/  2023.03.31.  /  

Hungarian floral compositions on the international stage

Interview with master florist Attila Németh

This year Attila Németh will represent Hungary at the Interflora World Cup.

The Interflora World Cup will take place from 7 to 9 September. Founded in 1972, the competition is held every four to six years in major cities around the world: following events in Berlin in 2015 and Philadelphia in 2019, it will be held in Manchester in 2023. As well as a competition and a stunning floral exhibition, there will be hands-on workshops, demonstrations, craft stalls, creative zones, live music and entertainment, and gala dinners.

Photo: Interflora

The competition will bring together 25 master florists from 25 countries, all of whom have won national flower arranging competitions before, but now have a unique and exciting opportunity to represent their country at the world’s largest flower arranging event. Hungary will be represented by master florist Attila Németh, and we were delighted to talk to him about the big event, his career and his distinctive, breathtaking creations.

What will be the theme and agenda of the Interflora World Cup?

The main themes of the multi-round competition are conservation, recycling, forests and oceans. First, three compulsory tasks on the given theme must be completed, so you can prepare for these in advance. We will design and prepare the structures, flowers and decorations at home, then deliver the bases to Manchester before the competition starts and assemble the installation on site.

Photo: Interflora

This will be followed by three surprise tasks, which we will find out about on the spot. One of these has to be completed, then the team is halved, and then there is another surprise task. In the surprise tasks, the competitors work with the same ingredients. They usually take between 30 and 40 minutes each to complete. There are 5 contestants left in the finals, with one contestant coming out on top at the end.

The technical scoring is quite strict, with the international jury of six judges assessing both the design and the idea, and the technical jury of four or five judges scrutinizing whether the entrant has deviated from the brief, and how "organic" the work is, with a maximum of one third of the finished composition being inanimate parts.

Do you have a personal favorite plant that you will include in the implementation of the mandatory exercise?

At this stage, the creative design is still in progress, so I can’t say. We also need to think about what will be available in the autumn. Seasonality is important, especially in the wedding season. There are already lots of sprouted flowers coming from Holland, however, fresh plants just in bloom are always more pleasing to the eye. 

I’ve always been a fan of tropical, more extreme shaped flowers.

In my shop, I also try to show my customers a more special range of flowers. I love a lot of flowers, but if I had to pick one, it would be the King Protea, which I have had the pleasure of seeing in its own environment, on a protea farm in South Africa.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I am inspired by many things, for example, I love contemporary art. The experiences, colors and scents I have had during my travels are also reflected in my work. I consider myself to be a sensitive person, so I am influenced by the slightest touch of the world. Perhaps the most important source is nature. I can still look at a pine cone or any kind of fruit for hours. Sometimes it is its perfection, sometimes its imperfection, its lushness, that grabs me.

I typically draw inspiration from the moment, anything that surrounds us can spark our creativity.

What current trends do you see in floristry?

Our customers like things that are simple and not over-composed, they choose flowers like this for their everyday home. Not only flowers, but also spectacular greenery such as parrot flowers, strelitzia and monstera leaves in a floor vase are very showy. In the spring, tulips are very popular, even with the addition of a branch or two. In addition, larger, loose, round bouquets remain popular.

In addition to the bouquets, the colorful pumpkin decorations are also typical Németh Attila Florist creations. What are they and what should we know about them?

Many people associate these colorful pumpkin ornaments with my name, which is a real tribute to me. Of course, I certainly wasn’t the first to put the flowers in pumpkins, but I get lots of messages from florists all over the world that they find them inspiring. Perhaps what I was unique in was that I dared to decorate these pumpkins with really extravagant colors and unusual flowers.

Technically they are made in a similar way to a flower box. The first consideration is to use a pumpkin with a thick skin that will last a long time. After cutting, the whole inside is scraped out and lined, the wet staple foam is put in, then the flowers. The coloring of the pumpkin naturally harmonizes with the color of the flowers placed inside. Importantly, these are natural materials so they won’t last forever, but like boxes, they are a more durable alternative to bouquets.

Where else could we see your work outside the shop? What have been the highlights of your career of more than 25 years?

I’m probably most proud of the decoration of the Hungarian Opera Ball that required a huge amount of planning, preparation and coordinated teamwork, and ended up amazing.

We were lucky enough to be involved in the project two years in a row. In keeping with the Opera Ball’s image, we were only allowed to use white flowers, but beyond that we were given free rein. There are a lot of film and video shoots in Hungary, so I’ve had the pleasure of making bouquets for several celebrities. For example, Melissa McCarthy, Cate Blanchett and Depeche Mode, to name but a few.

What challenges does one face when preparing for a competition like this?

Preparing for the World Cup is a long and costly task, which also had to be carefully thought through before applying for the competition. The planning, coordination of materials and finding contractors begins a year before the competition. At the same time, the technical preparation starts: planning properly according to the competition rules, practicing meeting the very strict time limits and technical specifications. Prior to the event, the entire competition task must be rehearsed several times before it reaches its final form and execution. The preparation and delivery of the installations, as well as the amount of plant material needed for practice and the competition, are also significant and costly items.

Photo: Interflora

The total cost of the competition, including the entry fee, is in the order of HUF 20 million, for which we are looking for a partner.

A partner who sees potential and a connection in terms of marketing and promotional material production and product placement. Of course, we are also open to other ideas that may arise.

Attila has already brightened up several of our events with his bouquets. If you’re looking to decorate your home, make a red-letter day even more special, or would like to be part of the team preparing for international success, get in touch with Németh Attila Florist at 12 Pauler Street in the first district or at one of the contact details on the website!

Cover photo: REKAVAGO retro glam wedding photo shoot



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