THE CASTING CALL
When Charlie Moore, the Fashion Editor at Woman and Home magazine asked if we had anyone in the office who would like to have a professional makeover, try on lots of glam clothes and take part in a Vanity Fair style photoshoot for the January edition of the magazine, I was intrigued. When I realised that it was a full day in London and my return train wouldn’t arrive back until late; meaning I’d miss the school pick-up, teatime, bath time and bedtime, it was a done deal. This assignment had my name all over it.
THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
Having secretly harboured dreams of stepping in front of the camera since I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to pack up my day bag and head down to the big smoke. But first; what to wear? There was lots of travelling involved so I needed to be comfy but I also wanted to look stylish for my first foray into the city in a few years. The natural choice was a pair of our new skinny pull-on jeans. Perfectly practical but with a figure-flattering fit; the dark indigo wash was spot on. Teamed with our Boucle Cardigan from the new Soft Leisure loungewear collection, I felt sophisticated and elegant, without being overdressed. And judging by the number of compliments I got throughout the day, this cardi really hit the mark (plus at £85, it’s a bit of a bargain as it’s certainly cosy enough to double as a coat).
After a train delay, a commuter falling asleep on my shoulder and some arty shots of me under the famous arches at Kings Cross in my head-to-toe Lands’ End outfit (including some super-comfy suede boots and a stylish leather bag), we hopped into a black cab and arrived at our destination: an imposing location house in North London.
After ringing the doorbell, the first thing my colleague, Michelle and I heard was the rattle of cutlery, and fearing the over-enthusiastic cabbie had taken us to the wrong address, we had visions of interrupting a rather grand family mealtime. But greeted by friendly hairstylist-to-the-stars, Tim Furssedonn, we realised it was the W&H team and the other models eating a hearty lunch – homemade pie followed by Guinness cake, no less. Who says models only eat lettuce leaves?
I was whisked into the make-up room with freelance make-up artist Liz Kitchiner, who set about transforming me into a far more flawless version of what I’m used to seeing in the mirror, complete with false lashes and vibrant, glossy lips. My first outfit chanelled full-on Hollywood glamour with a pleated burgundy skirt and shimmery pink shell top with huge, beaded earrings and towering stiletto heels.
My fellow models; Seema (Business Woman/Owner of Forever Unique) and Abigail (avid Woman & Home reader) were also dressed in beautiful rich jewel tones: a fabulous full-on shimmery cocktail dress and sleek, smooth burgundy shift dress which completed the shot perfectly. As the novice of the group, they immediately put me at ease, and seasoned model Abigail gave me lots of helpful tips about what to do with my hands and how to stand so I looked as natural as possible.
The second shot had a more relaxed vibe and this was where one of the Lands’ End pieces got to take centre-stage. Our deep blue cold-shoulder top was teamed with a metallic skirt and sparkly sequin jacket in a glorious shade of green. By now, pro photographer Liz McAulay knew exactly where she wanted us and the final shoot flew by in a flurry of lights and camera clicks.
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
As the stylists and assistants had seamlessly packed everything away behind the scenes whilst we were having the final photos taken, all that was left for us to do was finish up the remainder of the wonderful Guinness cake and make our way back to reality.
So did I really feel like a model for the day? Absolutely! I loved having my hair styled and make-up applied by some of the best in the business and getting to wear outfits that looked effortlessly put together, thanks to the magic of professional styling. And whilst I don’t remember Kate Moss ever blogging about being squashed on the number 61 bus to Finsbury Park due to a tube strike, it was still the most ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ experience of my life. Now where did I put my Louboutins, darling…
See the full photoshoot in the January edition of Woman & Home magazine; on sale December 2017