Men in bloom for American Flowers Week, with a nod to Neverland

Flowers in His Hair by Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm + Flowers

Design by Sarah Wagstaff, SUOT Farm & Flowers,, @suotfarm
Burlington, Washington
Photography by Cecily Gubitosi Photography, @cecilygubitosiphotography

Flowers grown and designed by Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm + Flowers
Flowers grown and designed by Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm + Flowers

Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm + Flowers wanted to flip the script on who wears flowers and so she recruited her husband Keith Chaplin, their 8-year-old son Huck Chaplin, and Steve Hayes, a willing friend, to model her creations for a American Flowers Week celebration.

A nod to Neverland
A nod to Neverland

Dressing adult men and a younger boy with botanicals reminds Sarah of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. “Remember when Pan comes back to Neverland after he becomes a grownup and has forgotten how to be childlike? That’s a story within us all,” she says. “I wanted to remember and recognize the child within each of us, especially in men.

Sarah wanted to attach flowers to every part of Steve’s body — his head, shoulders, neck, chest, back, arms, wrists, fingers, and legs. The botanical headpiece, a sunray shape, extends around neck and shoulders, covers his shirt, and fills the chest pocket. She used eyelash adhesive to glue flowers to his skin and wrapped his shoulders and arms with a 20-foot-floral boa fabricated from cedar boughs, tulips, peonies, and other cuts from her farm.

Bejeweled with blooms
Huck, the designer’s son, bejeweled with blooms
Flowers in his Beard - and more.
Flowers in his Beard – and more.

For her son Huck, whose interest in the project peaked when photographer Cecily Gubitosi encouraged him to take a few photos with her camera, Sarah devised a floral mohawk headpiece (a nod to Rufio), wrapped his wrists with floral cuffs, and donned his fingers with floral rings. “It’s really beautiful to watch him developing this connection with the world of gardens and plants, because I helped to cultivate it, too.”

I really wanted to use male figures leaning into this aspect of botanical couture . . . to show how flowers can be gender bending.

Sarah Wagstaff, SUOT Farm + Flowers

In the final moments of the photo session, which took place at SUOT Farm + Flowers, Sarah’s husband Keith agreed to model a floral headpiece and have his beard flowered. “I often feel like flowers are assigned a feminine trait, but they don’t have to be gender related,” Sarah says.

DESIGN + CONCEPT: Sarah Wagstaff, SUOT Farm & Flowers, @suotfarm
DESIGN ASSISTANCE: Olivia Yates O’Donnell, FloravoreNW, @floravorenw
SUOT Farm & Flowers: Tulips, peonies, frittilaria, ranunculus, poppies, daffodils, ferns, Spanish blue bells, bleeding heart, alliums, lilac, violas, hellebores, forget-me-nots, grasses, ivy, cedar, clematis, bones/shells
MODELS: Steve Hayes, Keith Chaplin, Huck Chaplin
VENUE: SUOT Farm & Flowers, Burlington, Washington, @suotfarm