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April 21 2014

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Flower Guru Carlos Mota Has A Machete And He’s Not Afraid To Use It

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“Any china, any soup tureen, any teapot or coffee pot will make a pretty vase with two or three flowers. Any glass bottle, any sauce bottle, any beer bottle. I just found these great paint cans from Home Depot that cost like three dollars, and they’re amazing.” Just some of the floral advice Carlos Mota was doling out last night at a party for his new book, Flowers Chic & Cheap.

“The idea of the book is basically, don’t be afraid of flowers,” Mota explained. For the party, he’d imported a burst of pink azaleas, peonies, and roses into a suite at the Mercer Hotel and dressed to match them. Among the guests who stopped by to smell the roses: Amanda Brooks, Tory Burch, and Francisco Costa (pictured, right, with Mota and Brooks), whose minimalist designs for Calvin Klein are a nice reference point for amateur florists. “You’ve got to be careful when you start mixing and you don’t know what you’re doing,” Mota pointed out. “The safest thing is to stay with one color and one flower.” Mota’s cheap-chic philosophy makes more of less, so no fancy flower market needed—not even, he went on, a corner deli. On photo shoots for Elle Décor, where Mota is a contributing editor, the Venezuela-born stylist has raided meadows and backyards everywhere from Minnesota to Marrakech. “Any branch from any tree,” he said. Don’t be afraid of flowers? It’s the flowers that should be afraid. “Watch out, trees, I’m coming over with a big machete!”

Photo: Courtesy of Carlos Mota

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