This Valentine’s Day, Don’t Say It With a Dozen Roses

February 13, 2015 11:11 PM

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This Valentine’s Day, Don’t Say It With a Dozen Roses

THE IDEA FOR this Valentine’s Day bouquet came to me while re-watching “The Eye Has to Travel,” the 2011 documentary about Diana Vreeland, the compulsively original fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar until 1963, when she became the top dog at Vogue. Ms. Vreeland’s brassy confidence extended to the décor scheme in her living room, a full-throttle rush of reds-upon-reds, from the crimson carpet to the ornate scarlet chintz on the walls. Inspired by this gutsy flouting of traditional taste, I set out to avoid a commercialized version of “love”—which a dozen red roses has come to represent—and create an arrangement that captures real passion.

Around the same time Ms. Vreeland began issuing her radical style imperatives (“Why don’t you paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys’ nursery so they won’t grow up with a provincial point of view?”), the artist Clyfford Still was similarly challenging the conventions of painting. A ...

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