behind the scenes

Making of Sidewalk for Hope Street Magazine

Over this past summer I started pitching editorial ideas based on the trends shown at the fall shows (being relevant makes editors love you more), and one movement that caught my eye was the fashion world’s rediscovered love of all things 70’s from boho femininity to all the glamour of classic Halston (and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon).  As I was reviewing the collections, the imagery that was running through my mind wasn’t the gloss of modern editorials (not that I don't love it), but classic movie scenes and Diana Vreeland Vogue spreads, with all the glorious color and depth of classic films.  So from the very beginning I started pitching the story of a girl exploring the West Village (which ended up being the meatpacking district) with the plan of trying to mimic the effects of those iconic films.

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The first publication to get back to me was Hope Street.  I initially discovered them via their instagram and the more research I did the more impressed I was with their print and digital platforms, the more motivated I was to work with them.  So needless to say, receiving the email from their digital editor about their interest in the story absolutely made my day.  

Acceptance letter in hand I went looking for a crew that would work for the story as well as push me as I photographer to deliver something a bit outside my comfort zone.  The first call was for a wardrobe stylist, and after yet some more research, I reached out to Jenny Haapala.  Jenny's work is strong, direct, and unapologetic, she creates bold memorable looks which made perfect sense once I met her in real life.  The next challenge was finding the right model for the shoot, I reached out to agencies across the city and couldn't quite fine the right fit.  So I called Marilyn for the first time and after a few lovely emails with different members of the New York team, I found Maud LeFort.  Nikki Fontaine rounded out the team as our stellar hair and makeup artist.  We worked together on a shoot for Dapifer Magazine earlier in the summer and I was thrilled to be able to add her to the team for this project.

The afternoon before the shoot Jenny invited me over to the studio to look though the wardrobe.  She was concerned that the clothes that she was able to pull didn't exactly match the story that I had in my head.  The clothes weren't quite as soft and classically romantic as we had originally planned.  Instead she had pulled an incredible collection of styles that were stronger, more structured, almost like the cooler older sister of the character that I had initially imagined in my mind.  So I left her studio and went for one last location scouting mission of the West Village and Meat Packing to plan out shots with the clothes fresh in my mind.  This was the first time I've ever had this opportunity and it might be my new favorite way to work.  It allowed me to work through my anxiety and story development in the comfort of my own head without detracting from the shoot day itself. 

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Early the next morning walking to set (and after grabbing a couple cases of water) my biggest worry was that the team might melt.  We were shooting wool in 95 degree summer New York City humidity.  Maud, if you're reading this, I'm still really sorry.  Thank you for hanging in there.  Continue to scroll through for a peek behind the scenes at this project.

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Ivy and Aster Bridal Presentation

I know that I've been writing quite about about Ivy and Aster and mainly about the proceedings of New York Bridal Market weekend.  Well it was an eventful weekend.  Friday we shot the bridal lookbook, Saturday I edited, and Sunday was the presentation.  Since Jessica and the team decided to rent out Darling (a women's clothing and accessories shop in the West Village) for the weekend, the lookbook, all the showroom and editor appointments, and the garden party presentation were all held on location.  

Ananda Khan,co-owner/creator/principle artist of Bloom Brides and agency represented artist, was the presentation's key hair and makeup artist.  She was responsible for designing the hair and makeup looks (featuring Julep products and hairpieces by Hearts of Gold Designs) and coordinating her team of talented artists to craft the looks on the diverse cast of models.  I've worked with Ananda for for years on editorial and commercial projects and one of the many reasons that she continues to be one of my first calls is because whatever beauty idea I come up with she always takes further, finesses, and comes up with something amazing and more than I would have known how to request (and generally requiring minimal retouching, which I always appreciate).  She is also excellent at adapting to time pressures and adjusting on the fly.  So naturally she killed it on presentation day.

Please continue to scroll through for a taste of the behind the scenes action and the stunning finished product of the hard work of so many talented people.

Behind the Scenes of Ivy and Aster Bridal Lookbook

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I'e spent most of the last month devoting a significant amount of my time to working with one of my favorite clients, Ivy and Aster.  Ivy and Aster, for those of you not already familiar with their work, is a bridal line for brides looking to add a touch of wanderlust and whimsy to their wedding day.  This and the next few posts will give you an idea of what we've been up to together.

This year for the New York Bridal Market Jessica Brown, the line's designer and creative director, decided that rather than showing at Pier 94 with so many other lines, she would opt for a more personal experience by renting out Darling.  In this tiny women's apparel and accessories shop in the West Village, she and her team created an intimate space that completely represented the brand to the parade of buyers and editors lining up to chat with the talented team and explore the new collection.  

