[Maureen Meyer] New York City is as small as it is large. In fact, part of what makes it such an unusual place is that it is filled with such oxymorons. It is indeed the jungle of concrete that it is so affectionately known to be. That said, there is also a natural beauty that crops up in the most unexpected places.
Like 28th Street between 7th and 8th avenues, for instance. This steamy block is fringed with large-scale exotic plants and spindly, fresh-cut branches — all tangled amongst perfect blossoms in every shade. It is also known as the Chelsea Flower Market.
For native New Yorkers, this bustling section of 28th street is not a secret; but the majority have never made a point to visit. In that sense, the Flower Market maintains an aura of secrecy. Vast selections of fresh flowers are transported in before dawn every morning and distributed among the various wholesalers who are filed there. By 8:30 a.m., pickings are slim.
Ashley and I are all too familiar with the Flower Market. Her years in fashion have brought her here countless times. She of course, has her favorite sellers, and they remember her from past dealings — a rare dark shade of peonies needed for a formal dinner, an unusual species of garden rose for a photo shoot, etc. In a place so rich with resources, it is extremely easy to get overwhelmed. If you do not spot your preferred bloom packed into a shelf or strewn in a paper-wrapped pile on the floor, most vendors are capable of having it flown in the next morning … regardless of its country of origin.
She introduced me to this one-block wonder when we started working together over five years ago. It has been a continual source of inspiration both personally and professionally. We walked the block many times in preparation for my June 2009 wedding. We settled on soft white peonies for my bouquet and lush green ferns, topiaries and Irish moss for the tables. The market also offers a host of lovely containers, a few of which complemented the aforementioned greenery; silver mint julep cups, aged terra cotta and acid etched glass. For her own wedding, Ashley chose a “Juliet” garden rose found here to complement her blush-colored, vintage 1930s gown.
Maureen’s white peony bouquet and reception tables lined with miniature topiaries
Ashley’s vintage, blush-colored wedding gown and the peach “Juliet” rose
The market has been an invaluable resource for many of our design collaborations, in particular our line of wedding invitations that launched in fall 2010. There are five categories in our line, one of which involves floral-themed invitations — directly inspired by the Flower Market. We took one week to build the Sensuous collection, for time is of the essence when working with fresh flowers. Up with the bankers each morning, one or both of us would head up to Chelsea and purchase our selected blooms. As the heart of this collection, the flowers truly served as the inspiration for the graphics.
White Hydrangea and the Rosebrook Meyer “Brianne” Suite
Dusty Pink Rose and the Rosebrook Meyer “Jaqueline” suite
Purple Hydrangea and the Rosebrook Meyer “Ella” suite
Flowers are such an important visual aspect of most weddings, and the invitation is the first element that guests see and experience. So it is logical and impactful to have the two be linked thematically. We wanted to create the opportunity for brides to have their elements relate in a beautiful, chic way.
It’s been a long winter in NYC with so much snow that parking rules seem to be suspended on a weekly basis. At times like these, a trip to the market at dawn can remind us that spring is just around the corner.
Maureen Meyer and Ashley Rosebrook are cofounders of the company Rosebrook Meyer. Their recently launched collection of wedding invitations, featured here on Felt & Wire, includes five lines, entitled Sophisticated, Avant-Garde, Glamorous, Classic and Sensuous. The full collection can be viewed here. The designers are business partners, dear friends and mothers to 8-month-old baby girls (who of course are best friends).
Lead Image: Maureen Meyer (left) and Ashley Rosebrook (right) at the Chelsea Flower Market