Developing Your Signature Style From The Flower Class Summer Sessions With Hanneke Frankema

floral design floral design theory floral education floral insights floral techniques floristry competition floristry tips free floristry education May 24, 2023

This May, Flower Class is coming to you live with FOUR incredible FREE live sessions featuring guest industry experts and one unmissable live finale with Joseph Massie.  You are invited to join us for The Flower Class Summer Sessions.  Flower lovers from around the world are coming together to learn, explore and connect over the things we love - great floral design and incredible floristry education. 

Our second session, featured the current European Cup Winner, Hanneke Frankema.  Hanneke has developed an instantly recognisable signature style and cultivated an internationally renowned reputation for her innovative use of wire frames.  Hanneke's approach to floral design has us all thinking outside of the box and reimagining floral design in a whole new way without limits.  When it comes to expanding what's possible, there's no better inspiration. 

In Joseph’s conversation with Hanneke, we explored her early roots and path into floral design, how competitions can open up new doors and her personal approach to developing a signature style as well as a whole host of insights, tips and tricks.

Lets' take a look at three key highlights from her conversation with Joseph.


Competitions have allowed Hanneke to discover a side of floral design she never knew existed when she was just starting out.  Never did she imagine that there was a career possibility that involved floristry and travelling around the world to some of the most prestigious institutions to showcase her work.  But that is exactly what she discovered, a career presenting masterclasses and workshops, being called to design for magazines and positioned as an expert in the field.  Doors opened because winning competitions allowed her to make a name for herself and get seen.  The rewards can be huge, but Hanneke with all her grace and humility is honest about the reality of competitions.  You can't count on winning and the pressure is not for everyone.  In her conversation with Joseph she reveals the reality of holding her nerve through Covid, waiting four years to present her competition pieces and the dedication to preparation that is really required to succeed. 


Colour theory forms such an integral part of design, but for many, exploring colour can feel overwhelming and scary.  Hanneke recommends beginning with colours that you are naturally drawn to, she personally loves warm colours and this is reflected in her work.  In her conversation with Joseph, she talks about how she is comfortable working with any colour palette, but working with colours that she loves feels the best to her.  From that starting point, Hanneke turns to the fresh materials themselves for inspiration.  For example taking a closer look at the tones and colours held within one of your focal flowers.  A Phalaenopsis orchid for example can offer you a true nature inspired colour palette with its petal and throat colour combination.


Hanneke's work is instantly recognisable, from her choice of colours and materials to her techniques to bring it all together.  But just how exactly did she develop such a recognisable signature look?  Hanneke talks with Joseph about it not being entirely intentionally, but gives us tips on how to approach creating a signature look for yourself.  Time and trial is key, whilst Hanneke didn't set out to become known for working with wires, she did pay attention to what she enjoyed, what worked and what didn't.  She recommends again starting with what you like, the things that you find beautiful.  For her that is soft, round shapes, warm colours, a feminine aesthetic.  A signature style takes time to evolve, you have to experiment and play, but if you keep coming back to what you love you can find a common thread to tie it together.

Hanneke's approach to floral design encourages us all to consider new materials, new ways of playing, new ways of creating.  Check out the full conversation by signing up The Flower Class Summer Sessions and watching the replay today!

Team Joseph Massie.