The starting point for Sunyoung Lee’s magical final wedding project stemmed from one of nature’s most familiar palettes, a symphony of greens. Her immersive designs play on a rich variety of verdant tones and textures, delicately interlaced with soft notes of grey and uplifting whites.
Here she kindly shares her thoughts about the combined ZE Flower Academy 4 Week Career Course and Wedding Design Advanced Master Class, which together took her through May into early June 2022.
“A month may feel quite short to cover all aspects of floristry, but I learnt a lot from Zita and this was my very first time studying with her.”
Can you tell us about your personal highlights during the classes?
“Zita’s teaching style was quite a shock to me… because it was such a fresh approach, one that I had never experienced before. She provided many directions and paths to design, based on emotions or ways to improvise without thinking.
I always wanted to do something different, not to be a banal florist but to be one who could find something special from my own flowers. And she helped me get closer to the ideal that I am looking for.”
Did you have a special reason to choose this class?
“I wanted to experience almost all of her classes through the career course, as well as the wedding design master class. I also wanted to understand the overall process from beginning to the final stage, leading and designing my own wedding project. Zita guided me well and taught me how to create a beautiful space without getting lost or struggling, no matter how large the scale.”
And what drew you to Zita as a teacher?
“There was a two-year wait before I came to London, due to unexpected situations around the world and I was feeling lost, stagnating and worrying about my future plans with flowers. I needed stimulation, to wake up my senses and mind when I touched flowers, and so finally I chose Zita.
As mentioned before, her classes are unique and special. I wanted to make my own floral creations during the class and her courses were not pre-determined except for the class theme, but had a wide range of choices, such as flowers, materials, mechanics and design styles, for each student. I studied alone, with no other students, and I really liked her small-scale class style.”
What do you think taking the class has given you for the future?
“I worked as a business analyst and also a translator before meeting Zita. While mainly analysing costs, profitability, performance and business feasibility, I always encountered numbers mechanically and laboured over reports every day for executives. Always checking over and over again, to avoid making mistakes. Because of my work habits, always planning, analysing and thinking a lot, it was very difficult for me to adapt to Zita’s methods.
Since working with her I have learnt a new approach and perspective to flowers and the creation process. She gave me new interests and the ability to just enjoy flowers, without any pressures. This will have a positive impact on my growth as a florist for the future. I am really grateful to her.”
And what are your future plans in the world of floristry?
“I am staying on in London after finishing this course to gain more inspiration and discover insights for my career path in floristry. After returning to my country, South Korea, I need to work on the brand that I will run in the future. The overall framework and concept have been completed and it is now time to put the plans into action. I hope to be able to launch within a year.”
Tell us more about the inspiration for your final Wedding Design project?
“My inspiration was an image of hills covered with green grass, moss and grey soil that seemed to be taken looking down, from high in the sky. The green layers created by nature were so striking in this image. This was, in fact, very similar to a picture that had left a strong impression on me at an art exhibition a few months ago.
After coming to London, I enjoyed the forests, various grasses, trees in the park and English garden flowers every day and night. Zita said, “Everything comes from you and this project is yours. Everything that you usually see and your feelings, all the elements around you, are contained in this project.”
What colours did you choose for the project and was there a special reason for this choice?
“Of course, the main colour is green, a colour of nature, and the overall palette is composed of various green colours, a little white, ivory, lemon and grey, based on the inspirational image.”
Were you trying to share a special mood or emotion?
“I wanted to bring and share the emotions of freshness, vitality, brightness and gentleness of nature, surrounded by such green layers, with a dreamy mood for the table design and surrounding space.”
Which flowers did you choose for the project and why?
“To express the layers, a variety of green flowers were selected. Many were grasses, also small unique elements (like a ginster berry green, Saponaria, Kaap greens, hypericum and artichoke), potted plants (thyme, ivy, etc.), amaranthus, veronica, lace flowers, green bells, hydrangea, nigella, dianthus green ball, branches of camellia and wild rose. Based on greens, I mainly selected flowers with diverse and unusual textures and lines, focussing on layering and interweaving within my works.
Oh, there were many selections of flowers for this project! If I had to pick only one, that I liked the most, it would be the wild rose, the small white rambling ‘rosa multiflora’.”
Is there anything else that you would like to add relating to your experience at the Zita Elze Flower Academy?
“This project was a journey to find what I really want to do and also there were some difficult moments on the way, when many thoughts and emotions overlapped. I am very sensitive, picky and I don’t express this well if I am not 100% sure of myself; but thanks to Zita, I was able to make it complete. She taught me also the way to be positive in any situation. I learned not only flowers from her, but also important things for my life. I would like to thank her for being with me on my big life challenge. Also, I would like to thank Kimi and Laura for their big support with this project.”
Zita comments about her time working with Sunyoung Lee: “There were challenging moments for us both. But I was somehow able to read her vision and expectations. I am impressed to see how she developed throughout the project and how she pulled through to create a really stunning final project. I am sure that Sunyoung Lee will build a strong brand, one within which she can use all her talents to bring her the success that she deserves in the future.”
Follow Sunyoung Lee’s floral story on her Instagram page.
With thanks to Fiona Caroline for the lovely images.
Find out about Zita’s upcoming floristry classes on the ZE Flower Academy pages.