Styling Stories

Foxeys Hangout Winery – Lifestyle Styling Shoot with Melbourne School of Styling

Foxeys Hangout Winery – Lifestyle Styling Shoot with Melbourne School of Styling

Spring is in the air thankfully, and not before time!  I’m so looking forward to heading outside and frolicking in the sunshine with great friends, great food and excellent wine. Speaking of which, I was fortunate enough to art direct and style a lifestyle shoot for Foxeys Hangout Winery based solely around doing exactly that. What a fantastic location, and a brilliant place to hang out and eat and drink with friends. It was so great styling a shoot where I was responsible for styling the set, the food, the talent, in fact the whole shebang! Thankfully I had a couple of trusty assistants on hand who I first met through Melbourne School of Styling, and were absolutely terrific on the job. Styling comes in many forms be it food, fashion and interior and sometimes you need to use all three as so happened with this lifestyle shoot. We set about co-ordinating the look and feel of the day, having pre production meetings and site visits with our fabulous photographer Michelle Williams to get the look and feel just right. There’s something to be said about meticulous planning to get the right look and coordinate all aspects of the job to perfection. I had the use of incredibly beautiful crockery from Robert Gordon, and had tablecloths and napkins made so I could get the exact look and feel I was after to create the perfect al fresco table setting.  Then it was on to co-ordinating the talent to have just the right lunchtime dining look,  and then onto the food….gee we were busy!! After liaising with the chefs to...
VAMFF – Melbourne Fashion Festival 2017

VAMFF – Melbourne Fashion Festival 2017

Well, that was one busy festival! So much excitement going on at VAMFF, Melbourne’s Fashion Festival 2017 and I was lucky enough to style one of the shows for the festival being held at the iconic site of the Queen Victoria Market delicatessen section. And what an  incredible venue for a fashion show it was. Nestled in amongst the cold cuts,  sausages and cheeses were models walking down the deli aisles in flourishes of frills and pastels, stripes and patterns, Panamas and Mules and even an electric green-yellow shopping trolley, I mean it was the Vic Market after all!! It is incredible the amount of work that goes into creating a 25 minute show. Starting with the designers and tailoring looks that defines and enhances their own style, to model casting, liaising with musicians to  create the soundscapes, choreography, dress rehearsals and so much more. I was fortunate to have some of my students working on the show, taping shoes, sourcing props and as backstage dressers. They all worked tirelessly in the incredibly hectic environment which is a fashion show to help make sure everything  ran seamlessly and without a hitch. A fashion show is a  wonderful experience to be a part of. The pace, the vision and the satisfaction you feel when everything has gone according to plan and the show turns out to be a complete success. It couldn’t  happen without all the characters needed to make it happen, after all it takes a village to pull off a fashion show successfully. I am running a 2 day short course in styling at Melbourne School of Styling in Prahran, so if...
Melbourne School of Styling 2 day Short Course in Food Styling

Melbourne School of Styling 2 day Short Course in Food Styling

Food styling is a little like being a magician. A sprig of tweezer lifted micro herb here, a spritz of water there and voila, a beautifully styled mouth watering food shot looking good enough to eat. You probably wouldn’t want to though!! The dish has more than likely been undercooked to retain a plump and juicy look, possibly basted with oil to create the desired sheen, and cooked for the look not necessarily the taste. Food items may be pinned, tacked or placed very precisely towards the front of the dish and all styled directly for the camera angle. And don’t forget the tools and tricks of the trade of which there are plenty. From toothpicks, tweezers of every variety, paintbrushes, spritz bottles, glycerine mixtures, glass beads, heat torches just to name a few, all painstakingly utilised to make every ingredient look perfect. And then theres the propping which opens up a whole new world of shopping and sourcing. With the trend towards a vintage rustic feel still going strong, finding cooking relics of yesteryear is not only fun but really exciting. I found a really cool old cake rack, (excuse the pun) the other day and was so excited as I had been looking for this very particular cooling rack for quite some time. Theres a whole new world of shopping out there when it comes to food styling. I took a whole lot of my props to my last short course in food styling run in Melbourne and what an incredible group of students I had. Check out their work below…it really blows my mind what can be achieved in 2 days…. AMAZING. If...
And then there were goats!!

