Entries from July 2017

Ingredients

Visit the Life Instyle website for all credits and collaborators

Life Instyle

Method

I thought you might be interested in reading a little about the campaign I created for Life Instyle Melbourne that is running from August 3-6th. For registration please visit the Life Instyle website and I hope to see you in Melbourne. Please come and say hello.

Life Instyle is celebrating its 15th edition by presenting a luxe creative concept in collaboration with stylist Claire Delmar showcasing the fine detail and design you can expect to discover this season……………

When the Life Instyle team approached me to style a brief that encompassed words such as “timeless”, “simple”, “beauty” and “essential”, I felt immediately drawn into the story; my brand evokes those very words. My styling business focuses on still life, it is where my passion lies, and as the campaign images began to take form in my mind, I couldn’t resist the team’s offer.

I connect with elements around me in terms of images, and have always thrived on analysing components and creating a visual strategy.  I am someone who thinks in pictures – every word conjures up a visual dialogue that excites and inspires me, and keeps me returning to the styling world. I am sure most of you are aware that set design and photo shoots are far from glamorous. The design is inspiring, but the logistics of packing and unpacking and building sets, are laborious and physically draining. However, the moment that image comes to life, all the sleepless nights in the pre-production phase and the nerves around post-production feel utterly worthwhile.

Life Instyle has always shown great initiative and I have fond memories of the first trade fair that I attended as a member of the media, working in publishing. At the time, it really stood out as “one to watch” amongst buyers and suppliers as it was so thoughtfully curated.  Over the years I have seen Life Instyle fair develop into a well respected trade event.  I was thrilled when asked to be involved in the 2017 creative concepting for the event because I personally love the story they tell, appearing to effortlessly combine a creative and individual edge to product presentation.

As a photographic stylist I think in scenes, still moments, or photographic captures, so I began the creative process by breaking the stories into spaces within a home that were relevant to both the suppliers and buyers. I then considered the set similarly to planning a home. Starting with the “shell” or the “bones” –  the floors and walls – and working up to the “smalls” – furniture, ceramics-  utilising the triangle effect/a little akin to a pyramid in the shape of idea formulation. As I was shooting in a studio, I didn’t focus too much on the practical elements. I tend to build stories as if they are real situations but often add an element of play when translating them in studios. I do seem to be drawn to set builds, possibly by the enjoyment I gain from adding a sense of the “illusory”.

Once the stories were set, the latest colour trends were considered, however it wasn’t my main focus. I didn’t want the lasting impression of the campaign to be trend or fad-driven, but to emulate beauty and simplicity that could hold it’s own. With that in mind, I kept reverting back to the initial brief – reflecting always on the key words:

timeless – an element of past, present and future,

simple –  uncomplicated in form, nature, or design; without much decoration or ornamentation,

beauty – a combination of shape, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight, and

essential – absolutely necessary; extremely important.

It was now that I turned my attention to the seasons and brought warmth through a deeper colour palette, carpets and velvet curtains.

As we aim for a life filled with quality over quantity, selecting products for the home is now more considered. We live fast-paced lives and desire products that are user-friendly in function, aesthetic to the eye and ones that can be rotated throughout our life, ageing gracefully. These ideas infiltrated my selection of furniture, accessories and soft furnishings for the campaign.

As with my individual style that has developed over time, as a stylist, I’m constantly learning and evolving with every shoot. I am humbled by the words offered by the talented author and curator Karen McCartney at the opening of my STILL Exhibition:

Claire has an ability to source with great care and place the pieces in intelligent, thoughtful ways, that honour tradition, but are far from predictable. She also has the restraint to know that less is often more,  and to find the optimum dynamic between objects – never over-styling or over-working.” 

I hope the final images conjure up the key elements that were the foundation of the brief, and starting with products showcased by the event’s suppliers, you are inspired to curate your own collection. There is so much strength and experience behind each participating brand. And it is events like Life Instyle that promote collaboration, which is vital in giving an idea credibility, and in making a vision become a reality.

Photographer – Chris Chen

Ingredients

Plates from Montmartre Concept Store

Vessel from Space Furniture

Linen from Hale Mercantile

Plates from Montmartre Concept Store

Jug from Montmartre Concept Store

Linen with black trim from Montmartre Concept Store

Light from Spence & Lyda

Chair from Montmartre Concept Store

Cup from Studio Enti

Plate from Batch Ceramics

Bowl from Batch Ceramics

Jug from Montmartre Concept Store

Plates and bowls from Batch Ceramics and Studio Enti

Tray from Space Furniture

Vessel from Space Furniture

Bowls from Studio enti

Plates from Batch Ceramics

Plates from Montmartre Concept Store

Bowl from DEA Store

Kris Road bowl from Planet

Bowl from Alana Wilson Studio

Plate from Montmartre Concept Store

White linen table runner Montmartre Concept Store

Check napkin Montmartre Concept Store

Society linen from Ondene

Bowls and cup from Studio Enti

Chair from Montmartre Concept Store

Black & White

Method

I feel this story is pure & simple whilst also being graphic & detailed. I was inspired to shoot this after being drawn into a new retail store in Mosman called Montmartre Concept Store. It is owned  by the lovely Virginie Fontes whom some of you may be familiar with, as the original owner and founder of Honey Bee Homewares .

Virginie and I have worked together in the past on magazine shoots and I have always admired her fabulous French style and was excited to see that she had just returned to Australia after two years back in her hometown of Arcachon, near Bordeaux in France.

I love all things French and Montmartre Concept Store does not disappoint, its beautifully clean aesthetic and products are an inspiration. I urge you to visit, it’s a lot closer than a trip to Paris and yet it’s a little bit of France in the most sophisticated and elegant of ways that is quintessentially Virginie.That each piece is hand picked, edited and chosen with love is evident throughout this carefully curated collection.

The end result of our shoot encompasses a clean palette that is strengthened through texture and purity of form. My amazing photographer  Chris Chen and I try to invoke mood, on this occasion  from the deep dark blacks to the crisp white by incorporating  details such as the black thin lined trims, a splash of gingham and the use of tissue paper as texture, resulting once again in a nod to the painterly masters of the 17th century. A theme that I find keeps resonating with my style.

Here is a little bit about Montmartre Concept Store from Virginie herself.

THE CONCEPT: MADE IN FRANCE 

Travelling back to France regularly Virginie is able to source antiques and products made in France by small manufacturers. Products that are still made the traditional way, products that tell a story all whilst  following the latest trends from Paris. “I have always loved the mix of old / vintage and modern / contemporary pieces” VF

THE STORY:MONMARTRE IN MOSMAN

The idea of a concept store emerged when French friend and jewellery designer Emilie Costechareyre of Elvis et Moi jumped on board. Montmartre houses an exclusive jewellery workshop (E+M atelier), French antiques. homewares, textiles, linens, French designer clothing & shoes for women and kids, beauty, fragrance, gifts, decor, objects, art and French conversation classes.

“We want to re-create a piece of France and give our clientele a real French/Parisian shopping experience; Montmartre in the heart of Mosman”. VF

@montmartrestore

Photography – Chris Chen

Please also visit Vogue Living online to read my styling tips

Design by Rebecca Buttrose + Development by Brandi Bernoskie