wedding bouquet contrast of Lady Diana and Kate Middleton
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's Wedding Reception
The Royals and Celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have a huge influence on style and fashion.  It's hard to forget Lady Diana's breathtaking cascade bouquet.  This will be a classic to live forever.  Floral and fashion change is evident in Kate Middleton's bouquet above compared to Diana's.  Today we see something in-between these two iconic bouquets with more emphasis in color, texture, unique specimens and accents regardless if the bouquet is structured or loosely design.  Many bouquets of today are themed and tell a story.  Historical periods of time and cultural traditions are influencing designs more than ever. 
Designed by Paula Lam

Paula designed this hand tied bouquet and matching hair piece in a chic Victorian style.  A popular look with brides.  Feathers, Lace, jeweled accessories and high petal count flowers such as David Austin roses and peonies define this style along with antique hydrangeas and a dusty miller collar.  Soft and feminine this look is a sure win.
Design by Olga Llerena

A wedding trend I discuss in class is the revival of the cascade bouquet.  We've seen a new popularity in this classic style.  Many designers are incorporating themed elements and styles into this bouquet along with the brides favorite colors, flowers and foliage's.  Wire and taping were the mechanics used for the above cascade bouquet.  The cascade segment is wired one calla blossom into the other. The materials used are calla lilies, dusty miller, ranunculus, peony, decorative wire and rhinestones.  What a show stopper this is! 
Design by Olga Llerena
Olga has challenged her self even more by orchestrating this European influenced cascade arm bouquet.  Circular shapes are designed with decorative wire and midollino sticks.  Phalaenopsis and rose blossoms are incorporated into the design with accents of eucalyptus pods.  This bouquet is for the forward thinking bride that wants to make a unique statement on her special day.

Design by Fiona Li
Another stunning cascade bouquet by SAIFD student Fiona.  She brings a modern flair to this design by using air plant material which is in high demand.  The circular collar backing, simple clean lines and decorative wire accents make this bouquet contemporary and unique.

Design by Fiona Li
An important aspect to this final project was to accomplish Unity and Harmony with the bridal bouquet and coordinating hair adornment.  Fiona has achieved a beautiful cohesive relationship between these two designs.  
Design by Fiona Li
The picture above shows the handle and collar wrapped with wool and decorative wire.  Wool is one of the latest trends in the United States that we see in designs.  This detailing completes the bouquet and is pleasing and comfortable for the bride to hold.  An important factor a professional florist should do for their client.


2014 Color Of The Year

Group Design by Sachi, Oxana, Fiona and Paula

Moving forward to the trends and styles of 2014 we can study the above unique designs, textures and materials with the forecasted color harmony. The suspended arrangement is a beautiful garden display of ferns and orchids.  We are seeing this look now and even more in the next year. Designers and brides are loving ferns and featuring them in designs. 


Wedding of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
As we end the semester, I reflect on the astounding development of the students technical, practical  and theoretical skills.  I applaud each and everyone one of you for completing the semester and achieving your goals.  I look forward to new beginnings in 2014.  Hope to see many of you in classes again next semester and those of you who are now leaving the City College nest, I wish the best to you with all your floral endeavors!!  Keep on trending because you are the individuals who will start new exciting floral trends!
Jenny Tabarracci AIFD 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Steampunk" Trending at City College of San Francisco

Inspiration Board by Ineke Moss
The STEAMPUNK trend is a curious area to explore. The are many definitions and variations of this trend.  Adventurous, Victorian, Industrial, and Whimsical are words that come to my mind when I think of this trend.  Steampunk started off as a sub-genre of science fiction writing. Today it's a fictional celebration of steam- powered machinery, spring gadgets and modern marvels that can exist during the Victorian era or at any time in the present, past or future. Think of watches and their parts, top hats, corsetry, goggles, winged jewelry, lamps, computers, robots, weaponry, vehicles, bicycles and books. Brass, copper, glass, polished wood engravings, etchings, leather and lace all play a part in this trend. The possibilities in this genre are endless.

 Design by Ineke Moss

Steampunk Corsetry and Petticoat Trend

 Design by Ineke Moss
SAIFD (Student American Institute of Floral Designers) Ineke Moss and Oxana Sanukova  were assigned a special project of creating Steampunk designs for the floral industry with concentration on weddings.  I knew this would be a challenge and these two talented students would bring their passion to the project.  The bouquet above displays a Steampunk flair with the mysterious detailing of  whimsical charms, chains, lace and leather.  These elements begin to tell the brides unique story along with this fascinating genre.  The bouquet was composed with eucalyptus pods, seeds and foliage.  The dominate lotus pod captures our attention and is a fantastic specimen for this theme.  Roses, dusty miller, accenting glass flowers and feathers all bring this trend alive for a Victorian styled Steampunk wedding.

