Trinity Vetere was flat on her back, fashioning a skirt of twigs and small branches on a feminine form in the Floral Hall at Lauritzen Gardens.
Her boss, Vanessa Nkwocha of EverBloom, was embellishing the strapless lamb’s-ear bodice with a cascade of peach roses and other fresh flowers in autumnal colors.
In less than 24 hours, “Eve” would make her “HortiCouture” debut at a preview party for the 16th annual Lauritzen Gardens Antiques Show. The event, which features fine antiques from 30 dealers, runs through Sunday at Omaha’s botanical center.
“We wanted her to be feminine and strong,” Nkwocho said of “Eve.” Her edgy style includes floral tattoos hand-painted on the body of the dress form by Vetere.
“HortiCouture” also features a garden goddess draped in pink roses by Autumn Richard of Linden Market Hy-Vee; an island girl by Brandy Schreiner of Blooms in Rockbrook Village; a succulent-adorned gown in a feminine silhouette by John Fox Designs and a boho goddess named Anthirium by Elle Seals with Allyson Baffert and Aaron Carlson of Aaron Carlson Design.
Kyle Robino’s floral arrangement for a MATCH Pewter urn is incorporated into the texture-rich display, too, amid mounds of rust-colored mums.
“HortiCouture” is in celebration of the show’s theme, “The Art of Design, Florals and Entertaining,” according to LGAS co-chairs Fatima Basith and Debbie Wood.
“We wanted to speak to millennials’ love of experiences, and perhaps broaden our reach to cultivate a new generation of fans of the antiques show,” Basith said.
Early indications are that Basith, Wood and their committee have put together a record-breaking event for the benefit of the gardens.
“This is a lights-out year,” Executive Director John Newman told a sellout crowd of more than 500 at Friday’s luncheon featuring London-based interior designer and author Nina Campbell. “We’re beating last year’s metrics on every level.”
Thursday’s preview party saw record attendance, while Saturday’s luncheon with French floral designer Christian Tortu and Sunday’s luncheon with Sam Sifton, food editor for the New York Times, were at capacity.
“Sam Sifton has broken all attendance records for a Sunday luncheon,” Basith said.
In addition to the HortiCouture display, there are four “tOpiary” creations in a symbolic “Ode to Omaha,” created by the garden’s horticulture team headed by Victoria Schoell-Schafer.
“ ‘O’ is a beautiful form to work with and an easy way to connect the show with the theme,” Schoell-Schafer said.
The topiaries are an extension of the co-chairs’ goal of broadening the show experience for everyone who attends.
“This is our tribute to Omaha and the beautiful people who live here,” Wood said.