For many of us obsessed with fashion it all started with the pretty images we saw in magazines. We were infatuated by the models, the clothing they were wearing, the make-up covering their face and the way they had their hair. We wanted to be like them. Look like them. Thus, the obsession continued and we’re now most probably working in the industry. Or something similar.
One of the greater aspects of campaigns is that they have the ability to tell a story and consequently trigger emotion. Of course most of the time this being desire…
Focusing on the latest Alice McCall campaign “Between Us” we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of a campaign and the reasons behind most elements.
The actual product which is to be sold is the starting point for any campaign. The end concept is always derived from the collections original inspiration.
“Our brand is known for is the balance between pretty and whimsical, quirky and unique, with a sense of fun portrayed through colour, technique and print. It was important that this came across in the campaign”
To get a bit more information behind the inspiration, check out the interview we did with Alice at Fashion Week here.
Finding right photographer is key. For any shoot the team needs to be made up of the best of the best. It’s important that all creatives on board are on the same page when it comes to campaign imagery in order to get the best results. You need to find someone who’s work you’re attracted too and really; you want to collaborate with.
You want to work together, you believe both your creative minds can come together and create something amazing. In this instance, it was international fashion photographer Emma Summerton, “Emma is a creative genius who produces wonderfully unique images” and for Alice, this was “exactly what I wanted for our campaign”. Alice loved her innate and quiet confidence; believed they would be able to work together, and got in touch. It also helps if you know the individual on a personal level (these two have been friends for over 20 years), like they say, your network is your net worth…
Sure you can shoot in a boring studio, white background, lots of light – but it doesn’t say much about the collection or the people behind it. The location gives context, provides a time and place for which the collection was conceived, it needs to “resonate with the collection” as Alice puts it. It also gives the consumer a bit of an idea as to where the products can be worn. Locations can change all the time depending on the weather, lighting situations and even though you might have one in mind, gaining permits and permission can sometimes prove rather difficult. For example, Alice and Emma had originally planned to shoot inside the Goldstein House but “decided that the garden was more akin with our collection”.
Like the location, the model is also a key player in exerting the creative concept behind the campaign. Each model has their own look and personality that comes through in any image, so finding the right one to match your brands vibe and feel is important. Usually you need to search through Instagram/modelling agencies and have castings to find the right fit, but if you already have the model in mind you can usually book them directly. And as far as this campaign, Alice knew exactly who she wanted. Lindsey Wixon was selected for the campaign as she “embodied our brand…her look was perfect for that urban 70’s feel we wanted to create”.
The Creative Concept & Brief
Once you’ve got the basic aspects of the campaign locked in you can start working on finalising the creative briefs. The hair, the make-up, set design, props etc etc. Usually this is a creative brainstorm between the designer and photographer, working within each other’s creative limits and aesthetics, “I began by looking at old Helmut Newton poolside shoots, as well as prints by Slim Aarons. The idea then evolved, as ideas often do, to more of an urban 70’s feel.” Which also means choosing hair and make-up artists that you know can fulfil your expectations, in this case “a high-end campaign that still felt slightly left of centre and eccentric.”
The end result of all your hard work, time and effort. Everyone arrives, the set is styled, the model is made up and the photos are taken. For the designer, this stage is more about styling, making sure your products are being showcased in the right way and the brief is being fulfilled.
“As the creative components were locked in, I could focus on styling. Keeping with the retro vibe, it was all about knee high sports socks and platform heels…”