 Design by Ineke Moss

The naturalistic color pallet, lace and micro machinery details of this curious boutonniere  bring us into the world of Steampunk.

The American "Wild West" also plays apart in this trend and I go back to my childhood memories with the television series The Wild Wild West.  The show can be credited as being one of the more visible origins of the Steampunk subculture with its fantasy elements, trains, fashion and technologically advanced devices used by the characters of the program.

Design by Ineke Moss
Design by Ineke Moss
The tarnished brass lamp above is a brilliant way to incorporate Steampunk into a wedding or event.   This adventurous design begins a story with the accenting details of scrolls inside hanging glass vases. Reception guests will be intrigued of what is written inside these suspended time capsule like adornments.

Design by Oxana Sanucova

Floral chandeliers and suspended arrangements can enhance the ambiance of an event. They've gained popularity in wedding and event design.  Oxana's eye catching design above displays her interpretation of a Steampunk floral design.  Using jeweled toned flowers such as hanging amaranthus, tulips, dianthus and roses in deep burgundy, red and a hint of blue eryngium, these materials compliment the antique fixture.  These saturated jewel tones are an iconic color pallet for this trend and a favorite of todays bride.  This beautifully crafted machine like fixture finds its place in the Streampunk genre with key shapes, chains, brass, polish wood and spherical shapes that resemble machinery in motion. 
Inspiration for Steampunk Fashion and Design
Design by Oxana Sanucova

The powerful bridal bouquet design above displays the contrast of soft beauty and industrial texture.   Mechanics of inside a clock are incorporated boldly into the center of the bouquet.  The design characterizes the Steampunk style that would complement a daring bride.

Steampunk Color, Fashion and Attitude

Steampunk is an inspirational source for all designers. I encourage you to explore this genre and become a trend setter in the floral world.  Bravo and many thanks to Ineke and Oxana my assistants this semester for the outstanding work and joining the Steampunk train with me. 








Sunday, September 15, 2013

CCSF "Diversity Dazzles" at the American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium in Las Vegas

City College of San Francisco Champion Student Sungmun Ryu modeling designs by Jim Dempsey AIFD, CFD from his program "Hand/Craft" presented at AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas, July 1st, 2013.

The City College of San Francisco’s SAIFD (Student American Institute of Floral Designers) Menzies Chapter won first place overall for the Student Design Competition at the AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) National Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 27th, 2013.  The Champion Students are Oxana Sanukova, Ineke Moss, Sungmun Ryu, Maria Pettyjohn, Nicole Kastle, Ariel Ermatinger and Imelda Iraeta.






The SAIFD Competition is a popular and exciting event at AIFD Symposium.  It's a breath of fresh air, and a chance to see new talent.  It’s truly a thrill for the students to observe and interact with professional designers/attendees from all over the world as their designs are on display after the competition.  Attendees can choose their favorite student designer and vote for them in the People’s Choice category.  There is a special night/dinner dedicated to all award recipients.   AIFD Symposium to many students is an unforgettable life learning experience that has built a platform for their future.
SAIFD Students preparing materials before Competition in Las Vegas

City College of San Francisco’s team won nine of the fifteen awards and are now the AIFD Student Chapter Champions for the second consecutive year. Seneca College from Ontario Canada placed second overall and Joliet Junior College from Joliet, Illinois place third overall.  There were fourteen SAIFD College Chapters throughout the United States and Canada that participated in the competition with 48 students in the competition.  The design categories were Wedding, Sympathy, Arrangement for an art opening and Body Flowers.  The students had 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the designs.


City College of San Francisco Student Ineke Moss was the First Place Overall SAIFD Champion at AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas, 2013.
City College of San Francisco team member Ineke Moss won four individual awards including first place overall.  Oxana Sanukova won first place Arrangement and third place Sympathy.  Nicole Kastle won second place Sympathy and Ariel Ermatinger won second place in Body Flowers.  The intriguing designs executed by team members Imelda Iraeta, Maria Pettyjohn and Sungmun Ryu contributed to the Overall School Award with the highest average score.

