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Oprah Winfrey rendered in florals.
Photograph: Courtesy of Fleurs de Villes | A past exhibition featuring Oprah Winfrey.

Massive floral mannequins are coming to Hudson Yards to celebrate remarkable women

The floral artworks honor Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, Serena Williams, Queen Elizabeth II and more.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
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Rossilynne Skena Culgan
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Lilies, carnations, orchids and more types of roses than you ever knew existed will transform into larger-than-life floral sculptures honoring amazing women throughout history, and you can see them for free at The Shops at Hudson Yards starting this Friday, October 7. 

Sixteen floral mannequins will comprise this blossoming wonderland called "FEMMES," each one celebrating a different iconic woman, such as Frida Kahlo, Billie Holiday, Malala Yousafzai and Queen Elizabeth II. 

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Each mannequin masterpiece measures in at a towering 10 feet tall. World-renowned bespoke floral company Fleurs de Villes is leading the botanical exhibition in partnership with New York City florists. The "FEMMES" show has appeared everywhere from Edinburgh to Sydney before arriving in New York City. Though the New York City pieces aren't complete yet, judging from the photos from past events we're sharing here, prepare to be wowed.

Here's who will be depicted through flowers this month:

Bella Abzug

A lawyer, social activist and US Congresswoman from New York, she was an outspoken advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment and a leader in the women’s rights movement.

Fanny Brice 

Fanny Brice was one of the greatest vaudeville stars of all time. Brice’s remarkable life is the subject of the musical Funny Girl, which is now back on Broadway, starring Lea Michele as Fanny Brice at The August Wilson Theatre. This piece is presented in partnership with Funny Girl on Broadway.

Billie Holiday

This American jazz singer who grew up in Harlem was nicknamed “Lady Day.” She had an innovative influence on jazz and pop vocals and was known for her incredible pitch control and improvisational skills.

Frida Kahlo rendered in florals.
Photograph: Courtesy of Fleurs de Villes | Frida Kahlo at a past exhibition.

Frida Kahlo

Possibly the most well-known female painter of modern times, Kahlo is famous for her ground-breaking self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of her native Mexico.

Lady Gaga

A New York-born singer-songwriter and performance artist known for over-the-top fashion and performances, she has successfully crossed-over into acting, with her latest roles in the movies House of Gucci and A Star is Born.

Jennifer Lopez

An actor, singer and dancer from the Bronx, Lopez is considered the most influential Hispanic entertainer in North America.

Bette Midler

A film, TV and Broadway actress, comedian and singer, Midler was awarded a Kennedy Center Honors in 2021.

Leontyne Price

This American soprano with a long association with the Metropolitan Opera was the first African American to be a leading performer there.

Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 1952 until her death earlier this year. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during her lifetime and 15 at the time of her death.

Chita Rivera

A film, television and theater actor, singer and dancer, Rivera originated the role of Anita in West Side Story on Broadway.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Serving as diplomat, humanitarian and first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt became chair of the UN’s Human Rights Commission and helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Gloria Vanderbilt

While she became known early in life as the center of a widely publicized custody battle, Vanderbilt carved out her own place in history as an artist, author and fashion designer.

Vera Wang

This American fashion designer who started her own brand at age 40 is now well known for her bridal gowns. Before that, she had worked at Vogue for 17 years and had been the youngest editor there when she was hired straight out of college.

Edith Wharton

Considered the Grande Dame of American letters, Edith Wharton wrote 40 books in 40 years, including The Age of Innocence, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, becoming the first woman to do so. 

Serena Williams

Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, the tennis champion announced her retirement in August 2022, 23 years after her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 1999.

Malala Yousafzai

A Pakistani activist for female education and human rights, Yousafzai is also the youngest person in the world to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

A floral sculpture at a past exhibition.
Photograph: By Karen Sterling / Courtesy of Fleurs de Villes | A floral sculpture at a past exhibition.

This year’s participating florists include: Alexis Denise Floral Design, Blooming New York, Brooklyn Blooms, FDK Florals, Flowers by Special Arrangement, Hactac Events by Denise A Grant, Larkspur Botanicals, Lilac Shade Flower Co., Ora la Casa de las Flores, Polycarp Flowers, Raven Hollow Guild, Rosehip, Starbright Floral Design, Villanueva Designs and WFM Floral & Design.

In addition to admiring the blossoms, you can also shop at pop-up flower markets, vote for your favorite mannequin and attend floral workshops where you will learn to create floral headbands and make unique rose bouquets. 

See FEMMES from Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 16 (12-5 pm) at The Shops at Hudson Yards.

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