Our Lived In Series was created to capture our clothing on a series of women, all pursuing their own creative paths, to see how they live in Kordal. So many women in our lives inspire us with their drive, their talent, and their genuine sense of self. These are the women we design for. They remind us of why we want to design clothing in the first place: to create pieces that encourage comfort, ease, and the unique and honest beauty in each and every one of us.
For this month's Lived in Series we caught up with the incredibly lovely and talented women behind Studio Mondine, a floral design studio based in foggy San Francisco, California. Inspired by the lushness of English garden arrangements and the precision of Japanese ikebana, they look to nature and the changing of the seasons to inform their designs. It's with feverish enthusiasm that they seek out the rarest ingredients, working directly with the finest flower farmers in the nation or cultivating these special blooms ourselves in our small cutting garden.
We took some time to catch up with Amanda and Ivanka, excited to learn some more about the slow flower movement, how they started their studio and what a perfect Sunday looks like, check out our Q&A below to learn more!
Photography by: Sandy Lee @sandyleestudio
You two seem to work so well together! How did you guys meet and come up with the idea to form Studio Mondine?
Ha! As with any courtship, it was when we first met that we both thought we had so much in common. About a year in, the "whoa, we might be polar opposites" realization kicked in. We spent years Two and Three trying to navigate and incorporate our differences. At times, it was messy. Year Four is shaping up to be our best yet -- we're working on celebrating our differences now.
What music are you listening to right now?
We've been called a flower monastery by more than one person because we design in complete silence. I know; it's a bit strange. When we're deep in a design, though, it's VERY loud in the brain.
What do you look for in clothing? How does comfort, design, or material play a role?
Design, comfort, material...it all matters! It almost seems impossible to find a studio uniform because it needs to transition from 'on scaffolding designing a ceiling floral installation' to 'polished and put together in front of clients', and usually in thick summer heat!
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you source your flowers, do you have any favorite varietals? Are there farms you love working with on a regular basis?
I imagine it's a bit like choosing fabric, but this is pure speculation. We look at color, shape, texture, and finish to inform our flower recipes. From there, we look at what the vendors are bringing to the SF Flower Mart, the beautiful and historic flower market at the center of our city. It's been called the best flower market by florists all around the country, so I can safely echo that sentiment without being too braggy. We also love the flowers grown by these woman-owned, woman-run farms: Bluma Farm, Front Porch Farm, Rose Story Farm, and Grace Rose Farm. It's a joy to support these hard-working ladies!
What's the craziest thing that's happened at a wedding?
Oof...crazy bad? I can't recall, but it's likely I've blocked out that memory so well. Ha! How about crazy good? Does meeting Snoop Dogg after his DJ set count?
In the fashion industry more and more people are becoming aware of the issues with textile waste and fast fashion. Is there a similar conversation in the flower industry around sourcing organically grown flowers or keeping sourcing localized? What are your thoughts on this?
Yes, absolutely. The Slow Flower movement is one that's close to our hearts. We're featured alongside our flower heroes in a book called In Full Flower, by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, that does a deep dive of the Slow Flower movement. Our more minimal, intentional floral styling and thoughts on responsible sourcing are closely aligned with this paradigm.
What does your perfect Sunday look like?
Waking without an alarm, working on the crossword over coffee, walking to the farmers’ market for dinner provisions, and arranging flowers cut from the garden before our guests arrive...
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