Rumors are still swirling around the resignation of White House head florist, Laura Dowlin, several weeks ago. Did she quit, or was she unofficially fired? Did her tenure at the White House end because of a bitter fight with First Lady Michelle Obama? New inside sources say there may have been some conflict before Dowlin’s unceremonious departure.
According to the Washington Post, Dowlin’s departure from the White House was “hush-hush,” so much so that few people outside of the East Wing knew anything about it. That drew a stark contrast to personal chef Sam Kass, who left with plenty of accolades on his “extraordinary legacy of progress.” Chief pastry chef Bill Yosses’ departure was similarly “mourned” by the Obamas.
So why didn’t the head florist receive similar praise immediately after her leaving?
The Chicago Tribune reports that Dowlin’s less formal French style clashed with the First Lady’s aesthetic tastes.
Speaking anonymously, one designer said the head florist’s style “is just different. I’m not sure if it was right for the White House.”
The first lady debuted a new modern look to the Old Family dining room, just days after the head florist’s resignation.
According to Fox News, one source insists that there is no secret scandal surround the chief florist and her sudden resignation. Press releases from both the East Wing and Dowlin seem to confirm that narrative.
When initially questioned about Laura Dowlin, the East Wing sent out a brief email saying, “Laura left her position earlier this year.”
As rumors continued to persist, the First Lady’s office enhanced the statement, according to the Washington Post.
“As Chief Florist, Laura Dowling and her team treated guests of the White House to their beautiful floral arrangements. Ms. Dowling’s creations were always lively and colorful, reflecting not only the season but the unique and historic rooms which they graced… We are grateful for her contribution over the years and wish her well.”
The former chief florist released her own statement through the law firm Sidley Austin.
“After almost 6 years as Chief Floral Designer at the White House, I have resigned in order to pursue exciting new opportunities and explore my passion for floral artistry and design… It’s been such an honor to work at the White House and I will always be grateful for this incredible opportunity.”
When the Washington Post asked if there was anyone filling in as head florist, the White House responded, “there really isn’t.” The first lady might be taking on that job for now.
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