Friday morning of the first weekend in October, a day before the official opening of market, we loaded into the space to shoot the lookbook.  While the Ivy and Aster team unloaded boxes and my assistant and I helped with the delivery of gold mannequin body parts, Ananda Khan got to work on the hair and makeup for Ren Kelly (APM), the star of the lookbook and one of the showroom and presentation models.  Ananda, a talented hair and makeup artist represented by Big Leo, worked on last year's bridal campaign and bridesmaids lookbook, and so when I heard about the plan to move downtown, it only made sense to reconnect these two for this expanded project.  Ananda and Jessica had been discussing their plans for the hair and makeup and by shooting early in the weekend it gave them both one more opportunity to refine and adapt their approach of what would work for the showroom appointments and the full presentation (but more on that later).

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While the ladies continued to work downstairs, my assistant and longtime friend, Bob Kidd and I got to work pulling the set and lights together, while anxiously watching the skies for rain.  Luckily, there was only one instance of frantically pulling all the lighting gear inside because of sprinkles that never materialized, and the afternoon's downpour was polite enough to wait until well after we had wrapped the shoot.  The shoot itself went smoothly and we spent the majority of the day joking and oohing and ahhing over the highlights of the new collection (the cashmere column dresses and the tulle skirt are currently my favorites).  And if you're thinking that you've seen those headpieces before you'd be correct.  Heart of Gold Designs partnered with Ivy and Aster for this collection, and supplied all the hairpieces. 

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Another notable partnership that was an integral part of this whole project was Julep.  Julep came on board as the makeup sponsor and sent Ananda several boxes of product from their entire range including nail polishes and lipsticks.  Enough to craft and create the looks, supply the models and artists for the lookbook, showroom appointments and the presentation, as well as share with the guests.  I would like to mention that a couple of the lipsticks did make it into my makeup bag at the end of the weekend, and for those of you out there who appreciate matte red lip, I am now hooked on the Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Cardinal Red Creme and the Light on Your Lips Lipstick in Lady in Red.  But I digress.

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Continue to scroll through for more behind the scenes goodness and check back soon for highlights from the bridal lookbook.

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Making of Melt Away with me for Dapifer Magazine

Living in this city, and working in this industry, ideas for stories are all around me.  Many come and go, but some stick with me, and this one did for over a year.  Some stories get picked up immediately, but many (due to style, timing, or production issues) get shelved.  That was certainly the case for "Melt Away With Me," my recent editorial for The Dapifer Online, which is part of the reason I'm so excited to share the story of the shoot and the full edit with you here (full edit coming soon).  I love that something that has lived for so long in my mind eventually has a home in the world. 

 As I said I am often inspired by the world around me, and working in this city and this industry there is a definite disconnect with the fantasies that we create in fashion and the lives that we live working in fashion, especially at the beginning, before someone becomes that overnight success ten years in the making.   I wanted to tell the story of a girl who was fabulous and stylish, but didn't have the money yet to live the high life.  So instead of Bali or Ibiza she made her rooftop a staycation worthy destination.  

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At first I had no intention of working on this story this summer, it was one of the many editorial pitches that I'd try to pitch last summer and it just didn't resonate with editors and the timing was wrong.  But then I met Alex.  Alex Vinash is a fashion designer and stylist from Argentina currently living and working in NYC.  We'd connected over LinkedIn last fall, but never quite managed to connect, until he invited me to attend his fashion show at the beginning of the summer.  Our brief post-show chat turned into a coffee meeting in his studio, and there surrounded by his collections and twinkle lights we went ten rounds of editorial ideas back and forth.  I remember leaving the meeting overwhelmed with creative inspiration and excited for all the things we could create together.  

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This was the first story that found a home at a magazine and after a flurry of emails with Alex we had a location and a team, and coincidentally a stunning day for the shoot.  Alex reached out to Jon Lieckfelt to act as our key hair and makeup artist.  Alex had been following Jon's work for quite some time and when I asked about his recommendations for artists to round out our team, Jon was the first and only call.  Jon is a celebrity makeup artist and hair stylist with 25 years of experience in movies, TV, and editorial and commercial print work.  His approach to beauty is meticulous and the results seem effortless.  It was incredible watching him work and his interpretations of the overall creative direction.   Nikki Fontaine joined our team as Jon's assistant, and they are an impressive team.  Nikki is a talented hair and makeup artist in her own right (as you'll see in some upcoming posts)  

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The last piece of the puzzle was finding the right model.  And we found our muse in the form of Allie Silva, a Norwegian and African American model from Atlanta represented by New York Models.  I had seen her portfolio several times and was always fascinated by her look, but never had quite the right project for her, until this summer.  She was fantastic to work with, a trooper who was both flexible and patient and invested in working with us to get the right feel for the tory.  Here is a look behind the scenes at this wonderful shoot in the sun.

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