IN CONVERSATION WITH TWELVE TOMATOES
CONCEPTUALIZERS / URBAN GARDENERS / STYLISTS / CO-CREATORS OF TWELVE TOMATOES
Delhi-based event designers, Karan Singh Parmar and Amit Lata, unmask a Diwali like no other.
One of the leading designers to emerge in the event design space are the duo behind Twelve Tomatoes, Amit Lata and Karan Singh Parmar. Starting out with flower arrangements, growing the business into a full-scale event design company and going viral with the 9 to 5 flower arrangement challenge during the lockdown. We hear all about their journey!
We miss the Delhi parties, the flowers, the extravagant decor. How will entertaining at home change as we emerge out of the global pandemic? Will we ever go back to the way things were done before?
Personally, we think we'll go back to the status quo and the old way of doing things as soon as there is a vaccine. After all, what is a Big Fat Indian Wedding with only 100 guests?
How do you think Diwali will be celebrated this year?
Diwali will be an intimate affair this year - with only family and close friends for company, and hopefully, like the true meaning of the festival, may we find our way out of this darkness, into the light.
Tea and flowers are two of our favourite things. What did you have in mind when you came up with the concept for our Diwali campaign?
Drinking tea always seems to be an intimate, cozy experience..something to be enjoyed and savoured with friends and family. We tried to bring that feeling of calmness and the subtle joy associated with Diwali for the campaign.
Diwali will be an intimate affair this year - with only family and close friends for tea.
Your work involves a deep level of interaction with your clients and you have created magic for Radhika's events at home, how do you manage to cater to individual personalities and styles?
It's important to listen to your clients and deliver what they actually want. We always jokingly say that we are designers, not artists - it's not fair for us to force our "vision". Our job is to understand what our clients want and to deliver that in the best possible way.
"We always jokingly say that we are designers, not artists - it's not fair for us to force our 'vision'."
Event Planning in the New Normal
How has the business been affected this year in terms of sourcing, events and organisation?
2020 has been a total disaster, to be honest. A lot of events which we had in the pipeline have been cancelled or postponed. We think the way to mentally deal with this is to accept that there are some things beyond your control and to make peace with the current circumstances.
Tell us about sourcing flowers in Delhi. How do you tackle seasonal changes for your business?
For the bulk of our floral sourcing, we depend on the flower mandi at Gazipur. Unlike a romantic vision some people have, the mandi is nothing like a quaint European flower market! It's crowded and fast-paced and there is literally no time to stop to smell the flowers.
Regarding the seasonality, one has to be aware of what is available at what time of the year, and inform your clients accordingly. For example, we had a client asking for Pear blossoms in August, and we had to very politely tell them that they were six months too late!
"Unlike a romantic vision some people have, the mandi is nothing like a quaint European flower market!"
What are some ways we can re-imagine tablescapes to new settings?
The best way to re-imagine tablescapes is to let your imagination run wild ..literally, close your eyes and think about what sort of an event you are hosting. What kind of experience would you like your guests to have? Your centrepiece can be flowers or vegetables, or goldfish bowls - don't hold yourself back!
We hope things will be back to normal, share some essentials for hosting an unforgettable dinner party?
Ice! Make sure you have enough ice for your drinks and enough alcohol for the ice! Make sure your guests are well attended to and have yummy food to eat. It's not rocket science!
Tea & Flowers
The idea of buying flowers for yourself is similar to taking a moment to indulge in a cup of tea, what would you recommend to your readers for a midweek boost?
We would like to get rid of this idea that buying flowers is an unnecessary luxury - it does not matter how much money you are willing to spend. Even a simple gajra bought at a traffic intersection and wrapped around your wrist can be evocative, can be sensual and make you smile.
For a midweek boost - nothing beats a bunch of rajnigandha, or even some gerberas, in the colour of your choice.
"Your centrepiece can be flowers or vegetables, or goldfish bowls - don't hold yourself back!"