And then there were goats!!

Really as a stylist, I should never be surprised by what I’m asked to style next! From styling a headless horseman complete with carriage and horses, to a girl in a life size Hawaiian  snow dome with snow and lei, to goats! Well, not styling the actual goats themselves, but the model who would be modelling with the goats which was to take place in three different locations on three different days with different types of goats. So, the job was styling the cover story for Spectrum, the Saturday arts magazine in The Age. At one stage I was asked to dress the model as if she was a goat rock climbing in search of flowers to eat; and no I didn’t hire a goat costume, but rather imagined how to fashionably style a model rock climbing acting like a goat!!! Yes, a stylist’s world is ever changeable and that’s what  I love about my job. Day one on the goat story and what a treat! Surrounded by a plethora of one day old baby goats sooo gorgeous, and like any new born they were awake for a bit and sleeping for a lot, so I must say it was relatively easy to set up the shot and style the look. Of course, when styling around baby goats the only way to go is soft , beautiful and romantic. That meant using a gorgeous Nevenka skirt,  so exquisite and dreamy combined with a kid mohair jumper from the amazing designs of Amano by Lorena Liang to keep in line with the story… all things goat. Then came Pedro. An amazing rough and tough billy goat with horns out to yahh,...

The making of a fashion film for VAMFF

I was recently asked to style the wardrobe and set for a short fashion film for VAMFF. In film terms I moved from being a fashion and prop stylist to wardrobe and art department. I so loved the process behind making this film. This was a collaboration between Adrian Lander, (photographer and filmmaker extraordinaire), Ess Laboratory, (who design the most beautiful, unique garments), Craiglee Vineyard and myself. What I found really exciting about this particular film was being completely immersed in the process. From conceptualising the story board with the director to liaising with designers, finding all the props to create the look and feel and ultimately being part of the team that turn the idea into a reality. Our location was Craiglee vineyard, a beautiful rustic winery located pretty close to the outskirts of Melbourne. Just on a side note you have to try the 2013 Chardonnay. Who knew I’d be heading down the Chardy trail again, delicious!! The crew arrived loaded with gear, props, clothes and equipment by the truckload, all ready to embark on the making of a fashion film. Its all very interesting when moving from stills to moving image as the looks need to fit and work from all angles. Unlike working with stills it kind of ruins the look and feel if a pesky bulldog clip, gaffer or double-sided tape just happens to be sneaking out at some unsightly moment!!! The look and feel of the shoot was to create a moody, dark textural look inspired by the desire for transformation and change combined with the feeling of immense beauty and timelessness. When...
El Chido – Fashion Editorial

El Chido – Fashion Editorial

It really pays to utilise your local cafe as your very own personal office space. I often sit and do a great deal of preparation for upcoming styling shoots at El Chino cafe restaurant, a gorgeous little Mexican inspired cafe with the nicest owner and sweetest staff you’ll ever meet. So recently an opportunity came up to shoot a fashion editorial for a Japanese magazine and I thought to myself, I’m sitting in the perfect spot for the shoot. With little further adieu, my photographer Samantha Jarrett, who is brilliant by the way you should check her out, and I were in there doing a reccy (reconnaissance) of the location. Scoping it out for the perfect shots and angles, and I might add I think the team and I created my favourite editorial to date. So for those embarking on the nuances of how to style for editorial fashion stories on location, here are a few things to remember. Make sure you know exactly where you are shooting so you can prepare in advance the look for the location. When you are on location you often don’t have a lot of time, so organisation is the absolute key. Work out the order you will be shooting in and have all the looks numbered and ordered. As I said there is no time for confusion and disorganisation so be as prepared as possible. Finally make sure the look, feel and colour palette is all working. Ps props can be people too, they’re called warm props in the industry. The guy in the background of the first shot was actually an...
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