Inspirational in every sense of the word, this month’s FLOWERBMB, Hikari Yokoyama, is the elegant entrepreneur and art consultant who floats from the worlds of art, fashion, philanthropy and business with enviable grace. Known for her keen business acumen, her exceptional party hosting skills, her contribution to British Vogue and her most recent founding of Naum House, a foundation that promotes the ideas of today’s greatest fashion designers, Hikari is the coolest girl in town; and we are lucky she has agreed to share with us the powerful role that flowers have played in her fashionable and artistic life.
What are your favourite flowers and why? White or colour? And what colour?
I love peonies in pale pink, I remember as a child watching the ants crawl around inside of them at my aunt’s house in upstate New York where we spent most of our summer. They just have the most beautiful smell, and I love the progression from tight little round bud to overspilling bountiful splendour.
What are your favourite vase styles/shapes?
I love monochromatic antique glass vases in simple forms.
What are your tips for arranging flowers for a dinner party? Or for your house for any occasion?
Put flowers in stem by stem, cut each stem according to how high you’d like it to stand. You can also arrange flowers quite sparsely which I think is very chic, like three really long stemmed flowers coming out of a vase next to a smaller vase with a bunch of something else. I just choose flowers that call out to me, I don’t really have rules! If in doubt, go with single flower bouquets in white or pale colours, you can’t really go wrong.
What are the most beautiful or significant flowers that you’ve ever been given?
My boyfriend in college once handed me a blue Tiffany & Co box and inside was the most beautiful scarlet veined delicate orange flower petal. He had found it about a week before when from a flower on the side of the river where we had just gone skinny dipping whilst on a road trip... he must have found the box somewhere or nicked it from his mom, but I loved that he made something special that I’d probably just take for granted in the background of what could have become memory, he crystalised it, and presented it to me in this little exquisite and ephemeral petal. I’ll never forget the gift or that day.
What is your most powerful memory involving flowers and scent?
Haha going back down memory lane again... but in high school I had this magnolia tree outside my window. The branches were just thick enough that I could climb out my window by the light of a full moon, put one foot on the fence and then shimmy down from my bedroom out into the night. I did sneak out a few times in the night, holding my breath and hoping to god my parents wouldn’t hear (they were in the bedroom next door). In the early summer, there was an overpowering smell, a sick sweet smell, that kind of embodied that churning feeling of excitement and anxiety that comes from breaking curfew.
How does having flowers in your home change the atmosphere? How does being surrounded by flowers make you feel?
To me a house is not a home without some kind of plants or flowers in it. We are mammals, we breathe oxygen, we grew up symbiotically with vegetation, our destinies are intertwined. I need them around me!
What flowers do you most like to give and why?
It really depends on the person and the occasion - a grand dame should get something long stemmed and dramatic, a low key best buddy should get an unfussy bunch of something sweet, a professional colleague something neutral and office friendly.
What flowers would you most like to be given and why?