Mermaid colors, floral clouds and modern couture fashion take center stage in this Houston-based florist’s 10 year branding shoot with sculptural floral backdrops to make you do a double take… nay, a qaudruple take. Mibellarosa takes creativity to a whole new level in these backdrops, which are complemented by hand-painted murals, lucite furniture, epic styling moments. Kelly Doonan Events planned the details to perfection, allowing the beauty of Phuong’s story, celebration of powerful women + minorities and call for uplifting communities to ultimately shine through. These vibrant images are a little bit beguiling and a whole lotta fun! Josh & Dana Fernandez captured the whimsical, yet strong + confident spirit of the shoot magnificently, and we are all smiles here as a result! Get ready to pore over some serious inspiration in the sculptural floral backdrops below.
From the Floral Designer, Mibellarosa: I’m not sure how 10 years have flown by so quickly, but I know I wanted to do something incredible to celebrate this win for our small, minority-woman-owned business. Due to Covid-19 still being a threat, I decided to forego the big party I wanted to throw but still go CRAZY EXTRA on the flowers. Thankfully, in my 10 years of business, I have been able to come across some incredibly talented women small business owners who have become my dear friends and they all put in a tremendous amount of work to help me execute this major shoot. It was definitely not lost upon me that in today’s climate, it is poignant that a group of women—all creatives, all creators, all business owners, all different backgrounds—came together to support their friend, a first-generation immigrant, minority, female entrepreneur. I’m so grateful to live this American dream with this support system.
To commemorate the past 10 years and to move forward to the next decade and more, I decided to create three set ups all revolving around the future thriving with strong, powerful, brilliant women who live life to their full potential and look damn good while doing so. I knew I couldn’t do this shoot without Dana of Josh & Dana Fernandez who photographed my first branding shoot, which led to me being the artist I am now. She captured the colors, the vibe, the spirit and the movements soperfectly, it feels as if I’m reliving the day of the shoot when I see these photos. With all the moving parts and vendors, I knew I had to get help from an experienced planner in order to have all the piecescome together while I focused on the creative aspects. Kelly of Kelly Doonan Events graciously carried that weight on her shoulders to lessen the weight on mine for me and it would not have run so smoothly without her.
Backdrop 1: Phoenix Rising in Cotton Candy Skies
This backdrop was inspired by my personal favorite color blue and my brand color pink. It was inspiredby the beaches in my travels over the past decade, which would always give me respite before burn outsand charged my imagination’s batteries. It was inspired by my name Phuong, which means phoenix. To give a nod to our 2017 branding shoot, I created two abstract impressionist pieces similar to the large piece I painted in 2017, this time with lots more blues. Raquel of Exquisite Details created a grand wall with the most perfect blue for the concept and added frames to let the paintings stand out from all the flowers on the backdrop. The wall had 3 frames, 2 were for the paintings of the beach cotton candy sunset skies and the middle frame had flowers bursting from it to create a phoenix. I added garlands of gypsophilia painted blues and pinks to add a different dimension and texture for the cotton candy skies the phoenix is rising in. I also brought back the palms from 2017 but this time in ombre cotton candy blues and pinks with gold highlights. It was nostalgic to look back on our first branding shoot and bring elements of it into this milestone. I loved that the fans mimicked the movement and pleats of the red and pink dress! The bold, shiny colors of the dress really brought out the colors of the flowers while standing from the blue wall. On the other hand, the pleats of the white and orange dress brought so much softness and romance to the backdrop. They were the perfect selection for this scene and were picked out so expertly by wardrobe stylist Paulina Padilla from just seeing the moodboard.
I asked Erica of Hey Lovely Makeup to keep the models’ hair sleek and simple, so the fashion and flowers will stand out and do all the talking and she nailed it. For this look, Erica kept the models’ hair in voluminous ponytails in the back but clean and tightparts in the front. The makeup was also clean, natural and soft with lots of glow. For the second look, we wanted them to be power fem-nomenals. I know that’s not a word but this is what I came up with for women who are powerful and phenomenal. The goddess dress with the sheer cape is absolutely captivating. She embodied the phoenix rising in it. The strapless white jumpsuit is what I think a boss should have in her wardrobe for that “I’ve got this, I know what I’m doing, I’m queen” statement. Erica put the model’s hair up in a chic bun for this jumpsuit to make the look evenmore boss. We layered on lots of fine jewelry from Lindsey Leigh Jewelry for the ultimate luxe lookbecause every boss needs a few statement pieces. Becca of Becca Cakes created mini pale blue cakes like the sky with pink cherry blossoms made from sugar and pearls to pair with the backdrop. She also made macarons in shades of pink and cupcakes as well.
Backdrop 2: Afternoon Tea for Two
While everyone is waiting to go back to the good ol’ brunching days, I wanted the models to be high society women meeting up for your not-so-average afternoon tea, but hold the tea because I’d rather serve up some bougie florals on the table instead. I, of course, painted this vintage table pink and let a mob of flowers grow all over it for the ladies sit around to dish about their latest successes, fashion and jewelry finds, and gush over each other with compliments and praises. No drama, just lots of women uplifting women. We went with a fun and flirty look for both models. I love how different both dresses are in structure, tone, fabric but come together so effortlessly the way the flowers in the table piece are all so different but together, they are so fun, so wild, so high-end and literally over the top. Erica straightened the ponytails, darkened the brows, and added more vibrant hues to their lips for an understated pop.
Backdrop 3: Empire of Dreams
Inspired by my binge-fest of Bling Empire and Lunar New Year, I wanted to pay homage to my roots, my heritage and who I am because my culture and my ancestry play a huge role in my life and how I run my business. In 2017, I decided to use a Vietnamese-American model for my brand because I wanted people to know I am more than someone who works with pretty flowers. I’m someone who is Vietnamese-American and I wanted more Asian-American brides to see themselves being represented in the wedding world. With major successes of BTS, Black Pink, Crazy Rich Asians, House of Ho, Bling Empire, Raya and the Last Dragon, Over the Moon, and more roles being given to Asian actors and characters spreading throughout the country and globally, I don’t think it’s time to stop the momentum of representation for all minorities. I created a ground arch for this look, so the models can be the forefront of the piece. I used lots of coral, nudes, hot pinks, pinks, gold, and even red (a color I don’t use very often until this year) to capture the excitement and spirit of Lunar New Year. The Alexander McQueen gown with the cape is so regal and elegant for this look and the gold fringe dress is everything! This is what I envision to be a fancy, elegant, incredibly decked out Lunar New Year party would look like for an empire of women ready to shatter ceilings and dance on broken glass in their heels and gowns.
This entire gallery has us like XO. If you’d swipe right on any of these looks, be sure to continue your trip down the rabbit hole in the 2017 branding shoot Phuong refers to in this post! Spoiler alert: It started the dyed sun palm trend that’s ruling the show today!
Floral & Design: Mibellarosa
Photo & Styling: Josh & Dana Fernandez
Planning: Kelly Doonan Events
Wardrobe Stylist: Paulina Padilla
Beauty: Hey Lovely
Jewelry: Lindsey Leigh Jewelry
Cakes: Becca Cakes
Backdrop Wall: Exquisite Details by Raquel
Models: Jasmine Nguyen and Lauren Rainey