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!

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