Fabulous clothes, divine accessories, nostalgia, a steam train and the whiff of romance, the video for the Mistletoe fashion shoot 'Home For Christmas' was a joy to make....even if it did mean turning into an 'anorak' steam train enthusiast for a month, chasing old engines up and down the country.
I'm at my happiest researching and scoping out locations for future fashion shoots with Mistletoe's regular fashion photographer, Daniel Holfeld.
Daniel had a vision for our shoot and I was tasked to find a steam train. "No problem," I volunteered as I headed off to London Fashion Week. By October, I was on the trail and spent two weekends in a row driving up and down motorways in order to find the perfect steam train and location on which to shoot.
We secured the services of Dublin videographer Jimmy Galvin before he went to California to research a documentary and I tasked our props manager Jill Beecher to 'buy' snow and a snow machine.
I literally arm wrestled top fashion stylist, Courtney Smith to change her busy working schedule to fly home from London to style our shoot. She was the obvious choice. She works constantly with Daniel. They are totally on the same page and almost finish each other's sentences.
Best of all, we were able to book Morgan the Agency model, Thalia Heffernan before she headed off to New York to work with Ford Model Agency and, on a sunny October Bank Holiday Monday, the Mistletoe magic unfolded on a tiny, empty railway platform which I had secured in advance.
It was like walking back in time. They started shovelling coal into the steam engine at 8am so by 1pm, the engine was able to move and it lined up on the platform where, for the next few hours, the fashion story unfolded. Thalia's 'boys' as we called them moved from being railway attendants in crisp red uniforms rented from the Abbey Theatre to train attendant and the best job of all, her beau who happily nestled in her neck for the romantic shots.
The clothes from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, M&S, Umit Kutluk, The Goddess Rooms, Dawn Fitzgerald Atelier, Divine Boutique and Coast looked amazing and assistant stylist Brian Conway augmented the looks with lots of choice accessories including jewellery from Pandora, Newbridge Silverware, shoes from Zara and gloves from Paula Rowan.
Back in our hotel where the crew had started the previous night to facilitate an 'up at dawn' call time, the creative team devoured pizza and excitedly queued behind Daniel's camera for a glimpse on the shots captured earlier.
We were giddy with excitment. There was an amazing sense of having created something memorable. Jimmy Galvin went home to edit the footage and find the perfect, nostalgia-filled music to suit the captivating footage.
We loved the whole experience, from the clothes, to the shoot, to the video and I hope you enjoy watching it. The video and shoot were brilliantly received and we start planning the next Mistletoe shoot next week. Can't wait.