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Episode 120: Francoise Weeks                                

Behind The Scenes: Julia Rose Creates a Floral Gown

I am so excited that Julia Rose offered to walk us through the creation of her floral gown for the QT Fashion Week & Awards…enjoy!

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A few weeks ago I made a gown…a fresh floral gown for the QT Fashion Week and Awards…an Avante Garde Gown completely from fresh flowers and foliage.

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I built the gown in sections & layers. I built to traditional patterns/techniques of floristry, and once the build was over I took a quiet 10 minutes aside, then came back and was blown away! It was huge, opulent and over the top!! I was amazed it had all come from within me…wow!! The build was now a blur and the piece in front of me was truly awesome!!

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But let’s rewind..and start from the beginning, it takes a lot of people to make one 12 hour build run so smoothly..

To start with I had a frame fabricated by a welder. Rod made the frame from sketches, images, rough specs and a very imaginative description of what the gown would finally look like. I was so very excited to see it born…it was the skeleton to my piece..

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He then attached chicken wire to the frame for me, with a bustle at the back…as I wanted to create an 1800’s styled gown.


I spoke with fashion designer Madonna Bain to see if she could design a corset for my mannequin to wear at her unveiling…something green and simple with a natural movement throughout and earthy.


My assistant Christine, the photographer, and I all headed off to the QT around 8pm on Wednesday night (the unveiling was Thursday). We loaded trolley after trolley….after trolley of greenery and flowers + 1 tool loaded with wire,floral scissors, water vials and parafilm.


After a late night (12:30am), we all rose at 4am …ready by 4:30 for the build. We took one of the QT trolleys, placed the frame on it, and started building the “petticoat” with layers of base greenery, like conifer and native foliage.




Once the underlay of the petticoat was made (so the frame was basically covered), we started to apply the top layers to the design, to give it movement, depth, and volume.

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Christine, my assistant, was an absolute darling and went and fetched us breakfast, compliments of the fantastic QT to keep our creative juices flowing….while I went and set up a little make shift  station in the bathroom sink (very glamorous indeed) to make the headpiece.


We got word the stage was up and ready for us to take over!! We loaded all of our its and bits up onto a trolley and headed down stairs..three or four trips later we were ready to go!



The videographer had arrived and helped me manipulate the mannequin’s body into the base… then I climbed inside her skirt and her legs went on!


I applied another few layers of greenery as a top layer to the dress…this time the greenery included things like, asparagus to veil the design, Magnolia & berries to give depth and create feature focal areas to the design.



Next the lovely Madonna Bain, Eco Designer (pictured below), arrived and put on the corset.

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Then the flowers!!! Christine had been putting each flower into a water vial as I was applying the final layers of greenery to the build.


So basically everything was prepped and ready to go… the flowers went on as you would put them in a floral design, flowing as to draw the eye throughout the design, as well as blocking in colours to create focal areas in the design, then green button chrysanthemums to highlight and fill, creating greater visual focus on our feature flowers.




Next step… her arms and head piece went on…then the trail was built…this was all of our left over greenery massed and fluffed up with flowers laid in little water vials throughout.



and here she is…… I hope you enjoy her as much as I enjoyed creating her.

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Thank you …and big smiles to you xx

A big huge heartfelt thanks to the team behind me that helped this creation come to life…

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Thanks, Julia Rose! So grateful for your generosity in sharing this experience with us…


Happy Thursday!

~Special thanks to Amelia Jane’s Photography~



  1. kenju says:

    Very interesting! Beautiful to see.

  2. Paula says:

    Just… wow! So amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  3. anastasia says:

    Beautiful! I love the behind-the-scenes!

  4. floralartvt says:

    I have been dreaming of doing a skirt of flowers for a year or so and this is beyond inspiring and SO informative. Thanks for sharing the process!


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