The Shoot: Royal Ambitions

Explore this season’s love of Victoriana at the Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial in this regal editorial, with elements of Baroque styling, high neckline collars, ruffles and decadent prints. 

This has been the shoot with the longest planning involved out of all four shoots published this month, and funnily enough it’s also been the hardest. While the original idea behind the shoot was something I figured out really quickly, the location also slotted into place pretty easily. The hardest part of this shoot was the outfit, as I started planning this when it was still late June. While I already knew what was going to come into fashion in the autumn from the fashion weeks back in February, the high street doesn’t give you a preview 6 months in advance of what they’ll be selling so you often have to wait quite a while to see what trends they adopt. That makes it very frustrating planning shoots months in advance, and even if they release their preview images months in advance it’s often only a small snapshot and not indicative of what they will actually be selling. So the end result was I had to wait a couple of months before high summer was over and stores slowly started releasing their autumn pieces to the press and public.

The second issue I had real difficulty with was executing the vision for this shoot. Right up until the very morning I done the shoot I was conflicted by how the vision and images should look. Now anyone who does their own shoots, or even plans and styles them, knows this is a big problem. Without a vision you have a great big mess. My vision for this shoot was inspired by a Vogue Japan shoot from October 2014 which was called ‘Anastasia of Winter’ and featured Lindsey Wixon in dramatic attire that had a strong Russian flare to them. The images you’ll see in tomorrow’s ‘Behind the scenes‘ post and while I loved and was greatly inspired by this editorial, I had great difficulty marring that idea with my own vision. And so I went to and fro with my mum, the ultimate arbitrator and decider of style in my eyes; and a woman who knows quite a lot about the Russian style and costumes. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between us until I ultimately decided to forget the Russian aspect to the shoot and just focus on a regal Victorian feel.

Choosing this Glamorous dress also made the decision a lot easier, as it wasn’t Russian at all but its heavily ornate print could easily fall into the realm of imperial Victorian attire. So it was decided and that is how we ended up with the shoot in its final form. The DIY cuffs, already featured in the 3 Mill Lane shoot found here were a natural addition, as was the Baroque crown and earrings, which were originally purchased for this shoot.

I think in the end I managed to pull it off, but it was by the skin of my teeth and it taught me a valuable lesson. If you’re not sure about the vision, hold off until the idea makes sense to you because a shoot without a vision is not worth publishing. That is one thing I’ve learned in the 5 years of running this blog; the vast majority of the worst shoots I’ve done have been because there was no vision behind it. The rest is because I really can’t model. 🙂

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Dress: Glamorous, found here – High neck blouse: Zara TRF, found here – Peach chiffon bow: River Island, found here – Pearl necklace: New Look, found here – Black boots: Dorothy Perkins, similar ones found here – Baroque crown and matching earrings: eBay, similar ones found here and here – Cuffs and collar: DIY – Black tights: Wolford

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