Interview with Caroline Bailly, Owner & Founder of L’Atelier Rouge



The Studio is spotless even after a bustling week of preparation and breakdown from events.  Owner and Founder Caroline Bailly is on the phone again with a client, explaining in detail the extravagant installation she has planned for a wedding at the Pierre Hotel.  “Cascading Amaranthus, gold leafed lavender Phalaenopsis orchids in tall glass vases, hanging iridescent candles…”  She describes what could easily be compared to a bridal Shangri La.  Her designs are her signature, and are recognized for their extremely luxurious appeal.  She creates things you thought only existed in fairy tales.  The kindness and softness of her voice, you will note, is sincere.  Not to mention that her relentlessly charming French accent would melt even the coldest of hearts.  We took a moment to talk with the event designer, floral couturier, entrepreneur, Wife, and Mother about her inspirations in such a unique and creative industry…


Where were you born?


Vesoul: a very small town in the Northeast of France.


What influenced you to become a floral couturier?


I like making people happy and usually when they walk into a room that’s fully decorated, and we’ve gone above and beyond their expectations, that’s what makes me happy.  It makes me happy to make people happy.


Did you always want to become an entrepreneur?


I think so, deep inside yes, but I was scared before.  Yea, I really do think so.


What do you love about New York City?


Unlimited control factor. All of those people.  People from all over the world.  It’s the capitol of the world.


What’s it like to have a Design Studio in Soho?


I feel we’re in the right space at the right time.  A lot of creative people have had studios in our building.  Jonathan Adler started here.  He was making his ceramic pots here when he started.  It’s a very special building I think.


Who are some of your greatest inspirations and why?


Well there are a lot from different worlds, so you have Fashion: Karl Laagerfeld & Yves St Laurent.  From Visual artists I would say I always loved Leonardo Da Vinci.  I always loved him from a child.  Then there are the modern artists like Matisse, Christo & Jeanne Claude, Jeff Koons, Banksy.  Then in terms of floral designer I would say Daniel Ost.  In terms of other people there is Pina Bausch, she used to be a choreographer and a dancer.  Music, it’s going to be very eclectic; classical I love Gluck and Sati.  Then there is the more modern music; I love Air, M83, and I still always love the Velvet Underground… and I always love David Bowie, and I like Daft Punk as well.  I almost forgot to include Tim Burton.  He was a really big influence for me.  There’s something magical in there.


What defines luxury?


Flowers.  You know why?  Because we don’t need them to survive, they die, they’re very expensive, but we somehow need them. Ha ha!


What are the elements of a chic design?


I think that what’s very important is to have strength into the design.  I think you have to be bold to do something chic.  But then I think, again, it really depends on the customer’s personalities.  And I think that one thing that’s important in a chic design, the difference between chic and bad design: it has to be cohesive, it has to make sense, and you have to see the design elements.  Meaning that compacting a mismatch of all different kinds of things, turns into a complete disaster.  You can have all of the most beautiful elements, but if you put them together inartistically, and if you don’t have respect for the quality of your product, it’s a mess.  The flowers have to be seen, it makes no sense to make a big mass of flowers of all kinds mixed together.  I think it’s gross because you don’t respect the quality of the product you work with.  As a designer you have to respect the quality to.  I think it’s very important.  You can be a chef, but you respect the quality of your ingredients.  A great chef does respect the quality of its products.  As example, very little know that Flowers have a direction.  You work with calla lilies for interior; you have to know how to arrange them to make it beautiful.  



Any last words?


Listen to your clients and their vision, take it to the zillionth step level, then blow their mind away, and always have fun at what you do.  It’s the most important thing.  If I’m not having fun, I’m not really good at what I do. 


Mrs. Bailly, you are nothing short of a legend.



by Bernadette Lords


Friday Inspiration: - David LaChapelle

David Lachapelle is a modern artistic visionary who can be credited as a photographer, videographer, director for live theatrics as well as films. According to his website, David LaChapelle is known internationally for his exceptional talent in combining a unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages.


JULY 27 - OCTOBER 27, 2013

Today flowers are primarily associated with their decorative function. Their nice, ornamental appearance has been regarded as a symbol for a perfect bourgeois interior since the Biedermeier era. Flowers also have a symbolic meaning both at weddings, where they represent freshness and fertility, and at funerals, where they represent transitoriness and death. An in-depth exploration of the varied symbolic meanings of flowers in cultural history reveals further levels of meaning, many of which refer to the ambivalence and abysms of human existence. The exhibition shows how contemporary art continues the historical and complex tradition of flowers and mushrooms in visual art and uses them in both traditional and new ways.

Celebrity Work: