My name is Petr Anokhin and this is the story of my floral work that has already appeared on the pages of magazines more than once. One story, where luxurious bouquets of new varieties of Chrysanthemums and Alstroemerias were presented by charming girls in national Kyrgyz clothes, was especially liked by readers and I therefore, found a wide response among social media subscribers. Join this experience with me!
My Floral Arrangements Explore Kyrgyz Culture
I want to share the magic of this shoot and how it went, along with the incredible emotions and impressions everyone who took part in them received.
The start of this new project took place back in February, and for the first story, my idea was born to shoot white-on-white – snow-white Tulips against the backdrop of snow. True, spring in Kyrgyzstan comes much earlier, and it turned out that pure white snow can only be found at the end of February high in the mountains. The idea of a crazy florist-photographer was supported by my brothers, Ivan and Artem. On snowmobiles loaded with flowers, we went to the ski base 'Karakol', located in the Issyk-Kul region. Here, in Soviet times, the training of the country's Olympic team took place.
A Crazy Experience in Kyrgyzstan’s Mountains
We raised equipment and materials to a height of 2,300 meters. How worried I was that the insulation of the boxes would not withstand the weather. The icy wind beat in my face, we rushed up, and I had one thought in my head - if only the flowers would not freeze. But everything turned out well, fortune smiled at us. Of course, I could not do without bright colors - the spectacular red dress and national headdress perfectly combined with the unusual make-up of the beautiful Malika, who steadfastly withstood all the difficulties, for which I am incredibly grateful and grateful to her.
Tulips, birch twigs with earrings, fragrant daffodils, and mimosa helped to embody the image of spring with an oriental flavor. And on the way back, everyone got tremendous pleasure and fully enjoyed the speed and amazing beauty of the landscapes: sparkling snow, tall fragrant Tien Shan firs on the slopes of the mountains. A state of absolute happiness!
Filming continued after March 8, when I arrived in the city of Tokmok for the Navruz holiday. Early in the morning, our team moved towards the ruins of an ancient settlement, where the trade routes of caravans from China, India, and Central Asia intertwined in past centuries. It was simply breathtaking when we imagined that the richest capital city with the Khan's palace once towered on this field, from the former grandeur of which there were memories and the Burana tower, an ancient minaret of the 10th-11th centuries made of burnt bricks. But once upon a time, life was in full swing here. Therefore, my bouquets are a tribute to the memory of those distant days.
Flower Bouquets That Were Born Through My Creative Mind and Historical Perspective
An intricate accessory woven from birch branches and decorated with carnation petals, sprouted pea beans, and willow blossoms with the addition of bright red beads, like a winding path leading through the pages of the past. A bouquet with red roses was made for the image of a Kyrgyz girl. Flowers in combination with leaves and flowers of dry milkweed indicate that very soon magnificent bright red poppies will bloom here, and the green slopes of the mountains will turn into a wonderful living carpet for several weeks.
Kyrgyzstan is a multinational country that has become a home for different peoples who, by the will of fate, settled in these places. One of these is the Dungans, whose historical homeland was China. And since the shooting took place in the area where these wonderful people lived, for my project, in addition to the Kyrgyz outfits, I also chose the national Dungan ones.
I was lucky to meet designer Halima Matsurova, who initiated me into the history and traditions associated with these costumes. The Dungans, remaining faithful to the customs of their ancestors for a long time, preferred to wear outfits of blue shades. And today, a blue outfit is worn on the occasion of a celebration, wedding, or holiday, but red colors came into use later.
The white bouquet is made up of roses, tulips, hippeastrum, carnations, alstroemerias, and white flowers containing a symbol of purity. The frame of the bouquet is decorated with thin threads that smoothly sway to the beat of the girl's movement, attracting the eye. For a red wedding dress, I made a crescent-shaped bouquet of snow-white callas, the strong stems of which are easy to bend.
Truly Inspired by Kyrgyzstan’s People and Culture to Create a Stunning Wedding Look
To create another wedding look, I came up with an unusual headdress. The conciseness of the lines is reminiscent of the roofs of Chinese pagodas, which at one time happened to be seen while traveling along the banks of the Lijiang River. The upper part and collar, woven from pine needles, slightly cover a wreath of carnations, decorations with sprigs of blooming apricots with delicate pink flowers.
The girl has earrings with delicate carnation petals in her ears, and in her hands, she holds a miniature bouquet, shaped like a scarf, with which the bride, according to local customs, bowed to guests and relatives. When I saw my clock, I noticed how time flew by unnoticed and how much all the participants enjoyed it immensely, plunging into the creative process. My team included two wonderful florists from the city of Tokmok with melodic names Svetlana and Alina, they helped me to realize my plan and collect various materials of the local flora. I hope that our story will not leave you indifferent, and do not judge too harshly. I can be your guide to the world of Asian floristry.
Floristics and photos: Petr Anokhin @petr_anohin_. Models: Malika Turdieva @ur_m_, Alina Dzholdosheva @alina_dzholdosheva, Alina Sabyrkulova @alinchik_94.01. Dungan outfit designer: Halima Matsurova @platiye_tvoey_mechty. Technical support: Freeride Karakol company @freeride_karakol.