Post from Paris: Hervé Gambs and the Art of the Fausse Fleur

Post from Paris: Hervé Gambs and the Art of the Fausse Fleur

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 11, 2007

(Welcome to Kristin, Parisian resident, who is testing the waters with us of an AT:Europe and blogging all that's good in Paris. Let us know what you think!)

I never believed in fake flowers -- those unconvincingly made-up little corpses gathering dust -- until I saw Hervé Gambs from the sidewalk. At first, I thought that a new florist had moved into the neighborhood...

But that was just the beginning of the story. The self-titled plant designer makes exquisite calla lilies, orchids, roses, olive branches, fig leaves, asymmetrical Japanese pine trees and more from silk and other materials, plus vases and accessories in organic shapes. Like a Rodin sculpture of a hand, his flowers and plants have veins and a moving, lifelike presence that both pay homage to the source and immortalize it.

Hervé Gambs provides elegant nature-inspired solutions for the urban dweller, the frequent traveler, the pied-à-terre owner, and smart interior designers in need of flower arrangements for restaurants and hotel lobbies. His showroom boutique in the Marais has the feel of a gallery and a winter garden refuge in bleak weather. With its big transparent windows, it's as beautiful to contemplate from outside as from within and full of inspiration for arranging flowers, faux or not.

Hervé Gambs delivers in Paris, just like a regular florist. Once you choose your potted plant, tree or topiary, assemble a bouquet or select even a single stem, you are invited to perfume it with an Hervé Gambs interior fragrance (my favorite is Herbe Coupée, which resurrects the scent of cut grass) before it is wrapped. And because the leaves and branches are designed to be flexible and can be bent at will for a more natural appearance, they pack well and travel easily on airplanes.

- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France

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