Interflora World Cup
Flowers Around the Globe
John Klingel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, judges the Interflora World Cup
By Heidi Anderson, editor
The 13th Interflora World Cup was held March 26-28, 2010, in Shanghai, China. The prestigious floral art competition, held every four years, showcases the highest standard of domestic floristry. Aiming to advance the horticultural industry, this event brought together Interflora florists from 20 countries around the world.
The 2010 theme was kept secret until one week before the event. Designers were required to create a table setting with the theme ‘Green Tea for Two,’ a bridal bouquet themed ‘Oriental Petal,’ a ‘surprise item’ and an exhibit of the designer’s choice with the theme ‘Flowers of the Orient.’ The top 10 florists move on to the finals, where they compete for the World Cup title. Designers used two surprise items in their design, which forms part of the unique floral fashion show.
The six World Cup judges were, Karen Barnes, Interflora UK; Greg Block, Interflora Australia; Yutaka Jinbo, FTD; John Klingel, FTD; Rolf Torhaug, Fleurop; and Nicole von Boletzk, Fleurop. Norway won first place, Switzerland took second, and Korea third.
Judge John Klingel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, director of The South Florida Center for Floral Studies, spent a week in China absorbing the competition and the culture. He took in the differences between floral designers of the east and west.
“Western designers tend to be less detailed-oriented and work to finish a job quickly,” he said. “It also seems that the oriental culture gives more thought to their work, which really shows in the finished arrangement.”
Klingel and the other judges used scoring sheets to rate each arrangement for all of the themes.
“I thought the themes of the competition were wonderful because they inspired creativity,” he said. “The designers took full advantage of the ideas and expressed themselves very well through their work.”
The work of the first-place winner from Norway was Klingel’s favorite.
“His work was uncomplicated and very clean,” he said. “In the surprise package, where a very talented designer can show his best work, he kept the design simple and creative. He used the wheel as an armature, building his floral arrangement around the spokes. I thought it was brilliant.”
After spending time with florists from around the world, Klingel came home with a fresh perspective on flowers in America.
“In the U.S., consumers are looking for a good value,” he said. “This means very fresh flowers and a generous amount – lots of perceived value. Especially in a down economy, consumers want to see lots of flowers that last a long time for the money spent.”
And Klingel will never forget the time he spent in China.
“It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.
From left to right: John Klingel, USA; Greg Block, Australia; Karen Barnes, UK; Rolf Torhaug, Norway; Yutaka Jimbo, Japan; Peter Johnston (Judges Liaison from New Zealand) and Nicole von Brutzky, Switzerland.
Placing first in the hand-tied category was Norway with this beautiful design of green anthurium, Phalaenopsis orchid sprays, callas, hanging amaranthus, roses and bromeliads. The design had to represent the future of floral compositions, which would be delivered by the Interflora Mercury Man.
The surprise package included a large container and two bicycle wheels in addition to an assortment of flowers. The designer from Norway, who won the competition, created this arrangement. Here, the designer used the bicycle wheel as an armature structure. He inserted the flower stems through the spokes of the wheel. The stems of the flowers were placed into the container. The judges felt that his was the most creative use of the wheel, which helped him score higher than the other contestants.
The contestant from England used two bicycle wheels. One was placed at the base of the container and the other was used vertically. This design was more complex and used more of the product, but it just goes to show that sometimes, small and simple is better.
Greg Block, Rolf Torhaug, Yutaka Jimbo and Karen Barnes closely examine a hand-tied bouquet during the final day of judging.