Monday, November 2, 2009
An aspect of my work that often allows me to fuse décor with another medium is Fashion. Quite often I am called upon to design sets for Fashion Shoots. I enjoy this aspect of my work because it involves wearing a different cap. While fashion models can talk, walk and move, my usual subjects; food and chairs can’t, so the energy on a Fashion Shoot can be quite different!
The other challenge is allowing the clothes to be the hero, often in commercial Fashion Shoots, this is important. While I would personally love to see a set full of wonderful props, others are looking at Fashion pages to buy clothes. Often on Fashion Shoots I can design highly elaborate sets that can be out of focus or cropped out entirely, but on a fashion shoot the main focus is on the model, Its my job to make sure the background is working and that compositionally it is all coming together. This can be a challenge when the Fashion Photographer is jumping all over the place, but if you can try and design a set to look good at any angle, this helps. Often it does require me to be jumping around after them as well, making sure that pillow behind the model is sitting exactly right on the chair, that the logs she is carrying through the door is piled just right in her hands.
The shoot featured here is in the current November issue of “Better Homes & Gardens”, a regular client who requested that for one shot that I design an entranceway with a front door, which would look like an average American home. We were shooting in a studio with blank white walls and no front door in sight, so I had to create an entranceway using fake walls and floors. We sourced the antique door from a Brooklyn savage yard; the hooks and doorknocker came from Urban Outfitters, urbanoutfitters.com. We had the baskets sprayed white from IKEA, ikea.com and sourced birch logs from the flower district in Manhattan. The bench featured was sourced from a Prop House. For another shot we sourced a beautiful chandelier made entirely from twigs, deannawish.com.
I get to work with Andy and the wonderful team at Empire Set Shop, empiresetshop.com, who help build the sets for me, This set is a relatively simple one, but you can see more complicated examples of their work on their website.