Longtime White House florist Laura Dowling was mysteriously fired last month, the Washington Post's Reliable Source reports. Were her "fussy" floral arrangements too "French" for the newly "modern" first lady? Sounds like it!
Dowling apparently plucked her last White House rose in February, when she was abruptly dismissed from her position of six years and immediately escorted out of the building. Did she do something terribly wrong? Only artistically, reports the Post:
Laura's work "is just different. I'm not sure if it was right for the White House," said one top floral designer in the area who has done freelance florist work for splashy big events at 1600 Penn. This designer, like many we talked to, spoke on the condition of anonymity because "the floral community is very small, and nobody wants to put down anybody's work."
Another former area designer told us that Dowling had a very specific look, pointedly French, which lent itself to loose garden-style arrangements that were still quite formal. "She wanted to create a look," said the source, "and that's the look she's had for the past six years."
Mrs. Obama unveiled her "thoroughly modernized" mark on the White House, featuring a custom-made 1950s-inspired rug and bold artwork, to surprised tourists on Feb. 10. Dowling is said to have been escorted from the White House three days later.
Dowling is telling reporters she "resigned in order to pursue exciting new opportunities and explore my passion for floral artistry and design."