Designer Spotlight: Denise Fasanello
Meet Denise Fasanello, owner and creative director of Denise Fasanello Flowers, a New York City based design studio whose work we love and always love seeing in our social feeds and bridal magazines, and are now thrilled to share with you. Denise details her floral styling with scenes from a beautiful wedding at a NYC hotel, florals for an engagement party, and a runway-inspired arrangement.
Jamali Garden: Tell us about your background. How did you get your start in floral and event design?
Denise Fasanello: I’m a native New Yorker, with a background in the fine arts having studied painting and sculpture at The Cooper Union. Before starting my floral and event design business, I worked as an artist’s assistant, contemporary art curator and managed a well-known architecture firm. These jobs had one thing in common – they were all run by fiercely intelligent and immensely talented women, who in their own individual ways inspired me to go out and define my own creative path. I fell into flower arranging after a brief spell studying landscape design. I realized I’m more interested in immediate results, as sculpting the land takes too much time. After gaining some industry experience by working for a couple of established floral designers I took a leap of faith and opened my own studio.
JG: How would you define your floral style?
DF: I gravitate towards an abundant, lush, artfully arranged floral design. I want the design to feel natural but with a sophisticated touch. This expressive antique black lion handle urn arrangement includes passion vine, geranium, grasses, eremurus, oncidium orchids, scabiosa, garden roses and artichokes. I made this for myself.
JG: This looks like the The Gramercy Hotel. Tell us about this wedding.
DF: This was one of my favorite weddings. It was at the Gramercy Park Hotel on a sunny, early November day – hence the availability of peonies again.
JG: Was there a theme to the décor or a particular color scheme?
DF: This client gave me free reign to do what we do best – create a sophisticated natural design. The palette was to include deep reds as well as some creamy ivories. When using two highly contrasting colors – white and red in this case – I wanted to make sure we avoided a polka dot effect and looked for a soft transitional color to bridge the two extremes. Here we used a muted blush rose and plum-colored berries.
JG: We love this bud vase with these flowers. Where in the space did you use this?
DF: Each long table included the sprawling centerpiece and two of these smaller satellite pieces. Here we popped some clematis and astrantia in an etched mercury glass bottle vase.
JG: Where was this in the space?
DF: This “vase”, an antique silver scalloped glass bowl, is normally used as a votive holder. I like to use it as a low mini vase. Just a few choice blooms creates a striking little arrangement. Here it is on a cocktail table with mini cymbidium orchids, Sahara and black beauty roses, viburnum berry, anthuriums, and eucalyptus leaf.
JG: Where is this and what was the event?
DF: This was a July wedding in New York’s Hudson Valley at the impeccable Blue Hill at Stone Barns. It was the height of summer and we embraced all the season has to offer. Here the long tables had two larger centerpieces with several small arrangements in between. We used seasonal foliage like geranium, Solomon seal, passion vine, garden roses, agapanthus, scabiosa, and clematis, among others. What I loved about this wedding was the client who requested no real color palette but rather trusted us to represent the summertime on their dining tables.
JG: All these greens, blues, and whites together are lovely. Where was this?
DF: This was at the photographer Christian Oth’s studio for his annual holiday party. We simply placed paperwhite bulbs and curly willow in hammered brass pots to create a chic holiday vibe.
JG: We love seeing you in BRIDES. Tell us a little about your editorial work and any other fun projects you’re working on.
DF: I love how BRIDES creates these fun floral and tabletop stories that involve a particular theme. One year they asked for table designs based on classic Ballets, which was very special. Another time they requested centerpieces inspired by couture dresses. Our arrangement included ranunculus, delphiniums, anemones, hyacinths, garden roses, muscari, and more; I especially loved how the frilly sweet-pea blossoms perfectly mirrored the flowing silk pleats on the dress. My company is mostly known for our wedding work, so I don’t get asked to do a great deal of editorial design work. Though we’d be pleased to do more.
I enjoy brainstorming with event planner Laura Remmert. We share a love of romantic floral design and have worked together on number of styled photo shoots. Projects like that keep the creative juices flowing. I have a growing love of interior design and really enjoying creating florals for the home. I yearn for the opportunity to design for a bouquet hotel or restaurant, somewhere I can respond to the interiors season after season.
JG: What are 2 or 3 of your favorite Jamali Garden products?
DF: It is impossible to choose just 2 or 3 favorite Jamali Garden items. I love everything! The mercury glass collection continues to grow and we use a lot this product in our designs. I adore the new collection of brass and gold items. It brings a global flair to ones designs and polishes up even the simplest plant. Lately I have been eyeing all the wood pieces and thinking how I can incorporate them into my designs for the upcoming year. There is this small glass bud vase (not the sexiest of items, I know) that I use all the time and buy by the caseload. Jamali Garden is a constant source of inspiration. No matter what kind of design style you are working with – classic, modern, or earthy, you can find products that will enhance your work. I like Jamali Garden because they have beautiful and useful products, open early, and they have the nicest staff.