Fashion: My vision of loveliness
Sunday 25 April 1999
Styled by Zoe Brown
Make-up by Sharon Wilmore using Clinique
Hair by Rudi at Windle using Bumble & Bumble (Tel: 0171 497 2393)
Modelled by Kamilla
Photographer assisted by Lindsay Cameron
Shot at Alphaville Studios (Tel: 0171 490 8889)
Peter Warren, photographer's shot
"Although I shot everyone's choice on Polaroid film first and then went onto shooting it on normal 'roll' film, I chose the actual Polaroid for my final choice, and this is what you see here. Polaroid has a special feel to it, it's slightly ethereal and magical. I didn't really care about what clothes she had on, but this outfit had a nice textural quality and didn't make too much of a statement. My job, primarily, is to attract the reader and you can only do that by taking a beautiful picture. There's no point showing every detail of the hair, make up and clothes if the picture is so ugly that the reader turns the page."
Grey chiffon apron dress (sizes 8-16) and double layered skirt, pounds 92, both Amaya Arzuaga, 400 Oxford Street, London W1. Flannels, Amazon House, 3 Brazil Street, Manchester. (Tel: 0171 935 9393).
This week I fancied something a little different, so I've decided to tell you about what happens on a fashion shoot, because sometimes it's a wonder fashion pictures make it onto the page at all.
Usually, it's the stylist that "directs" the shoot with the photographer. The balance of power can shift in favour of stylist or photographer, depending on who is the "bigger" name. (The hair stylist, make-up artist and model all play crucial roles but don't have much say in the directing of the shoot.)
It's tricky, because everyone wants different things: the photographer wants arty, lovely pictures but doesn't always see the clothes as that important; the stylist wants to see the clothes; the model will get upset if you can't see her face - and, in that case, why have a make-up artist? Then the hair stylist will spend hours on a coiff, only to have it ruined by the stylist sticking a hat on the model's head!
My main concern with fashion pictures is that the clothes should be visible, but presented in an appealing way. No black-on-black tomfoolery but no boring "catalogue"-style shots either. I brief the stylist, Zoe, and she books the crew, calls the clothes in and briefs everybody else.
When the pictures come back, it's down to me to choose the exact edit. Here's where the fun really starts. The stylist might want a frame that shows perfect clothes, whereas I'll pick a shot where the shirt is creased (I like reality) and the photographer may prefer the one which would look perfect shown on its own - but I have to think about what works on the page as a whole.
This week, I let each member of the crew direct his or her very own shot; they chose the clothes and the poses. So this is what you'd get if they were left to their own devices. Next week I'm back in charge.
dear annie will be back next week.
Sharon Wilmore, make-up artist's shot
"I wanted the model's personality to come through, so that's what I tried to capture for this frame. I don't mind if you don't always see her make- up as it's the whole look that counts, but it is annoying when people want to do the close up at the end of a shoot when the make-up isn't as fresh as it could be. I once spent an hour and a half doing make-up on a job and, in the editing process, they cut her head off in every frame."
Black silk v neck top with elongated sleeves (sizes 8-16), pounds 190, John Rocha, 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3. Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, Dublin. (Tel: 0171 838 0017). Black/white feather necklace, pounds 225, Jess James, 3 Newburgh Street, London W1. (Tel: 0171 437 0199).
Kamilla, model's shot (left)
"I rarely get the chance to laugh, and laughing is a pleasure and makes for a great atmosphere so that's what I asked to do. I chose these clothes because they were my style - relaxed, loose but sexy. Yes, it's frustrating if, in the final edit, they choose pictures where you can't see me very well but what can you do? That's life as a model."
Black silk v neck top (sizes 8-16), pounds 190, John Rocha, 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3. Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, Dublin. (Tel: 0171 838 0017).
Annalisa Barbieri, editor's shot (below)
"For these pages I like things to look incidental. I took Kamilla's hair down, got rid of her false eyelashes and told her to just relax. We caught her as she was chatting to the hairstylist - it was completely unposed. I also like to capture models eating because, despite rumours to the contrary, most of them eat an enormous amount of junk. When I'm editing I listen to what the photographer and the stylist like - they are often with me when I edit - but then I make my own mind up. I'm there to choose the best shots for the reader, not for the photographer's book, and I can get quite fierce about it."
Pale pink cashmere vest (sizes xs-xl), pounds 252, Clements Ribiero, A la Mode, 36 Hans Crescent, London SW3. (Tel: 0171 584 2133).
Zoe Brown, stylist's shot (above)
"I wanted this shot to be full length because it worked well with the clothes - but that's not necessarily what I always like. At the start of a shoot I explain the brief to the crew. At times there will be battles, but I have a brief to stick to so I have to stand my ground; it's me who has to go back to the editor."
White cotton pleated dress (sizes 38-44), pounds 285, Dries van Noten, Whistles, 12-14 St Christopher's Place, London W1. 19 Westbury Mall, Balfe Street, Dublin. (Tel: 0171 487 4484). Grey linen fleck long skirt (sizes 8-16), pounds 182, John Rocha, 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3. Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, Dublin. (Tel: 0171 838 0017). White slip-on shoes (sizes 3-8), pounds 126, Strenesse, Harrods, London SW1. (Tel: 0171 287 6767).
Rudi, hair stylist's shot (left)
"I like to pick up on a detail in the clothes, so here I echoed the black sculptural top with the black ribbons in her sculptural hair. I hate busy hair, I like simple detail and I was able to direct the shot to show the detail I wanted. I don't get frustrated if you can't see the hair - it's the creative process that interests me. I do the best I can, then walk away."
Black crinkle funnel neck top (sizes 8-16), pounds 81, Amaya Arzuaga, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1. Flannels, Amazon House, 3 Brazil Street, Manchester. (Tel: 0171 935 9393).
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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