By Jill Brooke
Fleurs de Villes is bringing their fab female icon show to The Shops at Hudson. Yards with “FEMMES,” a 10-day immersive, floral show starting October 7-16th.
The installation with 10 ft tall jaw-dropping floral mannequins is free and open to the public from 12 pm to 5 pm – and I will be one of the judges on opening day. Come by and say hello and be dazzled by these floral sculptures and interpretations of such iconic women as it returns for another year.
The floral sculptures will be of the following trailblazers.
● Bella Abzug – Lawyer, social activist, and US Congresswoman from New York. She was an outspoken advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment and a leader in the women’s rights movement.
● Bette Midler – A film, TV, and Broadway actress, comedian, and singer. Midler was awarded a Kennedy Center Honors in 2021.
● Billie Holiday – An American Jazz Singer who grew up in Harlem. Nicknamed “Lady Day” she had an innovative influence on jazz and pop vocals, and was known for her incredible pitch control and improvisational skills.
● Chita Rivera – Film, television, and theater actor, singer and dancer. Rivera originated the role of Anita in West Side Story on Broadway.
● Edith Wharton – Considered the Grande Dame of American letters, Edith Wharton wrote 40 books in 40 years, including “The Age of Innocence,” for which she won a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, thus becoming the first woman to do so.
● Eleanor Roosevelt – Diplomat, humanitarian, and first lady of the United States from 1933 – 1945, Roosevelt became chair of the UN’s Human Rights Commission and helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
● Fanny Brice – Fanny Brice was one of the greatest vaudeville stars of all time. Brice’s remarkable life was the subject of the musical “Funny Girl,” which is now back on Broadway, starring Lea Michele as Fanny Brice, at The August Wilson Theatre.
● Frida Kahlo – Possibly the most well-known female painter of modern times, Kahlo is famous for her ground-breaking self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of her native Mexico.
● Gloria Vanderbilt – While she became known early in life as the center of a widely publicized custody battle, she carved out her own place in history as an artist, author, and fashion designer.
● Jennifer Lopez – Actor, singer, and dancer from the Bronx, Lopez is considered the most influential Hispanic entertainer in North America.
● Lady Gaga – New York-born singer-songwriter and performance artist known for over-the-top fashion and performances, she has successfully crossed-over into acting, with her latest roles in the movies House of Gucci and A Star is Born.
● Leontyne Price – an American soprano with a long association with the Metropolitan Opera, where she was the first African American to be a leading performer.
● Malala Yousafzai – A Pakistani activist for female education and human rights, Yousafzai is also the youngest person in the world to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
● Serena Williams – Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, the tennis champion announced her retirement in August 2022 – 23 years after her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 1999.
● Vera Wang – American fashion designer who started her own brand at age 40 and is now well known for her bridal gowns. Before that, she had worked at Vogue for 17 years and had been the youngest editor there when she was hired straight out of college.
● Queen Elizabeth II – Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022.
The queens of Fleurs de Villes, Tina Barkley and Karen Marshall have been touring the world with this “Femmes” show and having local artists choose and interpret their favorite iconic women.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Fleurs de Villes once again to transform The Shops at Hudson
Yards with massive floral displays that showcase powerful women throughout history to
empower and uplift visitors across the world,” said Stacey Feder, Chief Marketing Officer of
Participating florists in New York City include Villanueva Designs, Larkspur Botanicals, Polycarp Flowers, Alexis Denise Floral Design, Blooming New York, Central Florist, FDK Florals, Fleurs NYC, Flowers by Special Arrangement, Hactac Events by Denise A Grant, Lilac Shade Flower Co., Ora la Casa de las Flores, Rachel Cho Floral Design, Raven Hollow Guild, Rosehip, Starbright Floral Design, and WMF Floral & Design.
I also look forward to sharing with you some of the previous interpretations of these women and seeing how the New York artists use branches and blooms to create inspiring artworks through the prism of flowers. We’re also wondering if Lea Michaels, who is now starring in “Funny Girl” on Broadway may make a surprise visit to see the Fanny Brice interpretation. After all, Fleurs de Villes is supported by Funny Girl on Broadway as well as Hendrick’s Gin. Fun this will be.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributing editor for Florists Review magazine.