Creative Director Susie Reid Thomas and Chief Technician Sheldon Thompson talk to us about the creation of the Sapphire Tree.
How would you describe the new Sapphire tree?
Susie: It’s a bit punchy, a bit different. This incredible, vibrant blue is so different to anything else we have in our range and it looks sensational.
And how was it building this brand new tree?
Sheldon: It was a really interesting build not knowing exactly how it was going to take shape. You’ve got to start building to get a feel for the tree and in a way, it dictates the form it’s going to take.
Susie: It was Sheldon that came up with the idea of using a birch trunk. It is so beautiful, the white really makes the blue pop. It’s very fresh.
Sheldon: We always work from a design but there’s an element of flexibility. You have to get a feel for the tree, for the materials you are working with and that takes time. This tree is a bit of a hybrid in terms of construction; it was a fabricated, real trunk and therefore a quite technical build.
Susie: We have to be mindful of the fact that it is going to be transported and constructed and deconstructed many times, it needs to be built to withstand this level of handling.
How do you see the tree being used?
Susie: There are so many successful blue brands out there, I can’t wait to see who uses the tree first. We actually had our photoshoot at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire as we thought there would be a fabulous synergy between the brands. I absolutely love the idea of this tree being used as a ‘something blue’ at a wedding. It’s such a vibrant, tranquil blue and it looks different in different lights. From sea blue to sky blue, all the tones are in there and let’s not forget royal blue, perfect for the royal celebrations ahead.
What trees do you see it working well with?
The Sapphire looks incredible with the White Maple trees. The white of the trunk sits beautifully alongside the white of the maples and the twinkling on the LED’s makes it almost magical.
Did the Sapphire tree meet your vision?
Susie: Absolutely. We wanted the tree to be really quite dense, to really pack a punch in this instance. Sometimes you want the trees to be light and airy but this is like ‘boom’ in your face, very blue! This design came from the gut. We’ve got our pinks, our whites, our greens, our golds and this is just something that’s completely out there.
We’ve got the most amazing collections of trees and to keep adding extra elements that keep us fresh. It keeps it exciting, makes it continually challenging for the build team and helps us to keep learning, keep developing and keep bringing ever more exciting trees to the market.
Weddings and events are so much more experiential these days and it’s such an exciting industry to be a part of. We have got so much bolder with our creativity and this blue tree is just the tip of the iceberg.
This is just the beginning of the collection. This is the trailblazer and there will be a whole collection to follow.
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