Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Women of Steel - A Preview

I'm so excited I can hardly type this post up! Yesterday I got together with some truly amazing industry professionals (yes, I know everyone says this, but this isn't me being uncharacteristically sycophantic - I absolutely mean every word!) for a collaborative shoot called 'Women of Steel'.

Some while back I had this idea that I wanted to put together a shoot which was pretty much the opposite of my very natural, pared-down,  Best of British shoot which admittedly was a bit of a reaction against over-styled shoots.

My latest project was to be entitled 'Women of Steel' and be set against an industrial backdrop, celebrating Sheffield's proud heritage in designing and producing cutlery since 1297.  I did a bit of research and then remembered my two girls coming home from Junior school with tales of the 'Buffer Girls' - which led me to think about the role women played not only in the cutlery industry, but also how they'd worked in heavy industry during the war years.  The period and styling just had to be late 40's - early 50's!  So I put together a few mood boards ....


Make up inspiration - Gorgeous red lippy and strong brows 


Hair inspiration - Victory rolls and/or soft feminine curls 


General style inspiration


Model - inspiration - Strong, confident shapes


Fabulous poses



I then thought about using local jewellers who work with vintage and antique cutlery made in Sheffield, fashioning them into all manner of lovely pieces such as rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings and thought why not incorporate them into my designs? The bouquets could feature cutlery too!

The Famous Sheffield Shop were amazing and provided me with all kinds of wonderful pieces for the shoot, both old and new, all made here in Sheffield.  Here are some of my designs, which once again used all British grown flowers from the very generous James at Clowance and Rachel from Hollow Meadows :-


Gorgeous bright yellows and lemons in a vintage pewter tankard made here in Sheffield


The matching bouquet featured antique Sheffield knives my Grandmother gave me


A lovely bright, bold bouquet in clashing colours - perfect for our period


The 'bright' bouquet featured Sheffield stainless steel forks


Gorgeous Autumnal hydrangea



Which featured two stainless steel spoon and a ring made from an antique silver spoon by a local jeweller and artist, Lynn Denton 


My hydrangea heart - always makes me think of my Bampa who grew hydrangea in abundance


A really soft, meadowy bouquet in a 'just picked' style


which concealed three stainless steel desert spoons, nestled in the centre!


A couple of little wrist corsages made onto gorgeous bangles fashioned from antique forks by a local jeweller, Mary Mitchell





And last, but by no means least, we were lent this fabulous '50's tea service
So, back to yesterday. Well, it went incredibly well. In fact, better than I ever imagined and I have a seriously long list of people to thank, who happily, willingly and, displaying an incredible amount of professionalism and creativity, gave up their day to be part of the shoot.  I am so grateful.

Here's the very fabulous Victoria Farr keeping one of our models, G, looking her best on set ...



And a very special couple of preview shots taken yesterday by our amazing photographer Jess Petrie



Original vintage gowns and original accessories are courtesy of Hayley from the exquisitely beautiful Glory Days in York and the location is the fantastic historic Kelham Island Museum, where you can now get married!

I seriously can't wait to see the finished pictures - it was such a fab day with such lovely people.  MASSIVE thanks to all who helped and participated - they are:-

Photography                           -   Jess Petrie
Hair & Make Up                      -   Victoria Farr
Gowns & Accessories             -   Glory Days
Props & Jewellery                   -   The Famous Sheffield Shop
Location                                 -   Kelham Island Museum (thanks to Richard and Sharon)
PR                                         -   Sophie Colgate
Models                                   -   Alice Lindley
                                             -   Georgia Symonds
Flowers                                 -    James from Clowance
                                             -   Rachel Dyson at Hollow Meadows
Cutlery Jewellery                    -    Lynn Denton & Mary Mitchell available from
                                                 The Famous Sheffield Shop
Floral Designs & Concept        -    Me!




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