Wednesday, 29 February 2012

London Fashion Weekend: The Catwalk

Rachel Nicholson and I attended London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House on Sunday 26th February.

There were tons of designers there, all set up with their favourite pieces on display for purchase. Items ranging from £20 to a scary amount of thousands...

There were items from Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Jasper Conran, Burberry and many more.

We had a chat with a lovely lady called Kat Barry at Kat&Bee about her jewellery, which was awesome. I really did love these rings and did consider forking out for one of the large silver rings with the grey or purple rose... definitely worth a look. I really like her 'Courtallam' collection.

We also got squirted by Juicy Couture and their new perfumes... Rach and I agreed that the original one was still better than their two releases but one is quite fruity which I like in a perfume...

We had our photo snapped by Elle magazine for the feature on London Fashion Weekend so you'll need to keep an eye out for us in the upcoming release to see if we make an appearance.

We saw Wayne of Noir Photography wandering around before the catwalk hunting out the well-hidden gift bag stand.

We also saw a beauty presentation with a make-up artist from Elizabeth Arden but it was too cringeworthy for Rachel to watch as he was talking an awful lot of bull about organic products and how the products don't do x,y,z when they actually do and so we didn't stay to the end of that one. XD

The Catwalk

We got to the catwalk at about 1:10pm for the 1:30 show and sat in the photography bank with the others. I immediately spilled my tea everywhere. Smooth.

The show was opened by TV presenter, Caroline Flack who was rather enthusiastic and was very keen on exciting the already intrigued audience.

There were photography enthusiasts, fashion bloggers and designers scattered amongst the crowd, pens at the ready.

First of all, the latest work from Holly Fulton was introduced and out rolled the models...

This girl was outstanding.
Really beautiful.

... and then there was the following trend styled by Miss Molly, 'Prim Rose'...

... it's an ice-cream cone if you're wondering...

As you can see, this trend is full of block pastels for the summer...

Rach and I weren't completely pleased about rolled up trousers/ankle-swingers coming into fashion...

And we all know what happens to our noses when boys wear shoes with no socks, so that's not great news for anyone either...

After 'Prim Rose', there was some pieces from Antipodium...

^ This was my favourite image of the day...

Antipodium was probably a favourite along with the first range from Holly Fulton (I'm a sucker for turquoise).

Then we had another trend again, styled by Miss Molly; 'Game On'...

(I've been waiting years for pyjamas and leather jackets to come into fashion...)

And then... of course, there was the highlight of the catwalk today...

All the professionals and all the wannabes were on the edge of there seats now and the journalists were poised, waiting for the first outfit... 

Which was...

It became very quickly apparent that headbands/headties are currently 'in'... XD

... and that was London Fashion Weekend!

I hope you've enjoyed browsing the images and are halfway through your online purchases of ice-cream cone hats and headbands...

And I will blog again soon, probably on the shoot in Westminster for House of Hannigan!


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Matthew Stainer: Behind The Scenes

Last week, on Saturday 25th February, I was working 'behind the scenes' on a photoshoot for Matthew Stainer of Matthew Stainer Photography.

He was shooting the fabulous Ceri Williams in a fantastic abandoned, derelict, run down limeworks (good for Urbex-ers!!!) near Hindhead.

This is Matthew:

He doesn't like having his photo taken but apart from that Nikon stuck to his face, I reckon he's not too hard on the eyes.

I have known Matthew for a very long time, we spoke about shooting when I first ever started modelling at 18 and have kept in touch ever since. Our first shoot was in November 2008 and we went on to shoot a further two times, the latest being incredibly recent (August 2011) as we had meant to do it back in my modelling days but between us had never found the time.

Shoot One (Nov 2008) ^

^ Shoot Two (Nov 2009)
Shoot Three(Aug 2011) ^

Since getting into photography myself in 2009, Matthew has always remained a great contact and friend and we occasionally exchange comments, feedback and emails as we build our portfolio work.

Recently, as our lovely Ceri has been venturing out into the wonderful (deadly) world of modelling, and Rachel Nicholson of course is building her makeup portfolio between her highly-demanding (yet awesome) job, I suggested to the three of them that they might like to work together. Matthew had asked a while back if he arranged a shoot and ever needed an extra hand that perhaps if I was free I could come and assist for the day, to which I confirmed that this of course would be fine if I was free. So, that's how I wormed my way into attending this one, basically. :)

I came along on the day as taxi, wardrobe stylist, behind the scenes photographer and extra pair of hands and the four of us met at the Bluebell pub in Cocking.

*snigger* - Childish, I know.

The car journey there was hysterical. The more that was said, the more we were streaming with tears of laughter. At one point, I thought my stomach was going to just leave me for someone else and my eyes were so full of tears, I couldn't see the road. When we arrived at the pub, our eyes were so red, my makeup was streaming, and I think I saw 'what the hell have I let myself in for' cross Matthew's face. We didn't behave much better from then, I have to say.

We all piled into Matthew's car and headed up the road to the Limeworks. It was AWESOME.

Matthew and I walked around and checked out the location in more detail...

 ...and Rach got started on Ceri's makeup for the 'truck shots'.

After the makeup was finished, I kindly made the observation that Ceri looked freaking awesome... albeit like David Bowie's long lost twin sister... XD
Separated at birth?

You know I'm right.

So we got Ceri into outfit number one:

(I don't know what she's doing with her face here.)

Except for the shoes as, as Rachel put it, watching Ceri walk in these shoes was like watching Bambi learn to walk. (That also set us off again. So many tears).

I started off taking pictures of Matthew at work...

... but then Rach started kindly ruining my shots for me... :

So shortly after, I began helping a little with the lighting:

Whilst Rachel developed a mad obsession with this dark creepy room that she wanted to investigate:

She peeped her head in with my little LED torch but got all freaked out by the strange shadowy shapes in there and dark corners so she ran back and got the little digital camera instead.

She popped her arm in, took a photo and had a look, relieved to see that it was just a room with some old shelves in.

Though in post-production, I took it over to black and white and upped the contrast and I began to notice something over in the right hand corner. I went over it a little with the sharpen tool and... well I don't know about you guys but...

... anyway, Matthew got some really awesome shots of Ceri over by the truck and then we got started on set two.

Rachel started painting up Ceri like a panda to get a Taylor Momsen sort of look going on, but unfortunately, due to the freezing cold weather, Ceri's eyes were streaming constantly...

.. so Rach did something a bit more simple around the eyes, and it looked ace.

(... especially when Ceri did her 'Eye of Shoggoth' impression.)

We headed over to this old office building and got set up:

... where we were lucky enough to discover a poor dead badger who had probably crawled in out of the cold to die. :'(

Despite the deceased company, Ceri cracked on and gave a cracking performance pulling off such stunners as this:

Image by Matthew Stainer

And then we took it back outside for the end of the shoot.

Ceri makes such a hot metaller.

And there're our behind the scenes images (and a couple of Matthew's).

See Matthew's blog here for final images such as these: