Each spring and every autumn we pack up and head out on location to photograph the collections for the A Hume website, normally a season ahead, so spring for Autumn/Winter 2014 with perhaps a little catching up on the 2014 Spring/Summer range.
We relish the creative and logistical challenge of creating images that make shopping online a pleasurable experience. Images that tell you all you need to know about a garment, the cut, the colour, all that practical info, but something more too, a bit of inspiration about how you might wear and enjoy our clothes.
For us it’s really important to use our own images and not rely on pictures from our suppliers, that way we have complete control of the styling. We can mix the brands – Magee with Dubarry, or Johnstons of Elgin – and create outfits that capture the mix of contemporary and classic styling that is essentially what we’re all about.
Over the years we’ve established an A Hume look, and it’s been great, we’ve loved it. A lot of hard work but also a bit of a caper. Room for spontaneity and bit of a laugh. Wearing great clothes is a huge pleasure, so that’s how it should look. Fun.
For our spring shoot – last week – we headed back to Floors Castle, seat of the Duke of Roxburghe. Floors is a magnificent location, the perfect backdrop for the high-end country brands that are our speciality. The colours on the Magee tweed sing out against the parkland landscape at Floors, and the bright spring gardens are the perfect setting for the vibrant shirt collections from RM Williams, Gant and Viyella.
Our collections for both men and ladies have grown and each year we’ve added new brands to our offering. So this shoot was set to be our biggest yet. The culmination of weeks, actually months of planning, gathering samples from suppliers, styling outfits, fitting models, to say nothing of the ironing, altering, labeling and storing all the garments.
We were all pretty excited, the hardest work was done, now all we had to do was to make beautiful models look good in beautiful clothes, in a beautiful setting.
How hard could that be? The short answer? Pretty darn hard.
Don’t get us wrong, all the components were indeed very beautiful it was just rather hard to see them through the mist and persistent torrential rain.
The light levels owed a lot to the atmosphere of an under stair cupboard and our photography team from The Studio Agency had to delve deep into their bag of tricks. For the first time ever not even the enormous satellite dish sized reflectors, that could probably pick up signals from space, could conjure up that sunny feel and we had to bring out the big guns. Outdoor studio lighting. Huge great whacking things beaming out several hundred watts each. Goodbye grey. Hello not quite so grey.
Every location had to be re-thought and suddenly anything that offered a modicum of respite from the weather became the hottest location on set. We use the word ‘hottest’ in its least literal sense.
But what can you do? The best response to bad luck like this is just to smile, crack on and use a lot more hairspray.
And thankfully everyone did exactly this. Especially our models, James, Matt, Luci and Hannah who smiled not just convincingly, but actual smiles. Like they were actually enjoying themselves. In actual sunshine. Even if in reality they were swaddled like infants between shots to stop them turning blue.
Our hair and make up team will forever be known as the ‘Gladiators of Glam’ for the brave and unending fight they waged against the elements and we owe a huge debt of thanks to Zsofia, Alex, Monica, Anna, all our models and the A Hume team for the parts they played in pulling this one off.
Of course we feel confident that when we load the images onto the website none of this trauma will be apparent and we’re only telling you on the quiet because we’re such good friends.
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