The team’s success is due to outstanding commitment, extreme passion, and diverse backgrounds.  There were five consecutive weeks of practice sessions before the competition.  This was a tremendous commitment and dedication of time for the students and instructors.  It takes a certain type of student to compete and make this commitment. The pure passion and talent for floral design is a key ingredient that instructors look for and are able to recognize in their students as they enter and go through the Environment Horticulture/Retail Floristry program at City College of San Francisco.  Instructors encourage, mentor and lead the path for this developmental process.  Instructors in the Retail Floristry Division at City College of San Francisco are AIFD members and have an extensive background in student competition.
City College of San Francisco Students Nicole Kastle, Ineke Moss and Oxana Sanukova during summer practice sessions before SAIFD Competition in Las Vegas.
City College of San Francisco is known for its diversity and this is also an important factor for the team’s success.  The blending of many cultures into one team produces individual uniqueness and a dynamic creative force.  We have students from all over the world.  This year we had students from Germany, Russia, Korea, El Salvador, Philippines and California on the team.

The Environmental Horticulture/Retail Floristry program and outside organizations such as the San Francisco Garden Club assist with scholarship funding for the student incurred competition expenses.  Kitayama Brothers Inc., one of the largest growers in the USA with over one million square feet of greenhouse and over 20 acres of outside production in Watsonville, California, invites students to participate in their annual open house competition.  This provides an excellent opportunity for the students to practice their newly learned skills before the AIFD National Symposium.
Students are advised and trained by instructors:  Jenny Tabarracci AIFD, CFD, Steven Brown Department Chair AIFD, CFD, Holly Money-Collins AIFD, CFD and Soho Sakai, AIFD, CFD.

Robert Kitayama and Kitayama Brothers Inc. are a major factor in the success of City College of San Francisco's First Place Teams.  Robert stands next to the design of student alumni Julie Harris.  She was a 2012 SAIFD Champion on the First Place Team when the AIFD competition was held in Miami, Florida.  Currently, she is the Designer and Owner of her business Julie Harris Floral Design.
The Environmental Horticulture/Retail Floristry Department is a hidden gem that has existed since the 1930’s.  The department program offers a complete curriculum that maintains strong links with horticulture, flower shop/studio owners, growers, wholesalers and manufacturers. More information about the college and program can be found at                                                                                                              

Instructors in The Environmental Horticulture/Retail Floristry Department at City College of San Francisco:  Jenny Tabarracci AIFD, CFD, Steven Brown Department Chair AIFD, CFD, Holly Money-Collins AIFD, CFD, Soho Sakai AIFD, CFD, Robert Broucaret, Thomas Wang, Auguste Broucaret and Malcolm Hillan.   


The next SAIFD Competition will be held July 3-7, 2014 at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, IL.  You can visit for more information.

Only one month into the Fall Semester and new talent is starting to twinkle..............................................................






Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Product by Syndicate Sales Inc. - "Flexwrap"

Syndicate Sales Inc. displaying Flexwrap at The American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium in Las Vegas, July 2013 on Partners Day.
Amazing how things happen!...... I attended Hitomi Gilliam AIFD and Tomas De Bruyne's Flower Trend Summit at the Dallas Market in January, 2013.  Hitomi requested we bring a new, innovative or clever item to use in Floristry and share it at the Summit. During my brainstorming process to come up with something new for my fellow designers and industry, Co-Flex bandages for horses popped into my head.

This is a bandage that is wrapped around horses legs for protection and decoration.  It comes in all different colors and sizes.  I thought the material was very clever and I decided to play around with it.  I found that it adheres to itself, covers surface fast, and doesn't bleed when put into water or on other surfaces.  These are all good traits for a floral design product.   I tested it more with floral foam, styrofoam, vases, water tubes, bouquet holders and stems.  It provided  new techniques to cover mechanics quickly and aesthetically.  I especially like the way it covers plastic water tubes and is great to use in sympathy work for wreaths, crosses and other forms. 

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD sharing her designs and knowledge at the 2013 Flower Trend Summit in Dallas, TX.

I decided this would be the innovative and clever item I would bring to the Floral Trend Summit.  I shared the product and my experimentations with the group. Trent Harshman the Senior Product/Design Manager from Syndicate Sales Inc. was at the Summit and was interested in the product. I gave him a sample and he went to the manufacture and was able to create lines exclusively for Syndicate Sales Inc.  Wow!! 

