I’ve admired Daniella Jaine’s dreamy photos for some time now and I had a feeling we could produce something amazing if we worked together.
I got in touch and after a few emails, some cheap gay village cocktails and amazing tea and scones we had a basic idea for a concept. As with a lot of shoots, the theme changed slightly as we realised the logistics and characters. We originally talked about a mythology theme which I was going to keep some ties with regarding the characters, but as the sets got bigger I decided the outfits needed to fit in rather than have a separate meaning of their own so I’m keeping the mythology inspiration for an other time. I think it can be hard to separate all the inspiration and features I want to use into shoots and choose which one it would look best in but I’m happy about the decisions I made here.
We were working towards two sets for the shoot with two outfits per set.
Set 1, The tree house.
The feel of the tree house set was jovial, mischievous and playful in natural shades and decorated with interesting trinkets.
Daniella’s inspiration was based on tree houses and “where the wild things are” so I decided to ask my friend Amber (who is also modelling with me in this set) if we could shoot at her family home, where they already had a reasonable sized tree house that we could add to, instead of making something entirely from scratch and then trying to put it in a tree. We were lucky to be able to shoot here, it made things a lot easier for both sets.
I made all the hair pieces myself, as usual. These were made by recycling stuff I had used for previous shoot. If you remember my chicken wire horns tutorial, the black hat I’m wearing in the first set was made out of one of these and a cheap black wig. Then I used the remaining chicken wire and some kanekalon hair to make the wig that Amber wore.
My boyfriend agreed to make the wall and door to add to the tree house so I bought him some sticks to play with. He normally makes chainmail and jewellery but can also take other commissions, you can view his work here. We ended up with a round window reminiscent of a hobbit hut. This was totally unrelated to the initial tree house inspiration pictures but we thought it would fit in more with the “where the wild things are” influence and also the name Danniella chose for the set, “The origin of monsters”. The door was made out of cardboard that I collected from the move, we were worried about how it would look at first but Rik painted it to achieve the desired effect. In the end I could really imagine beautiful monsters meeting in this tree house for tea.
The large window was very useful to shoot through. The final images:
Though latex, I wanted these outfits to be different from the type of stuff I usually make and most importantly, silhouettes not usually associated with latex. I chose to make a handkerchief hem dress with a pleated bust and waist-belt and an a-line strapless dress with a loose fitting, cropped t-shirt. Though quite different I thought they complemented each other and I added continuity in the form of a matching colour block detail. I also loved my oversized earrings, I made them as an experiment but I might give an other pair a go now.The beautiful, make up in these sets was done by Laura Wilson, if you follow my work you should be familiar with her, she never disappoints!
Set 2, the hanging bed.
The hanging bed set is dreamy, romantic and a little creepy.
Initially I didn’t have much to go on for this set. It started with the crazy notion that while my bedroom was being redecorated and I was sleeping at the studio, it would be the perfect opportunity to dismantle my bed and take it somewhere it could be suspended from a tree! Most people laughed when I told them about my idea but it pays to have a dad with a big car willing to drive you places, a boyfriend who knows his knots and a best friend with an awesome garden. It would have been a lot more difficult to achieve this without them.
Even after we had worked out the logistics and bought some very thick rope, I wasn’t quite sure how to tie my floating bed in with the story. I have seen pictures of beds hanging on rope online before but I wanted this to have some sort of meaning. Eventually, a few days before the shoot I was looking though my trims box when inspiration stuck. A lot of artists say they get inspiration from the most random places and this was one of these moments. The initial idea was that I was going to create soft monsters, with soft trims, that would match the bedding, then I came up with the concept of “dream monsters”. When we met up Danniella told me that the tree house had come to her in a dream and this was mine.
The dream monsters were to have lace horns and wear pyjamas and lingerie.
In some of the pictures it doesn’t look that high off the ground but it was high enough and we needed a ladder to get up there, the bed was also tilted so it was easier to photograph and we needed to perch on the back of it so as not to slide off. We also had to watch out movements and the bedding had to be pulled back up a couple of times during the shoot because it was slipping down the bed, making it hard for us to balance.
The final images: