Making of Vanitas : Part #4 Hunting and Gathering by Flower Couture

Feb - Mar 2016

One of the fun parts of the process is collecting what will be a part of the images. Fine-tuning and detailing these items plays a key role for this project.

Two textile moths made by a british artist, Nia Bird
- Sam Feb 2016

Sam found two beautifully aged textile moths using the used fabric made by Nia Bird. These moths became important items to the theme.


Finding a right material for the theme
- Aya Feb 2016

Finding a right crew is also the key. Sam reached out her past collaborator, MUA Ava Bambico and her friend hair hair stylist Trista Bremer. We were also fortunate to get participation of new models and the models who Sam and I worked with in the past. Stars aligned. Few more days to go!


Making of Vanitas : Part #3 Going Experimental by Flower Couture

Mar 1, 2016

There is something fascinating about objects in decay and it has been my ongoing agenda to express this precious state in life through floral art. For this project in particular, I expressed my wish to use decaying flowers. The word, Vanitas, a genre of dutch painting often uses rotten fruits, wilting flowers, or skulls as subjects to symbolize mortality and vain, seemed to me that it was a right word to describe this project. Sam loved that idea and Vanitas became the official title for the project.

Letting Ranunculus Decay
- Aya Mar 2016

I kept these dark purple ranunculus to let them decay so that I can include the decaying stage of flowers to actualize what Vanitas paintings wanted to express.


Selecting Flowers Based on My Sketches
- Aya Mar 2016


Composition and Lighting Test
- Sam Mar 2016

I was fascinated by Sam's effort, diligence, and knowledge... basically everything she does for the project! She came up with an idea to project my sketches digitally to test composition and lighting.


Fabric Transparency Test
- Sam Mar 2016

Another cool experiment by Sam, fabric transparency test, for some of the models with no-nudity requirement. It was a very new and thrilling process to get to work with her since she does numerous tests to get to the right point and I truly admire her whole scientific approach.

Making of Vanitas : Part #2 Floating Water by Flower Couture

Feb 23rd

I was invited to Sam's photography studio in Oakland for another round of tea party / meeting. Missions : How to achieve "floating water" technically and artistically, Who would be the right models for it, and What materials to prepare.


Final Sketches for Final Composition
- Aya Feb 2016


Making of Vanitas : Part #1 The Origin by Flower Couture

Today, I got an announcement that our floral editorial project, Vanitas, got published on Dark Beauty Magazine with twelve full pages. I am very thankful for this collaboration with Sam Breach and the passionate team! Upon launching our blog with the new interface, I would like to share this collaborative creative process from beginning to completion.


Jan 23rd, 2016

Sam Breach contacted us when we were looking for a runway photographer for our floral show, Impermanence I. Shortly after the show, we received the first batch of her photographs and I was fascinated by her skill combining technological knowledge and aesthetic sensibility. Sam and I realized that we share a lot in common on what we want to achieve through the creation of artworks. And that was the beginning of the saga!

Feb 8th, 2016

I met up with Sam in downtown, SF. After a couple of meetings and cups of tea, we brainstormed some concepts and this collaboration started to move toward a solid direction. We decided on a key concept "floating water" and the date was set for March 5th.

Preliminary Sketches for "Floating Water" Project 
- Aya Feb 2016