 "Flexwrap" was born and is available with Syndicate Sales Inc.  It comes in different sizes, many colors and exclusive prints. They have three lines:  Primary Plus, Wrappin Rainbow and Safari So-Good which comes in a zebra, camo and leopard print.    You can visit for more information and they have a couple of videos on youtube showing how to work with the product.  Leanne Kesler AIFD of Floral Design Institute has a great new video on the product titled:  Garden Hand-Tied Bridal Bouquet. 

Jenny Tabarracci AIFD -  2013 Bouquets to Art design with Flexwrap.
The most exciting part of this product development was seeing it on the design tables at the SAIFD Student Competition in Las Vegas.  This was a surprise to me.  I did not know it would be a material provided for the students.  The whole process had come to an amazing full circle for me and it was a thrill to see AIFD Symposium attendees flocking the Syndicate Sales Inc. table on Partners Day to get a sample of Flexwrap. 

Flexwrap at the American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium for the SAIFD Student Competition in Las Vegas, July 2013.  City College of San Francisco Student Imelda Iraeta preparing her materials before the competition.  Thanks to Syndicate Sales Inc. for providing their great product for the competition.
Beautiful designs by City College of San Francisco Student Oxana Sanukova.  She used the Flexwrap that was provided by Syndicate Sales Inc. in the SAIFD Student Competition at the AIFD National Symposium in Las Vegas, 2013.  These competition designs were for the Body Flowers category. What a great and innovated way to use this new product!

It's so important to share your knowledge and think forward. Thanks to Hitomi Gilliam AIFD for inspiring forward thinking. Trent Harshman for recognizing the potential of the product and forward thinking with development. Leanne Kesler AIFD and many other designers who expanded with even more knowledge.  This is what it's all about.  We need to work together to make our industry strong.  I encourage you to try this new product Flexwrap and see what exciting techniques, tricks and trends you can invent.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hartmann Studios "2013 Client Appreciation Event"

Hartmann Studios - Client Appreciation Event

Jenny Tabarracci AIFD and Michael Daigian

Hartmann Studios held their Client Appreciation Event Wednesday night March 27th, 2013 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, CA. If you want to have a blast and see what's the latest in trendsetting for special events this is the party to attend.  The design possibilities are truly endless at Hartmann Studios.  They are located in Richmond, CA and you can visit them on their website at

I was fortunate to work for Mike Guelfi one of the owners of Hartmann early in my career. When I was employed by Podesta Baldocchi which was San Francisco's oldest floral company (established in 1871) he was the general manager.  This was a valuable experience in my career, I have much respect for him.  He is one of the brightest professionals I've worked with in the industry.

This year Hartmann had four areas " Pop Art Room", " Library", " Oval Salon" and the "Night Club" flowing with embellished decor, delicious catering and fabulous ambiance.  Many prestigious floral designers from the Bay Area displayed their talents along with Hartmanns extraordinary lounges, stunning environmental elements, unbelievable candelabra structures and Gatsby style settings.  Just to name a few of the decor highlights of the night.

Michael Daigian Design was invited to display their tremendous talents for the night.  Michael's creative design team is top notch and it includes Marisa Tsikounas, Jennifer Lato AIFD and Nixon Tran.  They included part of my Bouquets to Art design in the entrance to their show room. The appropriate modifications were made to my design and it was exciting to see how it coordinated  with their room decor.  They took on the challenge of working with the Pantone color of the year "Emerald" and hit it out of the park with sophistication and radiance.  Michael Daigian is a mentor and dear floral friend that I share many ideas and designs with.  It's so important to have supportive and creative individuals like this in your life.   It was great to see the design used again with different elements. 

Michael Daigian seated at his impressive table display featuring Henry Lauder's walking stick with red floral accents playing a complementary balancing act with radiant emerald green.  Stunning!

Table display by Michael Daigian Design

Table display by Nicole Ha Designs

This charming display shows the diversity with the Bay Area Floral Designers.  What a fabulous way to celebrate a special event! 

Table display by Nicole Ha Designs

 Magical detail at it's finest!  What a joy it was to explore these Alice in Wonderland motifs.

Table display by Passifflora Designs

Hartmanns theme was to "INSPIRE, IMAGINE, IGNITE".  This display captured these words and the attention of so many guests. Bravo! 

Thanks to Hartmann Studios for another spectacular night and Kudos to so many talent designers, planners, caterers and patisseries in the special events industry.