Sunday, 8 September 2013

500 Days of Summer: Day 1

So, what if I'd gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I'd gotten there 10 minutes later? It was meant to be.

500 Days of Summer is one of those films that became an instant modern classic in my mind when I first saw it. I remember going to the Odeon West End after work one day in 2009, and I really hoped that it would live up to the hype that I'd read about in film columns. It did. I was smitten with it and counted down the days until its DVD release so I could watch it relentlessly. I'm not that bad in reality though; I've only seen it about 17 or 18 times. That's not relentless, is it? Just mildly obsessive!

Anyway, since my mind runs around making strange links between flowers and films and books and art, it didn't take long for me to imagine a 500 Days of Summer inspired, flower-filled photoshoot. As Summer's outfits and apartment and the way Tom sees her are so important to how the film looks and feels, I wanted to see if I could channel that into a photoshoot, without being too obvious and just replicating scenes. Her style is quite vintage, so Tobi Hannah's modern vintage wedding dresses are perfect for a Summer bride. There were several dresses from the new collection which would have been very Summer-esque (Briggs, Carter, Fairy and Vanish), but in the end I went with Tobi's suggestion, Gold, which works really well.

So I had the dress, I had a model (my fabulous dancer friend, Helen), I had several locations in mind but opted for Mayfair Lavender. The lavender is going to be harvested in the next few days, so we were cutting it fine when we went there today! I knew I was going to use blue flowers and blue accessories (see the costume designer Hope Hanafin's interview to see why blue is so important in the film), but later I decided to get sunflowers, some delicate yellow dill and lots of seedheads and grasses, to represent summer and autumn. The English lavender had started to go grey, but it still looked beautiful. We took photos among the grey English and bluer French lavenders.

There are several references to the film, but I'll come back to them, with more photos, on another day. But on day one, you can see these. Oh - but I will tell you where the non-lavender flowers are from: the hydrangeas, sunflowers, rosemary and myrtle are from Tregothnan, the sweet peas are mine, and the scabious, dill and other flowers in the bouquet and Helen's hair are from Blooming Green. Yes, that's right - I used entirely British flowers and foliage for this!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Love in the London Outback

I did some flowers for a lovely couple who got married today in a fabulous venue. Guess where? The London Zoo! There's a beautiful light-filled pavilion by the emus and kangaroos (rather fitting as there was an election in Australia on the same day), and the couple wanted a mixture of white flowers and some pink.

I enjoyed doing these flowers so much! I will write more later...a bit sleep-deprived at the moment! But for now, I'll leave you with some photos.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Robed in snowy white

As I see it, there are two kinds of successful people: people who climb up a ladder and then ignore the ladder and the people who are still on it, and people who climb up a ladder but turn around and give other people a helping hand. Tobi Hannah is the second kind.

As an innovative wedding dress designer, she provides a haven for brides who want a wonderful and varied selection of shorter wedding dresses. Her latest collection was inspired by the Pink Floyd album, The Wall. I swooned at the lot of them, but I especially like the Hattie dress. There's something about a dress with a collar that makes it smart and pretty.

Her sister company, Lara Hannah, makes stunning and ethereal-looking long dresses, many inspired by Waterhouse paintings. Her latest campaign for her new Magic Circle Collection includes a dreamy photoshoot inspired by the painting of The Lady of Shalott. This is the Infinity dress.

All of Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott paintings are amazing, but the one on the boat is one of my favourite paintings...and after it came first in the Art Everywhere poll, it's clearly many people's favourite! I took this photo of the Art Everywhere poster at Regent's Park station.

And I have to include a photo of some David Austin Lady of Shalott roses, which grace the rose garden in Regent's Park.

Getting back to Tobi. She learns about up and coming people in the wedding industry and supports those whose paths have crossed with hers. I've had some fantastic chats with her over the last year about everything from Coco Chanel's impact on the fashion world (her wedding dress was short!) to the highly underrated film, Elizabethtown.

I dropped in to see her this week and left some flowers for her, her team, and her visiting brides to enjoy: cosmos, phlox, sweet peas, salvia and 'Blue Dress' flax in a pretty Tiptree jar. The sweet peas, salvia and phlox smelt gorgeous!