Gather around, my pretties, for we have a tale to tell. A tale of romance, and grief. Of madness, and transformation. And the technical difficulties of making a huge wallpaper wall come to life.
Today we’re taking you behind the scenes of our biggest shoot this year (so far…) – our epic Halloween collection. This release is all about the mysterious, dangerous world of Lady Anarchy, and bringing that world alive.
Who is Lady Anarchy? She is a neo-Victorian, steam-punk-esque figure, born of whirling gears and clockwork parts…and probably a whole lot of caffeine, because she came straight from jL’s latte-fuelled imagination. You’ll learn plenty about her in the days to come.
For now, let’s talk photo shoot. The first thing we needed to do was recreate the setting of Lady Anarchy’s story – the dark, enigmatic Blacklock Manor.
Luckily, the perfect setting was right here in Brisbane – the 110-year-old, heritage-listed St Andrews Uniting Church. The Neo-Romanesque architecture, gorgeous stained windows and original pipe organ easily lent themselves to a Victorian manor atmosphere.
So, we had the location on lock. The second thing we needed to do was find our Lady Anarchy. Enter Stephanie. The moment we saw her porcelain doll skin and gorgeous red hair, we knew we had our model.
After weeks of prop-sourcing, shot planning and several megalitres of coffee, the big day arrived. The shoot team gathered nice and early at St Andrews and set about transforming it into Blacklock Manor.
Meanwhile, Maria and Meg, our very talented hair and make-up artists, worked to turn Stephanie into our heroine.
The first shot of the day was a scene that takes place before our heroine's arrival at Blacklock Manor, so we used a different, brighter part of the church for this one. It's the very first scene in our lookbook, so it was super important to set the tone straight away.
(Pictured: NOT setting the tone.)
It can be pretty challenging to shoot in front of big, bright windows with all that morning sunshine coming in, but luckily we had a giant reflector up to the task – not to mention Elizabeth, our awesome photographer.
Next, it was time to set up the Table of Weird Things.
There’s something super creepy about dolls…
One of our favourite scenes is the wedding between Lord and Lady Blacklock.
Here is our beautiful blushing bride…
And her, er, groom?
Yeah, we were a little lacking on Lordly types at this shoot. Luckily Jenna happily stepped up to the plate.
Day one was almost over, but not before we saw the transformation of Lady Blacklock into Lady Anarchy. We’ll leave those images for the lookbook, but here is a little teaser…
(How amazing are those steampunk accessories, by the way? They were kindly loaned to us by Lady Brass).
Day two was shot in the warehouse at BMHQ. Once again, the team assembled to create photo shoot magic.
The biggest magic trick of the day? Creating a living wallpaper wall.
You can’t tell here, but there are no fewer than five people behind that fabric, holding it in juuuuust the right position. Shoutout to Jenna again, who agreed to have her arms covered in paint and stand in that position for a good hour or so. What a trooper.
It was all worth it, because the shot turned out amazing.
Another technically difficult shot involved the use of an old favourite prop – the vintage bathtub from the Disney shoot.
(Note Stephanie’s stripy slippers. Who says style and comfort aren’t synonymous?)
As you can see, getting this shot required some serious acrobatics on behalf of our photographer.
And a lot of people holding a lot of things in place.
At a certain point of the day, we were a bit worried that our model really WAS transforming into the terrifying Lady Anarchy…
And everyone was getting a little tired…
But the results spoke for themselves.
This was probably the most cohesive, full-scale story we’ve ever told for a Halloween collection in terms of the narrative itself (like, I’m pretty sure jL is turning it into an actual novel). So the question everybody was asking going into this shoot was: will we be able to do that story justice?
We like to think so.
Until next time…
Love, Team BM xx