CASTLE ROCK — When Jason Vorse moved home to Castle Rock to start his own floral design shop almost three years ago, he left a nearly two-decade career as a designer in Los Angeles.
But his Hollywood contacts haven’t forgotten him.
Last week a Los Angeles-based production company hired Pollen Floral Works to design the flower displays and other decorations for an Oscars cocktail party Sunday for “Parasite,” a South Korean film up for six nominations, including “Best Picture.” Should it win that category, “Parasite” would be the first foreign-language film to earn that title.
“Depending on how the Oscars go, this (party) has the potential to be one of the biggest parties of the Oscars,” Vorse said Thursday.
Vorse is no stranger to designing Hollywood parties. He arranged $5 million malachite crystal urns for Princess Beatrice of York’s Sweet 16 birthday party and set up flowers for Ashton Kutcher’s wedding to Demi Moore.
Vorse has even worked “behind the scenes” with Oscars parties before, he said. But this year is particularly special because it’s his first time as the design company and not just an employee.
“This is our ballgame now,” Vorse said of Pollen, the Castle Rock florist shop he opened July 2017. “I’ve worked with a lot of very large event production companies, but this is all Pollen. That’s the difference.”
Event design and production company Gina Wade Creative met Saturday to decide who would design the party, Vorse said. None of the designers in L.A. fit their vision, and the company knew Vorse from working together on several past projects.
“They got out of their meeting last Saturday and immediately they said, ‘We have to fly Pollen in,’ which is pretty neat,” Vorse said. “It was more than flattering, to say the least.”
He declined to discuss how much he’ll earn or what the design costs.
Vorse started his “creative process” almost immediately by watching “Parasite” for inspiration. Set in Korea, the dark comedy thriller follows one rich family and one poor family as their lives get unusually entangled.
Pollen’s Oscar party design “pulls different moments” and “works off what the environment within the film looked like,” Vorse said.
For example, all of the containers used in the design will be concrete, he said. He will fill the structures with “dark and sultry” colored flowers such as Japanese sweet peas.
“It will all be very industrial, and the florals will be lush and romantic, but deep, dark, moody colors,” Vorse said.
The Oscars party will feature suspended pieces and more avant garde decor than the weddings he’s designed in Cowlitz County, he said. But “pieces of Pollen” will shine through.
“All that lushness and all the beautiful blossoms … the way we construct things here will be part of it. We will just add the extra flair once we get there.”
Vorse will buy most of his flowers and design product once he’s in California, he said. But he also plans to take “a little piece of Washington with us,” because locally grown flowers are “just the best,” he said. Plus, some of those species aren’t readily available in Los Angeles.
Vorse flies out Thursday, “teleporting Pollen to Los Angeles.”(Vorse said he will fully stock the Castle Rock stop, so it will remain open in his absence.)
That Friday and Saturday, Vorse will buy his materials and prep his design team. Pollen hired about 10 Los Angeles-based freelance designers to help.
Sunday morning before the Oscars, the team will install their pieces for the event, which starts at 4 p.m.
“It’s just another moment to allow us to push to the next level creatively, and even mechanically to be able to figure out new designs and presentations, like the suspended pieces,” Vorse said. “It’s just pushing (Pollen) to the next level.”