In this mini series, we go inside the wardrobes of creative entrepreneurs to find out how their work influences what they wear, where they find outfit inspiration and what personal style means to them.
Emily wears the Barrel Leg Boilersuit in True Navy.
Emily Michele Smith is the floral designer behind cult-favourite florist Boutierre Girls. She originally started Boutierre Girls “just for fun” back in 2013 from the terrace of her inner-city apartment while studying at university, but as business began to grow Emily decided to make it her full time job. She moved out to a property, turned the garage into a floral studio, and the rest, as they say, is history. “I have loved flowers for as long as I can remember,” Emily says. “I grew up living in homes with really beautiful gardens — my mum is a wonderful gardener — and I spent most of my childhood outdoors in our garden.” As a child her fascination with colour and decoration also bloomed, and it’s this intuitive sense of style that has made Emily’s floral designs so distinct. “I have loved fashion and interiors since I was a toddler, and had opinions on everything my mum would purchase for our house,” Emily recalls. It’s no surprise, then, that Emily designed her recently opened studio space in Mosman. “I wanted an old European aesthetic with distressed walls, wainscoting and beautiful cornices, mixed with some timeless country elements like old brass tapware, vintage-style tiles and vintage chandeliers,” Emily says. Her favourite element is the custom sink and laundry area, which was designed with the help of her friend Anita Bertini and features Calacatta Viola marble, a large white butler sink, brass hardware and pale green joinery. Luxuriously outfitted and naturally feminine, the Boutierre Girls studio is so unmistakably Emily.
“When I became a florist, I wrecked a lot of my favourite pants, coats and shoes very quickly…
I wear a lot of streetwear now and I try to inject my personal style through bold boots and jewellery.”
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
Laidback, understated, with a side of bling.
You’re getting ready for the flowers market. What do you put on?
Black jeans or compression tights if I have a really long day on my feet, a black jumper (I have about four on rotation), boots (always with rubber soles) and a big bomber or puffer jacket.
Has your work influenced the way you dress?
Definitely. I have always loved wearing a lot of colour and pretty out-there styles. When I became a florist, I wrecked a lot of my favourite pants, coats and shoes very quickly. We get very wet at market carrying things to our vans. A lot of flowers shed and some bleed colour, dirt or sap. Branches catch on clothes and can rip them.
How do you inject personal style into work clothes that need to be functional and practical?
I generally wear all black now and try to inject my personal style through bold jewellery and cool BIG boots and shoes. I do love that I get to wear streetwear to work every day though.
Are you a capsule wardrobe curator or an enthusiastic collector?
A bit of both. I have a quite a few timeless pieces that I’ll hopefully be able to pass on one day, but I also love wearing items that I know will only be in fashion for a season or two. I am very good at wearing items for a season and then selling them or giving them away. I am definitely an enthusiastic shoe collector, and surprisingly I am very good at having all of them on rotation. My one rule with anything designer is that I have to wear it to death/thrash it. If I have saved hard for something I want to thrash it as much as possible and really get the most value possible from it.
Who are your style icons?
I’ve always loved the style of the Olsen twins, Kate Bosworth and Emili Sindlev.
Boyfriend anything — jeans and oversized jackets. I love being comfortable and warm.
And what trend do you wish would go away?
Low rise pants and wedge heels. Deeply scarred from high school.
Where do you look when you need wardrobe inspiration?
We work a lot with fashion brands and stores — as florists we have to keep up to date with the latest colour trends and styles, which are ever-evolving. I love how quickly trends can change because it’s constantly challenging me creatively. I love following a few fashion accounts on Instagram.
What do you consider your ultimate ‘going out’ outfit?
I mostly wear suits. My current go-to is a black suit. I will pair it with a silk or midriff top, some boots and a statement bag.
Emily wears the Barrel Leg Boilersuit in True Navy.
When was the last time you saw someone with great style, and where?
My Grandma Shirley. She is in her 80s and always looks fabulous. She has some amazing blazers and pants. She is always on trend, or asking me to update her on what all the young people are wearing this season. She has a real knack for making any outfit look stylish.
You feel most yourself when you’re wearing...
Jeans, a bomber and some big boots. No matter what I’m wearing I always have a pair of really nice earrings on, too.
Do the flowers you style for others naturally reflect their personal style?
Yes and no. I think people come to us because they like our style, which is really special. With weddings, I always ask couples what their favourite flowers are, favourite colour combinations, and if there any flowers that are sentimental to them or their family. Flowers are a really fun way to incorporate a couple’s personal style, personality and often heritage.
How do you get to know someone’s personal style when working on a brief with them?
I ask them lots of questions. Meeting clients in person is always really wonderful. It’s like flower speed dating. You can tell almost immediately if a client is a real flower lover. I love being challenged creatively with new briefs every week.
And if your style could be summed up as a floral arrangement, what would it be?
Minimal, en masse varieties featuring rare and unique flowers in a bold colour… probably in a blingy crystal vase.