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  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves

    Flórida Studio

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Photography: Filipa Alves + Portrait CostaMendes 
29 / 03 / 2021
Alongside Liliana Mendes, Filipa Alves speaks to us about her botanical universes, which now also includes a small gallery in the centre of Porto.  
Fascinated by nature since her childhood, it was while creating floral arrangements for the Os Pratos em Volta event, invited by the S.P.O.T. agency, that Filipa Alves came to dream of creating a floral design project, which would also act as a curatorial platform where the raw material is at once “pure beauty” and “an integral part” of the world we inhabit.

What triggered your passion for nature? Perhaps the fact that we both grew up in areas that weren’t so close to urban centres. I grew among the fields farmed by my grandparents where I saw beautiful zinnias, dahlias and roses being grown and our lunches were eaten in the marquee full of ferns and begonias. Liliana was also very much influenced by her grandmother, who introduced her to more traditional flowers. This has given us a certain confidence that has evolved in terms of floral design thanks to our professional experience.

Despite an apparent chameleon-like aesthetic, what is the common identity in all your projects? In the floral domain, we want to demonstrate our mastery of more classical languages but we also seek to express ourselves through bold and dar- ing aesthetics, whether through extravagance or minimalism, but also through the selection of “materials”. This is seen not only in the language of the arrangements itself but also in the staging and the photography – because except in the case of preserved arrangements, the ephemeral nature of the activity means that photography becomes essential, enhancing the final result. We could say that our “Looks” category features more personal experiences that don’t follow any briefing, only our vision. 
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
Where do your raw materials come from? And your inspiration? We enjoy working with seasonal materials from small producers, with what the professional market offers (providing us with more variety) and with natural elements that we gather ourselves. In addition, there is also the artificial dimension, such as the extra colour. We engage in several areas of creativity beyond the floral, but our closeness to nature is very important to all of them, and we are in regular contact with it, reacting to it. We often halt car trips because we want to take something home that we happen to see on the roadside. It might be a living or dead plant. Our inspiration might even start with a vase or with an unexpected colour scheme. You never know.
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
  • Liliana Mendes e Filipa Alves
For more information, visit Flórida Studio website.
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