Today I styled a fashion shoot for a new magazine. I can’t reveal the name of it yet as it’s all a bit hush hush Secret Squirrel with new publications before they launch. It does look pretty amazing though. Can’t wait to see it in print. The concept of the story was British Heritage to run over eight pages, the location was an old country house in Cambridge, the ‘talent’ were Jesse, a gorgeous red headed model and Ian, dark haired, pale skinned and very Vampire Diaries.
I wanted to mix up this season’s looks with some authentic vintage fashions. You know the heritage look – tweeds, corduroy, tartan, velvet waistcoats, bow ties, caps, beaded dresses, autumnal colours, pearl jewellery mixed with contemporary quilted jackets, wellies, cropped knits. I went to the National Theatre costume department to source my vintage pieces. It’s in a huge old building with high ceilings and hundreds of rails of clothing, stacked three rails high as you can see from the photos. You have to climb up these rolling ladders to get to the top rows. I love it in there and time passes so quickly, too quickly because I get totally lost looking at all the beautifully handmade clothing. Some of them are hundreds of years old. I also went to their props department and selected a few suitcases and hat boxes that I thought would work together as a set.
I never know exactly what fashion will be needed on these location shoots or what will work cos most of the time I haven’t seen the location before the shoot day. Sometimes the photographer will take photos which they email to me. If the shoot is in London I like to go and see the location myself prior to prepping the clothes. Then I know exactly what the colour scheme is and what the lighting is gonna be like.
Becky and Jade my assistants, came to my flat for 5.30am (ewww!) this morning to help load my van up with all the fashion wardrobe. I had prepped so much stuff – clothes, jewellery, hats, shoes, gloves, belts, bags, scarves, tights, socks, umbrellas, vintage suitcases plus a styling kit containing masses of nude and black underwear, sewing kits, steamers, iron and ironing board, clothing rails – it was a struggle to fit it and us in the van. I could barely see Jade in the back of the van with all the clothes surrounding her.
The house was huge and set in beautiful grounds. It looked beautiful on this a sunny morning. While the girls were busy unpacking the photographer showed me the rooms stuffed with antiques and the outdoor spaces he was planning to take photos in so I could work out which locations might be best for full length outfits and which might be better for crops. One of the most disappointing things as a stylist is when you’ve created an amazing outfit where the shoes are really key to the look and the photographer or magazine later crops the models legs plus fabulous shoes out of the shot!
Once the locations were fixed I could style up some outfits on the models. Our wardrobe room was quite possibly the most magnificent space I’ve ever had on a job (except for the Italian villa on The Bachelor last summer with hot bod Gavin Henson!) We took snaps of Jesse in each of the looks to help us remember them throughout the day and to see what suited her body shape and skintone. You never know til you start the fitting what the model’s body is going to be like. There aren’t many people who are perfectly in proportion. Female models can have long legs or long bodies, big boobs, no boobs, be straight up and down, pearshaped or hourglass. Everyone is different and unique. Once Jesse was ready she went onto set where Jade would watch over the shot so I could dash back upstairs and style Ian. Becky was manically hanging up everything tried on and writing notes about the chosen outfits so when the credits are done at a later stage we can remember which designer or brand created each item. Whenever I had a moment throughout the day I was on the phone to the PRs calling in accessories for a shoot I’m doing with Gok in London tomorrow.
A beautiful vintage car arrived for the shots of the models together in front of the house. I styled up outfits that complemented each other. Not that you could see Ian’s outfit behind all the suitcases! We did about ten shots in total which was pretty good going. I was really pleased with the looks – a good mix of designer, high street and vintage clothing and the shots didn’t look too ‘period,’ which can sometimes happen when a stylist does vintage clothes in a vintage setting.
It was 7pm when we finished shooting and we were knackered. All we had to do was drive back to London and unpack everything and take it up three flights of stairs (double eek!) into my fashion office ready for the assistants to return tomorrow. Eurgh, that’s the not so glamorous side of the job.
Love Kirsty x