A few months back, I had a fun opportunity to work with P&G Beauty on a trend editorial, which has just launched in the September issues of Vogue and Elle. The latter pub has also built this really cool hub, where you can explore all the ideas and get exclusive tips and behind-the-scenes content. The project involved pinpointing my four favorite trends for Fall 2013 ~ Polished Punk, Boardroom Bohemian, Modern Mystique and American Pastoral ~ then styling looks that summated each idea. Sounds simple enough, right? In truth, it was a huge undertaking, and I thought you might enjoy a little peek into what that process looks like! I spent several weeks leading up to the shoot shopping for and pulling clothes and accessories that I felt best represented each trend. I had to be overly prepared, because we weren’t able to do fittings before the shoot day; everything had to be figured out and finalized on the fly. Thus, I needed options, options, and more options. Because I was both styling and appearing in the story, I had to be the first person on set and the last to leave ~ hauling over 40 garment bags in at the crack of dawn, working all the way through hair and makeup, being on set for every shot and filming behind the scenes video interviews in between. Never a dull moment! The ‘Modern Mystique’ concept was a recognition of the minimalist, slightly masculine vibes going on in fashion lately. The look is all about precision, so there couldn’t be a single pleat out of place. I dressed our model (who had the most enviable hair imaginable!) in a Maggy Frances blazer, Timo Weiland top, skinny men’s tie, LOVER trousers, Schutz shoes, and a lipstick red Perrin clutch. To me, the final effect felt like an equal pairing of throwback Katherine Hepburn glamour and modern-day mogul élan ~ a message of womanly confidence in a man’s world.‘Boardroom Bohemian’ was my favorite look, as it felt the closest to my own style: an amalgamation of mixed prints, textured layers, and exotic jewelry, pulled together in a really ladylike way. We ended up nixing the Yigal Azrouel vest and changing the dog model for the eventual final shot, but the kept the Orla Kiely dress (which I tucked into a Sretsis skirt ~ a great way to get double the mileage out of a single frock), Rebecca Minkoff bag and Schutz leopard print shoes. And I’m still dreaming about those Natalie Frigo earrings! They really seemed to sing when playing against layered necklaces by Jill Golden and A Peace Treaty.For my part, I wore a Moschino dress (similar HERE), necklaces by Zoe Chicco and Monica Rich Kosann, and shoes by Stuart Weitzman (in between takes I swapped these out for Rachel Zoe flats). Photographer Thomas Whiteside was such a dream to work with! For the American Pastoral look, I layered a DKNY jacket over a LOVER leather top and skirt, accessorizing with necklaces by Zoe Chicco and a great crossbody bag by Rebecca Minkoff. Punk was the most challenging of the four, only because the trend is SO strong this season (thanks to the MET’s summer exhibit), and thus the options for how to approach it were so endless. I tried at least 10 different iterations ~ each of which I loved ~ before finally settling on what felt like the rightest approach. In the end, we went with a Phillip Lim vest and dress (worn backwards!), with a Topshop plaid shirt nestled in between the two. These were accessorized with a studded Rebecca Minkoff cuff, Christian Louboutin clutch, and Carlo Pazolini biker boots. Lots of work and love went into this project, and I’m so proud of the finished piece. Look out for it in the September glossies, and be sure to check out Elle’s Beauty Buzz hub for even more behind-the-scenes scoop!
|PHOTOGRAPHY| by Austin Phelps