Friend Of Faux

Faking it with luxury faux floral stylists Friend of Faux

Fabulous florals are an essential element of any stylish party, wedding or event - but do they always have to be real? TOAST chats to Anna Robinson, founder of Friend of Faux, to hear more about her beautiful faux floral fancies, as well as her top tips on how to fake it in style at home.

Let’s face it - fake flowers have got a bit of a bad rap, haven’t they? For years they’ve been written off as naff and old-fashioned; reserved solely for doctor’s waiting rooms and posh public loos. The use of any fake arrangement in the home has long been considered a truly heinous style crime but thanks to improved high-tech materials, new design methods and some seriously talented ‘fake florists’ out there, the faux floral tides are turning, and faking it is now fashionable.

People are totally right to be wary of faux flowers - they can be so tacky and awful!” exclaims Friend of Faux founder and fake florist Anna Robinson.

When I see garish plastic flowers gathering dust in a corner of a restaurant I die inside! But I really do enjoy changing people’s perceptions and fooling them with my flowers.”

Friend of Faux is a totally fresh approach to luxury faux floral styling; their faux garland hire service means you can dress any venue beautifully with florals that won't wilt, won't get chucked away and won't cost the earth, whilst their contract service allows dozens of workspaces and homes to have a stylish new faux arrangement each month, with flowers and vases that are always re-used and recycled. Anna can also create bespoke faux arrangements and other unique creations to suit all needs, occasions and tastes – whether it’s a vase of violets or a kick-ass cactus.

It’s funny isn’t it how no one gets tired of flowers!” Anna laughs.“They are just so dynamic, and so beautiful. They bring tone and texture as well as height and interest to any event and they’re also intrinsically linked with special moments too, so I think everyone feels happy when they’re around

Andy Davison Photography Friend Of Faux Garlands

Andy Davison Photography Friend Of Faux

Having grown up in leafy Gloucestershire, Anna is now based in Hackney and launched Friend of Faux in 2014; throughout her former career in PR and event management Anna worked with a multitude of talented florists but was constantly saddened when their beautiful and expensive fresh arrangements were used for just a few hours before ending up in the bin.

I just kept thinking there has to be a better way! Every wedding I went to it was the same – the waste and expense of it all really bothered me so I started to experiment with faux flowers…’ she explains.

Whilst her fabulous faux fancies look just as beautiful as their living counterparts and come with a whole host of benefits (more on that later…), even Anna herself can’t deny the enduring allure of fresh, living florals.   

Fresh will always win - I mean, how can you ever beat the scent of a real, beautiful rose?asks Anna“But there are so many brilliant benefits to faux flowers - it’s depressing when flowers fade and die, or you get back from holiday to find all your beautiful houseplants are brown and crispy!” she laughs

“And faux stems can be manipulated in a way that delicate real flowers couldn’t cope with. It’s such a joy that you can work with them days in advance of an event – it really takes the pressure off, and they always look their best. They never wilt or droop, plus you can completely forget to water them! And they can be reused again and again. They’re also in season all year round.”

A further benefit of Anna’s fakes is the complete versatility and adaptability of her luxury faux garlands, which are hired by the metre and can be used just about anywhere; whether they are draped around the inside of a marquee or wrapped around tipi or tent poles, linked together to create long garlands for a grand, sweeping staircase or used in smaller sections for a show-stopping mantel or elegant archway. They can be layered to make them fuller and thicker, or you can keep them slim, simple and refined.

The whole point of the business is to make venue styling easier, more affordable and waste-free” explains Anna. “With our garlands, you can create an event that is bursting with bountiful foliage for about a third of the price of fresh, plus they won’t end up in the bin - everything we make is reused again and again.”

Friend Of Faux Garland Image Andy Davison Photography


So on a practical and waste-free level the faux garlands are completely genius, and not only that - they are also incredibly stylish, simple and elegant too. Each one is made by hand so they're natural and unique, just like the real thing. Sourced in the UK and with some imported from the USA and the Netherlands, Friend of Faux use only the very best quality artificial greenery that combines varieties of eucalyptus, ferns and beautiful wild touches - a natural mix of greenery with delicate hints of neutral flowers.

Fake flowers tend to be quite tight and formal which is the total opposite of my style - that’s why I try really hard to create relaxed, loose and really natural arrangements,” explains Anna.

I love greenery so everything tends to be foliage focused, and everything is made by hand in my studio, so the garlands are not like factory made flowers. I work just like a traditional florist binding stems together and making arrangements, I just don’t need to worry about water and I can reuse the stems over and over, which is so satisfying.

Anna Friend Of Faux

Friend Of Faux Alec Charlotte

Friend Of Faux Garland

Friend Of Faux Bar Garland

Once you’ve chosen your garland style and length, Anna simply packs them up in a box and couriers it directly to you, before arranging collection for when you’re done; it’s that easy. But if you feel like you might benefit from some of Anna’s expert faux floral advice, then she is more than happy to provide that too.

“When I work with couples, party hosts or event planners I love helping them get the very best out of their venue. The affordability of the garlands means that you can make a beautiful feature out a grand staircase, balcony or doorway in a way that might not have been possible before due to the cost,” explains Anna.

“Similarly, it’s great when a blank marquee can be transformed with swags of greenery in the most simple way. The garlands allow clients to overcome budget, time and logistical constraint, so that always feels great!”

As well as her beautiful garlands, Anna can also create a whole host of other faux floral fancies; from bridal bouquets and arrangements for the home, to interesting plants, statement succulents and her gorgeous bespoke silk floral crowns – perfect for summer brides, festivals and most al fresco events.

Weddings are always the best as everyone is always so full of joy and you get to really transform a space, but decorating an old Land Rover for a couple’s getaway was a real highlight - watching the flowery Landie fly around the Cotswolds was brilliant! ” Anna enthuses.

“I get so excited working with new faux products and coming up with different ways to style them.” she adds. “I also love how I don’t have to get up at 4am to go to the flower market like other florists - I am terrible in the morning!”


Friend Of Faux Bowl Style

If, like Anna, you fancy experimenting with some fabulous faux florals at home, then read on for Friend of Faux’s top tips for faking it in style at home. 

Friend of Faux's Top Tips for Creating Fabulous Faux Florals At Home 

  • More is more
    Yes they’re expensive but they really do look more impressive and real en masse. Be bold!

  • Use lots of the same variety
    Rather than mixing up lots of different styles. Three roses look so much better than a mix of different flowers.

  • Don’t be scared
    To cut down the stems so they fit your vase/container properly. A few tall stems rattling around a big vase can look awful - cut them so they fill the vase properly.

  • It’s all about creating an illusion
    So add water to your glass vase or soil in your pots. It really does make a difference!

To speak to Anna about what she can create for your event, or more information about Friend of Faux then head over to their page in TOAST’s Little Black Book. 


Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 25 May 2017

  floral styling, florist, garlands, venue dressing

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