Just imagine; it’s 6am, and you’re waking up on a freezing December morning – you can see your own breath in the room and the thought of leaving your duvet seems about as appealing as swimming with piranhas.
That is, unless you have a lingerie photoshoot to go to. If I had this agenda every winter morning I’d be springing out of bed and into the wintery wilderness like a jack-in-a-box. Who needs fluffy pyjamas and cosy surroundings when you could be in a elegantly dishevelled photography studio in North London surrounded by bras, models and endless cups of tea?
That’s right, last month Becky and I were asked to partner up with US brand Parfait by Affinitas to play ‘art directors’ at their latest photoshoot. The raison d’être of the shoot was to give the brand a ‘London’ look; a more edgy and glamorous feel to its photography that would appeal to a British market – think Kate Moss and Corinne Day.
We knew we loved the brand and their products, but this really unique opportunity to portray them in a way which, we felt, best represented their place in the British lingerie industry, was one of the most exciting projects we’d been invited to participate in to date.
We worked with the team at Parfait and their fabulous PR agency Fluorescent PR, to create our own ‘top picks’ collections, which not only fitted in with the season’s trends, but, quite simply, the ones which we were lusting after the most. Hey, this is *our* collection, after all.
And yes, it was a pretty heartbreaking process. You never think when flicking through a catalogue or browsing a piece of editorial in a magazine, just how much work goes in to the meticulous planning and ‘storyboarding’ of each and every shot. Sets which we really loved were cut from the final edit as we had to give the strongest capsule collection and show off key pieces in the most direct and artistic way.
It turns out picking all the different colourways, bra and brief styles and, let’s face it, the entire collection, isn’t really an option when you have one day to shoot and the objective is to create a collection of really strong shots, instead of enough images to fill the National Gallery. You have to be ruthless!
Or course the hair and makeup is a really big part of the project – it helps communicate the message that you want the collection to convey. The kind of customer that you expect to be interested in purchasing the products, and a snapshot of the kind of lifestyle that he or she might aspire to.
It also goes without saying that the model is one of the most important vehicles behind a photoshoot like this. She needs to be able to physically capture the essence in the brand, and our beautiful Violet Budd certainly did that. She was so funny and charismatic, and intelligent with her interpretation of our vision, and expertly epitomised that edgy, ‘Kate Moss bedhead’ look that we were going for.
We were determined to steer away from the cute and chintzy look which you see with so many full bust brands. No twee poses or over-enthusiastic facial expressions. This was a ‘jazz hands’ free zone! Parfait by Affinitas is a young brand, but sophistication was key. We wanted good old-fashioned sexy but with a modern, editorial edge.
Seeing the project coming together and seeing those images start to appear on screen is an amazing feeling. It really felt like a real group effort with lots of creative people all determined to achieve our vision for the shoot.
It’s not the first time that Becky and I had been present at a photoshoot like this, and they’re always so much fun, but this felt like a real creative process. We were involved from the offset – from picking out the sets for the shoot to the overall look of the creative to the hair and makeup.
We, along with the rest of the team, voiced our opinion on our favourite final shots and all agreed that minimal retouching should be used on the final images. We wanted the model’s natural figure to shine through, with changes mainly limited to lighting adjustments and colour-grading. It’s one of the things that you guys seem to love about the pictures we post to IIYC, so it’s something we felt was really important to maintain for Parfait.
Let the product and the model’s natural beauty speak for itself, as it were. And since she has so much of it, it would be rude not to!
Unfortunately I was unable to make it to The Lingerie Edit, but if you follow Becky on Twitter or Instagram you may have seen her sneak peek first look at some of the final images, being showcased on a real life billboard. It’s such an amazing feeling to see something you worked on and contributed to being shown in a real life piece of marketing. If that’s not worth waking up at 6am on a freezing December morning, I don’t know what is.
Watch this space for the entire look book and our top picks from the spring/summer 15 and autumn/winter 15 collections.
Would you love to give a brand a makeover?