Moody Fall Florals With Entriken Studio's Katherine Carothers
Katherine Carothers is an artist with many passions—fashion, sculpture, and photography, to name a few—but her eye for the art of floral arrangement has resulted in opening her own Brooklyn-based studio. Utilizing all of her interests, Entriken Studio produces an array of floral work that exudes Katherine’s spirit and charm. We were lucky enough to collaborate with her on arrangements inspired by our F/W ‘15 collection for a press event a few months back and wanted to pick her brain about her career arch and some tips for selecting florals for fall.
Give us a little background on Entriken Studio. What’s the story leading up to its inception?
Entriken is my grandmother Jeanie’s maiden name. She was a watercolorist and my favorite works of hers were her flowers paintings. The name Entriken is my homage to her and her love of botanics that was passed down to me.
I grew up in sunny California combing the beaches barefoot and freckled, jumping off bridges, having bon fires and flower picking with my friends, fellow salty haired little ladies. We were always picking up found objects (shells, rocks, frogs, wild flowers growing at the edge of the shore) and taking them home to create little collages. Growing up by the the beach can be so magical so when I moved to New York it was super exciting and fun, but I knew I was missing something.
In the winter of 2009 I interned with Saipua, a florist and soap maker in Brooklyn. It was one of the dreariest January’s that I have ever experienced since moving to this concrete jungle. It was dark and depressing. I had a kind of spiritual longing and needed a breath of fresh air and some beautiful blooming nature in my life. Walking through the blizzardy mess into a beautiful flower haven three times a week got me hooked! (On a side note: I am a Sagittarius and we need 50% city and 50% nature to keep sane so it seems that it was a natural progression.)
Sometimes being a florist means that you are living in an eternal spring. You get to spend 8-10 hours a day with beautiful mother nature surrounding you. It’s hard work and a lot of manual labor, but the beauty of it all seems to add up in the end and is totally worth it.
How did your other passions and studies in fashion, sculpture, and photography culminate with you opening your own flower studio?
I’ve always loved making things and creating a world to sustain my visual fantasies and it would be a fib to say I didn’t find the instant gratification very appealing. The funny thing about flowers though is that they are allotted a short amount of time to be here and then POOF! They’re gone. It’s a full circle in that sense, which I love, but I guess sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to all those beautiful blooms. That’s why there are cameras to take photographs, one of the reasons I love taking photos as well. In my humble opinion, it’s really all the same, just another medium. Making a beautiful dish to eat, writing a story or a poem, shooting…they all have a very similar process in a way: problem solving within a structure and then breaking all the rules if you want!
Where do you typically source your flowers? What makes you pick a certain kind of flower over another? What is the floral “criteria”?
I like to use all kinds of flowers, foliage, and plants depending on the mood or what I am envisioning for the project. I don’t have a favorite flower per se. It really depends on the season, but I can’t help but love the Wabi Sabi. Beautiful defects. Also, I think once you start looking at so many flowers you realize that the ones that are perfect aren’t as special or you just get bored of looking at plastic pretty. You want to find that flower with the freaky bend in its stem with a sprinkle of an opposite random color on its petals.
I try to source my flowers locally whenever possible and in season, but I can’t all the time unfortunately. Local flowers a lot of times are more unique and harder to find. Flowers are often grown on trend and that dictates what’s being sold at the market. I also believe that it is important to support the people in your community.
How would you describe your floral aesthetic? What makes it unique?
Natural and surreal, but I also enjoy the juxtaposition of the unnatural in the supernatural.
(some of the Entriken arrangements from our press event)
Can you tell us a bit about the flowers and branches you used for our press event back in April? How did the colors and textures of the collection inspire your choices?
The contrast of the delicate hand embroidery and sumptuously rich silks in soft blush and bold burgundy in the Kung Katherine F/W ‘15 Collection inspired the use of cherry blossoms due to their coarse deep brown branches and silky muted pink delicate blooms. Pairing plush peonies, hellebores and scented jasmine seemed to match the delicate but strong beauty of the collection.
Any tips for choosing florals for the fall season in general?
Fall is a great time to get out and breath in the fresh cool air of the new season, go apple picking, do a little foraging and get inspired by nature’s autumnal colors. You don't need much to create a beautiful arrangement for your mantle or to decorate a dinner table. Right now we are surrounded with rich, dark and moody hues. Flowers, berries and foliage have a special kind of graphic sculptural effect that help create drama and the unexpected when combined. On my mantle right now is a simple clear glass cylinder with feather eucalyptus draping out and over the side, brunia, rusty pink viburnum clustered, and deep mustard spider mums layered and nestled all at different heights.