Behind-the-Scenes: April fashion shoot

Occasionally in my job as senior fashion editor for a city magazine, I get ideas for photo shoots that could either be a) easy, straight-forward and passable, or b) challenging, time-consuming and totally bitchin'. Nine times out of ten, I'm going to choose the latter.

In this instance, I wanted to shoot a story based around four local designers' solo shows taking place over the course of two evenings this April. The easy method would've been to shoot one look by one designer on one model, letting it represent all four shows. But that wouldn't be challenging, now would it?

So, in addition to my other pressing duties (ahem, editing three wedding magazines), I decided to go for the gusto and shoot looks by all four designers in one shot. This was challenging for the following reasons:

  1. As the stylist, I would be responsible for picking up and dropping off all of the clothing, and sourcing accessories, scattered at studios and boutiques around town. Time-consuming.
  2. The four designers' styles could not be more different. One does avant garde knitwear, another does clean and classic womenswear, another does upcycled eco-friendly clothes ... you get the idea. How would they look next to one another, on different-looking models to boot? Challenging.
  3. We were working with a limited budget on a tight deadline, so we couldn't exactly fly in high-fashion models from around the country to nail this photo shoot. Put four random models of varying levels of experience in front of a camera and anything could happen. Scary.

Problem #1 was just something I had to suck it up and do, mostly over the weekend. Not the end of the world. It was actually quite enjoyable, because I got to catch up with some delightful fashion designers.

I solved Problem #2 by determining the few colors that were consistent among the designers and developing a styling plan that would make the models fairly identical, giving some semblance of cohesion to the shoot. This meant an extra trip to the wig store.

Problem #3 would just have to work itself out. If we were lucky, it wouldn't end up being a problem after all.

So, I spent last weekend visiting local designers in their studios:

Above is George Moskal, preparing for his April 13th show at Grain Belt Bottling Co. in Minneapolis.

And here's Emma Berg, who's showing her spring collection on April 14th at the same location:

I also picked up clothes from Kevin Kramp, but we met at a coffee shop halfway between our workplaces, and Counter Couture, who was in the midst of a photo shoot at the W Hotel (below). They're also showing their new collections alongside Emma and George, respectively.

Today we had our photo shoot, and I'm pleased to say, it went really well. The models took a while to loosen up, but once we got going, it was super fun. Check out these behind-the-scenes shots:

Kevin Kramp's model, Justin, getting his makeup done by Nicole Fae. (stylist Andy Doan did hair)

Wardrobe!

Hair and makeup were inspired by Jill Stuart Fall/Winter 2011.

Pretty Lucie, wearing a George Moskal dress.

Our sole male model, Justin, in Kevin Kramp. I believe he's swallowing a sip of coffee in this shot. (sorry, Justin) Fun fact: Justin was the winner's of Vita.mn's Hotness contest last year.

Unfortunately, I forgot to snap shots of the other designers' looks. It gets a little hectic during these shoots.

Here's our photographer Marshall Franklin Long, doin' his thing.

Sneak peek shot! I'm so glad it came together in the end. I should know better not to worry next time.

Once the April issue hits newsstands, I'll be sure to post the story!

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