Matthews world of flowers, fashion and frequent flyers

Monday, 10 November 2008

It’s not easy to catch multi-award-winning florist Matthew Landers: if he’s not preparing a dazzling flower display for one’s of Perth’s A-list events, he’s probably on his way to Barcelona, New York or Bangkok to do the same for one of his global fashion clients.

After completing his Certificate III in Floristry at Challenger TAFE’s Murdoch Campus in 2002, Matthew’s floristry talents have taken him across Australia and around the world, many times over.

The Claremont resident has a successful local flower business, Fleurtatious, providing flower arrangements for weddings and corporate events such as the recent Perth Fashion Festival.

“I bought my first store when I was 17 and another two businesses not longer after that. I’ve always been involved in competitions and working on events, so I’ve been consistently busy since finishing my training with Challenger TAFE.”

At 17 Matthew became one of only seven official florists for Chanel – a contract that has taken him overseas to many high-profile events including New York and Paris Fashion Weeks.

“My contract with Chanel came about after I entered a national competition and wanted to include Chanel products in my display. Chanel photographed my finished piece and got in touch a couple of months later to ask if I would work on their international events,” he explained.

Matthew, who’s now 24, has garnered other high-profile clients since then with contracts for Louis Vuitton and Gucci, but says that Chanel is a favourite client because it offers so many opportunities to use and expand on his skills.

“I’m off to Bangkok next week to work on another Chanel event, and these international opportunities just keep on coming in, keeping me incredibly busy,” he continued.

Being requested to work on events for such high-profile clients is a testament to the quality of Matthew’s work and he is keen to pass on his skills and knowledge to others when time allows.

“I’ve been trying to include training workshops in my business, and I have done some for private clients. But because of my overseas commitments I’ve only been able to spread myself quite thinly in that area so far” he said.

Even though Matthew’s schedule is more than filled, he’s still finding time to continue to build on his floristry skills. For the last few years he has been studying Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement with an emphasis on shape, line and form. He is also due to head to Stuttgart in Germany next year to study for his Masters in Floristry.

“Even though I have a natural talent for floristry, I can’t give up on training. Six years down the track from doing my TAFE studies, I’m still using the skills I learnt there, in my work today. Without the training I wouldn’t have got to where I am in my career today. Studying for my Masters is something I’ve wanted to do since leaving Challenger TAFE, as I really want to gain that personal achievement.

“Being a Master Florist will also help me continue to build my business. In this ever-changing industry I have to be aware of new trends and I have to keep my skills fresh,” he said.

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