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KIDS FASHION – THE HAMPTONS PHOTO SHOOT

 

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When I was asked to style a kidswear shoot the client called ‘The Hamptons’ I imagined jetting off to New York State. No such luck I’m afraid, this time the budget didn’t quite stretch to an overseas trip. So if we couldn’t go to The Hamptons, The Hamptons would have to come to us!

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We ended up in an East London studio that became our base. I was sure it would all pull together and look amazing as I was working with such a fantastic team. First of all, set builders constructed a whitewash, weatherboard backdrop and then it was up to me to find some really eye catching props that would make the images come alive.

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The day before the shoot I headed off to ‘Propland’ – the name in the trade we give to an area in West London where all the furniture and prop hire houses are situated. Soon I was elbow deep in all types of seaside and Americana paraphernalia – flags, bunting, binoculars, sailboats and starfish! I remembered that there were also some lovely kids’ stripy deckchairs in my daughter’s Wendy house that would come in handy too.

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MCSS16.5.siteIt was fun doing a day ‘propping’, usually I’m trampling up and down The West End sourcing clothes for editorial shoots, but as it was a shoot for well known brand Mothercare all the lovely nautical clothes were supplied by them!

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The big shoot day arrived and we had such a gorgeous array of little models ranging from 14 months to 8 years old. Ross, our photographer is always brilliant at making the kids laugh so I knew the pictures would look really animated and lively!

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The trickiest part of the shoot was the group shot. It was challenging getting all 6 infant school kids in a line, looking in the same direction and smiling all at once. The children’s clothes and hair had to look just right too so lovely make-up artist Freya and myself had to madly rush in and perfect the look in between each shot.IMG_6297

 

Working with kids is exhausting and I’m always ready for a G&T at the end of the day. But it’s totally worth it as you can see by these fabulous pictures – That’s a shore thing!photo-2

PHOTOGRAPHER – ROSS BOLGER, FASHION STYLIST – BECKY JOHN, HAIR & MAKE-UP – FREYA DANSON-HATCHER and ROSE ANGUS, CLOTHES – MOTHERCARE

EASTER EGGS, FASHION BUNNIES & CRAZY CHICKS

Box of chocolate biscuits, £35, Biscuiteers Baking Company. Milk chocolate egg, £27 and White chocolate egg, £15 both Hotel Chocolat.
Box of chocolate biscuits, £35, Biscuiteers Baking Company. Milk chocolate egg, £27 and White chocolate egg, £15 both Hotel Chocolat.

MY EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA – HERE’S TO A HAPPY & PEACEFUL BANK HOLIDAY…………

Easter egg biscuit, £35, Biscuitjes Baking Company.
Easter egg biscuit, £35, Biscuitjes Baking Company.

HOPPING MAD

Cotton knit bunny romper, £69.34 by Blamo Toys at Etsy.
Cotton knit bunny romper, £69.34 by Blamo Toys at Etsy.
Supersoft bunny, £8, Sainsbury's Home. Fluffy bunny ears, Poundland. Bunny costume and hat, The Little Distinctions.
Supersoft bunny, £8, Sainsbury’s Home. Fluffy bunny ears, Poundland. Bunny costume and hat, The Little Distinctions.

CRACKING EASTER

Green bunny Top, £3.50, M&Co. Easter egg glasses, £4, Paperchase. Bunny Easter egg basket, £3.99, Hoi Polloi Gifts. Chick head boppers, Poundland.
Green bunny Top, £3.50, M&Co. Easter egg glasses, £4, Paperchase. Bunny Easter egg basket, £3.99, Hoi Polloi Gifts. Chick head boppers, Poundland.

CRAZY CHICKS

Pack of 18 fluffy chicks, Poundland.
Pack of 18 fluffy chicks, Poundland.

 

BEHIND THE SCENES OF A BABY FASHION SHOOT

Chelsea wears lace tunic, £49, Soeur at Smallable. Harlen wears cotton bodysuit £10.50 (pack of 2) Petit Bateau.
Chelsea wears lace tunic, £49, Soeur at Smallable. Harlen wears cotton bodysuit £10.50 (pack of 2) Petit Bateau.

Hear the word ‘model’ and you’re most likely to think of a tall, willowy figure in striking clothes and Manolos. Well, they’re not always like this on every photo shoot I work on. This month I styled a gorgeous fashion spread for glossy magazine Baby London and our supermodels were newborn Harlen (photographed above with beautiful Mum Chelsea) and 4 month year old Lily and Hunter.

Lily wears cotton knit hat, £6.95 and dress, £29.95 both Gap.
Lily wears cotton knit hat, £6.95 and dress, £29.95 both Gap.

