About Mark Colle
The floral spectacle of Raf Simons’ Dior debut was the work of veteran Paris flower maestro Eric Chauvin and Antwerp-based florist Mark Colle, whose collaborations with Simons have put him and his small flower business, Baltimore Bloemen, firmly on the rise. Colle first caught the attention of the global fashion tribe when Simons enlisted him to create the six strikingly lush, plexiglass-encased bouquets that helped make the designer’s final show for Jil Sander, Autumn/Winter 2012, an unforgettable fashion moment.
But Simons, who discovered Colle’s small, six-year-old shop thanks to its elaborate window displays, isn’t the only one to have taken notice of the young florist’s offbeat sensibility. Colle has also collaborated with Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Hermès on everything from showroom decorations to in-store installations and special projects — and recently worked with Pierre Debusschere on a project for Dazed & Confused.
Colle’s floral style is characterised by unorthodox choices. “I like ‘ugly’ things,” he told BoF. “I like the challenge of working with flowers nobody else likes anymore, or buying five random bunches of flowers at a gas station and combining them until you get something truly amazing.”
“The impact of flowers is very underestimated — and also how much thought goes into it,” he continued. “Every flower I use is very carefully chosen. It can be quite overwhelming. And some ideas are decided at the very last minute, and suddenly you are in a position where you have to find 40,000 orchids where there are only 3,000 available and you have 36 hours left to find the remaining 37,000.”
He believes it is the ephemeral nature of both fashion and flowers that explains the synergy between the two disciplines. “Fashion moves fast and flowers are similar — they come, they bloom and then they’re gone.”