Music luminaries and fans who turned out (and tuned in) last weekend for the 61st annual Grammy Awards saw performances by Dolly Parton, Brandi Carlisle, H.E.R. and more — but they also got an eyeful of some truly stunning flowers and floral designs on the red carpet.
For the 10th year, the Chicago-based floral designer Tu Bloom served as the official “botanic artist” for the awards. This year’s impressive display took three weeks of on-site coordination to pull off — and some strategic collaboration with other industry groups, including Suntory Flowers, Mellano and Company and the Los Angeles Flower Market, to bring together the roughly 15,000 stems needed to make the designs shine.
One unusual challenge facing Bloom and team this year: weather. Namely, unusually cold temperatures and lots of rain in the Los Angeles area.
“My entire team has to adapt to any last-minute changes,” Bloom explained during a news segment for Chicago’s WGNTV before the awards.
During the segment, he walked viewers through the complexities of the big job and even shared a common concern among floral designers when it comes to events. “I always talk about having to trick our flowers into opening up a little early,” he said, as he worried that some of the Asiatic lilies were still in tight buds. (Bloom also reassured viewers he had a plan to encourage those buds to open by red carpet time.)
Among the flowers Bloom used this year: Suntory’s ‘Applause’ blue roses and Moon carnations. Bloom and Suntory first connected at the Chicago Flower Show, where the designer expressed his appreciation for the company’s Senetti plants. Last year, when the Grammys were held in New York, Bloom tried to source those plants, but the growing season didn’t sync with the awards program. Instead the company suggested the carnations and ‘Applause’ as an (aptly named) cut flower alternative. Suntory supplied 3,000 of the 15,000 stems used this year, with others, including Mellano and Company (in Los Angeles) and the Los Angeles Market, serving as partners in flowers and logistics.
As for this year’s designs, “Tu was definitely going for a glamorous, Hollywood, art deco look,” said Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers’ marketing manager. “I think the white gladiolas really added something to the arrangements this year, plus some foliage painted gold. He was very mindful of creating a contrast between the purple flowers, gold Grammy awards and red carpet. For the more general hospitality arrangements for sponsors, like Bulova and Hilton, adding white flowers made them pop and look really fresh.”
Read more about Bloom, including additional behind-the-scenes takes from the Grammys, his perspective on plant trends — and what it was like to meet Elton John.
Mary Westbrook is editor in chief of Floral Management.