Fleurotica, a unique floral fashion show, returns to Garfield Park Conservatory

Fleurotica returned to Garfield Park Conservatory November 5.

Fleurotica, Chicago’s only floral fashion show, returned to the Garfield Park Conservatory in grand style on November 4. The show featured 15 local floral designers who created runway looks made entirely from plants, flowers and natural materials. Over $150,000 was raised to support the programs of the 113-year-old Conservatory.

Following check-in, guests meandered through rooms of lush plants uplit with dramatic lighting. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were presented by Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar and DJ All the Way Kay provided the beats. The event opened with a performance by The Joffrey Community Engagement Exelon Strobel Dancers.

A’Vents by August design.

Like most every other event of late, Covid caused changes. Fleurotica went virtual in 2020 and, even this year, supporters could watch from home if they chose this option.

Samantha Chatman (ABC-7) served as the emcee with Jennifer Van Valkenburg, president/CEO of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, welcoming the crowd. Valkenburg became emotional talking about the impact of Covid and congratulated her staff, who never missed a day, and her gardeners who have maintained the grounds to perfection in spite of the pandemic. She shared some stats about the “Chicago treasure” that was recently voted the #1 Garden in North America. The Conservatory features14 acres of gardens, 8 indoor display houses under glass and is home to two plants that are over 350-years-old!

Pinky Swear Studio design.

Participating floral designers were A. Hunt Design, Amy Crum Designs, A’vents by August, Blumgarten, Brittney Kee Floral Design, Chalet Nursery, Dominque Struck, Flower Child, Luz Cardenas, Noble Terraria, Pinky Swear Studio, Planks & Pistils, Sprout Home and Vitruvian Fine Art Studio. Sprout Home’s presentation brought the crowd to its feel as the model unsnapped her “short” floral dress and it fell to the floor in a riot of fall colors. A’vents by August’s high-low dress design was made up of brightly colored tropical flowers set against a backdrop of hanging ferns. A dramatic floral headpiece finished the look. Glamorous hair and make-up was provided by the Tricoci Salon/Spa.

Sprout Home design team.

Fleurotica was co-chaired by Julie Sacks and Erika Summers. The Sacks Family Foundation was the presenting sponsor. Funds raised supported the Conservatory’s nature education. (Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Avenue, garfieldconservatory.org) (First published in Chicago Star Media)

Fleurotica 2021 finale.

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