So what exactly happens at a baby shoot you might ask. Well in my case so much happens beforehand. All the clothes and props have to be sourced and as magazines work 3 months in advance I always seem to be working in a different season from the one we’re in. For me it’s swimwear in Winter and faux fur coats in the middle of Summer. It can get very confusing! Anyhow I trundle off to Fashion PR’s who hold all the next season’s samples. Most days, come rain or shine, I’m staggering around the West End weighed down with clothes like a glorified bag lady.

Hunter wears cotton playsuit £91 and Lily wears embroidered cotton dress with matching bloomers, £112 both Bonpoint. Sheepskin rug, £75, The White Company.
Hunter wears cotton playsuit £91 and Lily wears embroidered cotton dress with matching bloomers, £112 both Bonpoint. Sheepskin rug, £75, The White Company.

After the clothes are sorted I start work on the ‘softs” as they are called in the trade. That’s all the throws, cushions, duvet covers and sheepskin rugs used to make a snug little room set for the baby. This is so important to bolster up babies that can’t sit up by themselves and also gives a soft landing if they’re a bit wobbly!

Hunter wears cotton romper £39.50, Petit Bateau.
Hunter wears cotton romper £39.50, Petit Bateau. Sheepskin rug, £75, The White Company.

Then comes the shoot day. The crew – photographer, digi assistant, make-up artist and myself arrive at the studio at least an hour before the tiny talent arrive. Babies get bored and tired very quickly so we try and get them in and out of the studio as quickly as possible. Preparation is key. The photographer perfects his lighting, the make-up artist lays out brushes and I hang up all the clothes and get to work on my room set. The heating is also blasted up so the babies are kept nice and cosy.

 

Once parents and babies arrive it’s all action! We tend to run around making tea for the parents and making sure they’re happy and relaxed as little ones feed off the vibe of their Mums and Dads and we want everyone to have a really fun time. We get cracking pretty swiftly, the babies are dressed, go through hair and make-up and before they can even gurgle they’re on set ready to go!

Harlem wears cotton bodysuit, £10.50 (pack of 2) Petit Bateau and organic cotton and merino wool booties, £24.99, Aravore.
Harlen wears cotton bodysuit, £10.50 (pack of 2) Petit Bateau and organic cotton and merino wool booties, £24.99, Aravore.

To get those fabulous baby smiles all the crew have to have a turn entertaining the talent. I have a kit bag bursting with tickling sticks, blowers, cuddly toys and bubbles that even Mary Poppins would be proud of. The photographer takes the lead and then we all have a go, parents included, singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes, pretending to sneeze, in fact we’ll do anything to get a chuckle. The make-up artist and I, tissues in hand, share ‘Dribble Patrol” – drool is quite a liability in baby photography. Yes, I really look a picture of sophistication on kids shoots, armed with Kleenex and long tickle feathers, running around like a mad woman in  Sahara Desert temperatures. We do stop for loads of breaks though as babies get really tired and hungry quickly –  milk breaks always figure high up on the agenda.

And before you know it, it’s all over. The babies generally snoozing happily in their car seats are ushered out of the studio and the crew, shell-shocked and exhausted, start the grand clear up. It’s a mad way to earn a living but as you can see by the pics really rewarding too!

Chelsea wears silk chiffon top, £60, A Day In A Life. Harlem wears cotton smocked playsuit, £63, Annafie at Childrensalon
Chelsea wears silk chiffon top, £60, A Day In A Life. Harlen wears cotton smocked playsuit, £63, Annafie at Childrensalon

PHOTOGRAPHY – JONATHAN MALPASS. HAIR & MAKE-UP – ROSE ANGUS. FASHION STYLIST – BECKY JOHN. MODELS – GRACE & GALOR AGENCY

CHRISTMAS ANGELS

Merry Christmas to you all.  I’ve delved deep into my stylist’s archive and found these beautiful ‘Angel’ pictures that I styled with Photographer Richard Burns and Hair and Make-up artist Sally Kvalheim.

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I love this fabulous feathered- wing, angel image. It was shot at the end of the day when the light was amazing.

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This shot is really special to me as it’s of my daughter Lily-Belle. She really enjoyed dressing up and having her hair so beautifully styled by Sally.

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This is one of my favourite images. It’s so simple but really powerful and alluring. Here’s to an amazing and creative 2016!

