A Day in Silver Lake, With Yasmine Mei
Nicki Sebastian for Parachute
Our hometown of Los Angeles is a sprawling city. So big in fact, we've expanded our brick-and-mortar presence beyond Venice – this time east of the 405. Parachute Silver Lake opened its doors early this August to bougainvillea lined streets, arguably the best food in L.A. and a thriving community of creatives. To help us get to know our new 'hood, we turned to Yasmine Mei, the in demand floral designer who sources close to us have dubbed, 'Queen of the East Side.'
Known around L.A. for her ethereal, simple and classic aesthetic, we’ve been fans of Yasmine's work for years – lucky us, the feeling was mutual! After creating a stunning floral installation for our new store, we enlisted Yasmine for her expertise on the East Side. Read on for her favorite spots, Parachute Silver Lake included!
The Los Angeles Flower Market
I begin most days with a trip to the Flower Market in Downtown L.A. It’s the largest wholesale floral district in the country and going there is exactly what you’d imagine – beautiful and magical. My favorite vendors include: Willie Sanchez, Z Callas and Fleurametz.
While you can find the freshest selection of seasonal flowers, I tend to gravitate towards dried flowers or those that can dry beautifully. Every floral arrangement has a very real expiration date and I try to be mindful of the resources used to grow the flowers and those needed to keep them alive. A bouquet that looks beautiful freshly cut and will dry just as gorgeous is something I’ve learned to prioritize.
It’s not a day on the East Side without a stop into Sqirl – seriously! I’ve known Jess Koslow, owner of Sqirl, for about seven years and have been doing their florals on and off ever since they opened in 2011. I love how innovative their food is, while still being accessible and not remotely stuffy. And despite the long lines of hungry tourists (it’s worth the wait!), this spot has become a hub of the Silver Lake community. I can’t go there without running into friends, or hanging with the staff while enjoying my favorite dish: the Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl (sans meat and egg) and a coffee.
Parachute Silver Lake
I’ve been such a fan of Parachute for years, teaching wreath workshops for the holidays and doing florals for different events. It’s extremely important to me when brands are transparent about how and where their products are made – I love that Parachute's assortments are not only beautiful, but are responsibly manufactured in places like Italy and Portugal. To celebrate the new store opening I created a dried installation welcoming shoppers in. Once the display is taken down the florals can be kept given a second life in vases among products.
I live in Atwater Village, which is sandwiched between Silver Lake and Glendale. I always used to walk past Individual Medley when it first opened until finally the owner, Monica Navarro, popped out and introduced herself – we’ve been close friends ever since.
Individual Medley is a rare gem; they curate the most beautiful collections from local artisans, while also using their space to foster a creative community. They generously share their space with like minded artists and craftspeople, like myself! I’ve done several pop up flower markets and workshops in the store. It's become a home away from home.
If you do find yourself on Glendale Ave. be it at Individual Medley or the Atwater Sunday farmer’s market, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Proof Bakery. I do not give this compliment lightly, but Na Young Ma, the owner, makes the best croissants outside of France. I visit family overseas quite often and am always pleased to report back that Na’s croissants are on par with the Parisians – if not better! Her selection of financiers, tarts and canelés are also worth indulging in.