Third one in our talks series - Misha Todirașcu, the flower master behind Studio Linné. She has as well curated a beautiful playlist with tracks that she is listening to, either while simultaneously catching the rhythms of songs & flowers, or taking some time off while getting lost in the nature. If you ever wondered what kind of music a master of flowers might listen to, then you have found it. (highly recommended to listen to it while reading the interview).
Tom àdam: How did your love-story with Berlin start?
Misha Todirașcu: I wouldn't call my story with Berlin a love one. It started with a break-up and a big ass depression which made it hard to love this city and I am still learning to do it. I moved here in the snowy 2015 winter, with no hopes or expectations, which eased my way into finding what i care about so much nowadays, flowers. Nonetheless I do thank Berlin for taking me out of the comfort zone and putting me on an emotional rollercoaster that ended with me finding myself, however cheesy it sounds.
Tom àdam: What’s the most fond memory in your mind, from your first encounter with flowers?
The checker pattern of a Fritillaria. I was amazed by the exactness of nature and how it can create sometimes mathematically precise patterns.
Tom àdam: There is a jukebox on the street - what song would you choose to play and what would be the signature dance move you would accompany it with?
Misha: "Tossing and Turning" by Windjammer is a total jam, watch me not think of anything and dance every time I listen to this song. I mostly get lost in my moves and can’t think of one signature one to describe my chaotic dancing, haha.
Tom àdam: What’s on your reading list at the moment?
Misha: Lately I find it hard to read fiction books, so I am sinking my teeth into ‘Medieval Gardens’ by John Harvey and ‘Greek Gods, Human lives’ by Mary Lefkowitz. Since both are deeply historical, it makes it easy to detach from daily thoughts and I find it hard to leave some pages for later. ‘Medieval Gardens’ is a book I found in an old library in Porto (the only English book they had), which I consider a minor miracle since it is related to the legacy of classical gardens which I love. This book demonstrates that from the eleventh century, at least, plants were grown and gardens laid out for their beauty as much as for their usefulness. It also claims the notion that gardening was purely utilitarian before the Italian Renaissance is ill-founded. Isn't it fascinating that even in the Dark Ages, people were delighted by gardens and flowers? The illustrations in the book depict plants that don’t exist anymore, and describes scents that flowers don’t carry anymore.
"Isn't it fascinating that even in the Dark Ages, people were delighted by gardens and flowers? The illustrations in the book depict plants that don’t exist anymore, and describes scents that flowers don’t carry anymore."
Tom àdam: How important is creative freedom in your work?
Misha: When it comes to creation, freedom is the basis for transforming primitive ideas into complex works. It is essential.
Tom àdam: What’s the fondest family memory that pops up in your mind?
Misha: That summer night we spent in our family car on the Ukranian Black Sea beach as we couldn’t afford anywhere else to stay. It turned out to be my most cherished moment, sharing the back of the car with my three year old sister, my mom and dad and two huge watermelons that we gladly ate as soon as we woke up.
Tom àdam: When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
Misha: Every day, haha. Owning a business makes you learn new skills and step out of comfort daily.
Tom àdam: What’s your morning routine?
I have a morning routine only on free days, which became a rarity in my life. When I get the time to have a free morning I love to take it slow. I wake up earlier than my partner and make coffee for both of us. Next step in my routine is waiting for him to wake up so he can cook a delicious breakfast for us. By the time we have eaten, discussed all of our thoughts, ideas, wishes and hopes, morning is over.
Tom àdam: Misha, can you recall the first time you were amazed by a piece of clothing or an accessory?
Misha: Yes, it was my mom’s strappy shoes from the 2000s! The strap was so long that she could lace them up above the knee. As a kid I was fascinated by how long the strap was and never hesitated when left alone at home to parade with them in the front of the mirror.
Tom àdam: How important to you are the clothes that you wear?
Growing up I lacked the opportunity to express myself with clothes and nowadays I enjoy it to the fullest to make up for those lost freedoms. The clothes I wear daily are very much representing my mood and I am very uncomfortable when my outfit doesn’t fit my disposition.
Tom àdam: What are some of the things within your field of work that you expected to be harder than they actually ended up being?
Misha: I expected my idea of flower arrangements to be met with more skepticism. I believe every arrangement needs to leave space for each flower to breath. Even if every arrangement is an entity, the coherence of it will not be spoiled by giving space to each of its elements.
I have met many people asking for ‘more’ when it came to my arrangements, but once I explained to clients how ‘less is more’, I found them very open to this idea.
Tom àdam: If you have to choose one flower that would be you. What’s your pick and why?
Misha: If you will ask me tomorrow, the answer will be different as my flower preferences change daily. It is unimaginable for me to choose one.
Today I feel like a Snowdrop. This flower is deeply rooted in the Romanian folklore and it reminds me deeply of home and spring, two things I miss profoundly.
Tom àdam: What do you value the most when working with flowers?