 

 

THIS YEAR’S BEST XMAS JUMPERS

Sleigh Bells Jumper, £19.99, 6-18, New Look.
Sleigh Bells Jumper, £19.99, 6-18, New Look.
Hooray! This Friday (18th December) it’s Christmas Jumper Day. So wear your most favourite festive sweater and donate to Text Santa  to help 3 amazing charities – Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish UK and Save the Children. Here’s my pick of the best Yuletide knits……
WOMAN'S SELECTION Clockwise from the top - Red Reindeer jumper, £12, 8-22, George at Asda. Green robin jumper,£49.95, 6-20, Joules. Red Santa Baby Jumper, £20, 8-18, Very. Bah Humbug Jumper,£26, 6-22, Dorothy Perkins.
WOMAN’S SELECTION Clockwise from the top – Red Reindeer jumper, £12, 8-22, George at Asda. Green robin jumper,£49.95, 6-20, Joules. Red Santa Baby Jumper, £20, 8-18, Very. Bah Humbug Jumper,£26, 6-22, Dorothy Perkins.
Xmas Jumper, £25, XS-XL, Burton Menswear
Stag Xmas Jumper, £25, XS-XL, Burton Menswear
Clockwise from the top. Grey Penguin Jumper, £25, XS-XXXL, Next. Blue Skiing Penguin Jumper, £12, XS -XXL, Primark. Polar Bear Jumper, £30, XS-XXXL, Next. Green Reindeer Jumper,£25, XS-XL, Burton Menswear.
MENS SELECTION Clockwise from the top. Grey Penguin Jumper, £25, XS-XXXL, Next. Blue Skiing Penguin Jumper, £12, XS -XXL, Primark. Green Reindeer Jumper,£25, XS-XL, Burton Menswear. Polar Bear Jumper, £30, XS-XXXL, Next.
Red Reindeer Jumper, £14, 3M-3Y, M&Co
Red Reindeer Jumper, £14, 3M-3Y, M&Co
Clockwise from the top.Red Father Xmas Jumper, £8, 9M-3Y, George At Asda.Light Up Polar Bear Jumper, £14, 1-8Y, Primark. Red Xmas Jumper, £12, 12M-8Y, BhS. Blue Robin Jumper, £36.95, 3-12Y, Joules.
KIDS SELECTION Clockwise from the top. Red Father Xmas Jumper, £8, 9M-3Y, George At Asda. Light Up Polar Bear Jumper, £14, 1-8Y, Primark. Red Patterned Xmas Jumper, £12, 12M-8Y, BhS. Blue Robin Jumper, £36.95, 3-12Y, Joules.
Christmas jumpers from £12 all by Next.
Christmas Jumpers from £12 all by Next.

KIDS FASHION – FEATHERED FRIENDS

Headdress, £450, Astrobohemia. Leather flight jacket, from £658, 4-14yrs, John Galliano.
DRAYDEN wears Headdress, £450 by Astrobohemia. Leather flight jacket from £658, 4-14yrs by John Galliano Kids.

It was the hottest day of the year when we did this beautiful kids shoot. So in June I trundled down to The Factory Studio in Clapham with the car crammed full of fabulous feathered and textured clothes. It was a bit of  a nerve wracking shoot as it was being filmed by Channel 4 for a documentary about the kids model agency Bizzykidz. Luckily I was styling with a fantastic team that I have worked with for years  – Photographer, Daniel Pangbourne and Hair & Make-Up, Sarah O’Keefe. Here are the results…..

DRAYDEN wears Copper bomber jacket, £100, 2-14yrs by Someday Soon.
DRAYDEN wears metallic bomber jacket, £100, 2-14yrs by Someday Soon. Jeans, £104, 4-16 by Diesel Kids.
LEILA wears dress from £185, 4-14yrs by John Galliano Kids. Feathered cape, £45, Top Shop. Boots, Beyond Retro.
LEILA wears dress from £185, 4-14yrs by John Galliano Kids. Feathered cape, £45 by Top Shop.
LEILA wears dress from £112 and coat from £145 both 4-16yrs by Diesel Kids.
LEILA wears dress from £112 and coat from £145 both 4-16yrs by Diesel Kids. Boots by Beyond Retro.
EMILY wears headdress, £350 by Astrobohemia. Dress, £195, 3-12yrs by Marie-Chantal. Shoes, John Lewis
EMILY wears headdress, £350 by Astrobohemia. Dress, £195, 3-12yrs by Marie-Chantal. Shoes by John Lewis.
JACK wears leather flight jacket from £1090, 2-6yrs, Stone Island. Striped sweater, from £113, 3-4yrs, Bonpoint.
JACK wears leather flight jacket from £1090, 2-6yrs, Stone Island. Striped sweater from £113, 3-4yrs by Bonpoint.
JACK wears jacket, £149 by Scotch R'Belle. Trousers, £55 and hat £40 all 4-16yrs by Scotch Shrunk.
JACK wears jacket, £149, trousers, £55 and hat £40 all 4-16yrs by Scotch Shrunk. Boots by Hugo Boss.
Maisie wears sequin dress, from £238, 4-14Yrs John Galliano Kids. Jacket, £124, 3-14Yrs Stella McCartney Kids. Shoe by Bonpoint.
MAISIE wears dress, £238, 4-16yrs by John Galliano Kids. Jacket, £124, 3-14yrs by Stella McCartney Kids. Shoe by Bonpoint.
MOLLY wears glitter dress, £75, 4-13yrs by I Love Gorgeous. Feather gilet, £90 by Top Shop.
MOLLY wears glitter dress, £75, 4-13yrs by I Love Gorgeous. Feather gilet, £90 by Top Shop.
MOLLY wears sequin dress, £95, 4-13yrs by I Love Gorgeous. feather birds stylists own!
MOLLY wears sequin dress, £95, 4-13yrs by I Love Gorgeous. feather birds stylists own!

