NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – There’s a fresh bouquet of blooms marching this Carnival Season, the Krewe Des Fleurs was created last spring by Laura Shapiro. “Some goods friends and I were sitting around talking about how amazing and magical Mardi Gras is, we decided we wanted to form something that was really based in femininity and a little bit different from some things we have seen before. The first thought was that we would build flowers that were unique to each woman and that she could pick the flower she wanted and then just blossom as much as she wanted in the garden,” says Shapiro.
Inspired by the floats in Endymion, she contacted costume designer Katie Champagne. “I worked at Kern Studios for a while so I knew how to make the actual flowers that go on the floats, we just had to figure out how to put them on a person so that took a little bit of troubleshooting. I knew that these ladies could do it but they really did it and it looks awesome. Everybody’s came out amazing, they came out perfect on camera. The thing about costume making that is fun but also challenging is that every new thing is a new invention,” says Champagne.
After countless hours, the ladies perfected their petals and developed a green thumb. In lieu of beads, the ladies made origami lilies, dipped in wax for stability then painted by hand. “We love this idea because we want to be the kind of krewe that doesn’t encourage a lot of use of plastic unless it’s upcycled so this was a perfect fit for us. I think we might have folded two-thousand flowers easily, maybe more, we probably folded three-thousand but two-thousand made it onto the parade route,” says Shapiro.
Their first parade was Krewedelusion and next up is Mardi Gras Day. “When we all walked out the door Saturday for ‘delusion’ it honestly made me really emotional because everything we thought about just the sort of magical qualities that we wanted to exhibit that are so present in Mardi Gras were all there and they were all unique and they were all beautiful and they all just really blossomed. This is beyond anything I ever imagined,” says Shapiro.