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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Chantelle Fraser for Panache Magazine

Mia Tucker Williams is a talented stylist who I've been working with for years, so when one Friday evening she called me in a mild panic because they somehow lost their photographer for a portrait shoot with Chantelle Fraser the next morning, it didn't take much convincing to get me on board.  Chantelle's publicist had reached out to Mia about an ongoing collaboration in the Spring and when they were contacted by Panache Magazine in Jamaica about running a feature on Chantelle, she called Mia, who then called me (the production phone tree at work).  Chantelle Fraser is the CEO of Flawless NYC, a vegan beauty and lifestyle blogger, and one of the stars of Bravo's hit reality show, Blood, Sweat, and Heels.  I didn't really have anything else going on so it seemed like a nice way to spend a Saturday morning in June.  

We met at Chantelle's house the next day and shot the story in her backyard.  Working with Chantelle was a very lovely experience.  The London native and CEO was a gracious host and willing model (as was Milkshake, her west highland terrier).  Here are some of my favorite images from the shoot, and don't forget to check out the article in Panache Magazine.  

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Melt Away with Me..Full Edit

In a previous post when I was telling the story of the making of this shoot I promised an extended edit beyond the published story that ran in The Dapifer.  And here they are now.  I hope you enjoy!

Photography: Adrianna Favero

Wardrobe Stylist: Alex Vinash

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Jon Lieckfelt

Hair and Makeup Assistant: Nikki Fontaine

Model: Allie Silva (New York Models)

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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