LITTLE FASHION-EASTER

Here’s to a cracking Easter…..

Chick tutu bodysuit with hat, £10, 0-18M by M&Co

Chick tutu bodysuit with hat, £10, 0-18M by M&Co

 

For the little chicks……

1. Chick applique leather baby shoes, £19, Daisy Roots. 2. Chick hooded towel, £18, M&S. 3.Easter felt bags, £2.99 each, oakroomshop.co.uk . 4.Bunny ears, £2, Go Create at Tesco. 5. Bunny baseball cap, £6, M&S. 6. Bunny slippers, £24.99, Cuckooland.com

1. Chick applique, leather baby shoes, £19, Daisy Roots. 2. Chick hooded towel, £18, M&S.3. Easter felt bags, £2.99 each, oakroomshop.co.uk . 4.Bunny ears, £2, Go Create at Tesco. 5. Bunny baseball cap, £6, M&S. 6. Bunny slippers, £24.99, Cuckooland.com

 

Easter Eggstravaganza……

1. Personalised butterfly chocolate eggs, £25, biscuiteers.com 2.Golden milk egglets, £5.50, Hotel Chocolat. 3. colourful eggs in nest, £1, Poundland. 4. Painted Easter eggs with iced biscuits, £1 each Tiger Stores. 5. All Our Eggs in One Basket, £50, Hotel Chocolat. 6, Colourful pained chick eggs , £5.75, Pussy Home Boutique.with chocolate eggs inside

1. Personalised butterfly chocolate eggs, £25, biscuiteers.com 2.Golden milk egglets, £5.50, Hotel Chocolat. 3. colourful eggs in nest, £1, Poundland. 4. Bird print Easter eggs with iced biscuits, £1 each Tiger Stores. 5. All Our Eggs in One Basket set, £50, Hotel Chocolat. 6, Colourful  chick eggs with chocolate eggs inside ,£5.75, Pussy Home Boutique.

For the Home Bunnies……..

1. Bunny and cabbage apron, £24, Thornback & Peel at Amara. 2. Tapestry chick cushion, £19.95, Mad In England. 3. Bunny coasters, £13.50 for set of 4, Home Candy. 4. Chick egg cosy, £13.50, Cuckooland.com 5. Rabbit applique cushion, £89, Carola Van Dyke at Amara. 6. Chicken egg cosy, £6, The Contemporary Home

1. Bunny and cabbage apron, £24, Thornback & Peel at Amara. 2. Tapestry chick cushion, £19.95, Mad In England. 3. Bunny coasters, £13.50 for set of 4, Home Candy. 4. Chick egg cosy, £13.50, Cuckooland.com 5. Rabbit applique cushion, £89, Carola Van Dyke at Amara. 6. Chicken egg cosy, £6, The Contemporary Home.

Easter Bonnets and Accessories…….

1.18ct gold bunny charm, £120, Links of London. 2. Feather bonnet on headband, £50, Julien Macdonald at Debenhams. 3. Chicken print bag, £45, Sophie Allport. 4. Picture hat, £75, Ben de Lisi at Principles.

1.18ct gold bunny charm, £120, Links of London. 2. Feather bonnet on headband, £50, Julien Macdonald at Debenhams. 3. Chicken print bag, £45, Sophie Allport. 4. Picture hat, £75, Ben de Lisi at Principles.

KIDSWEAR – PRINTS CHARMING

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I was thrilled to work with the American brand Little Name. This little girls collection is so innovative and imaginative. Founder and designer Alexis G McVicker had previously worked as a print designer for such companies as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and OshKosh B’gosh so clearly very talented.

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This ‘Rain and Shine’ range is ingenious. Behind the whimsical beauty it boasts all sorts of amazing qualities, such as the sun protecting collars, spill proof “get dirty in” fabrics and practical pouch pockets. But as a stylist, I loved the “grow into” factor – size adjustable, loose silhouettes that allowed me to put the same clothes in children from 3 to 9 year olds. Obviously with Alexis’s background the prints are totally gorgeous with their playful vintage feel. All in all, it is a winning collection.

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So why shoot it in the UK? Alexis told me, “I truly enjoy vintage nostalgia and an old authenticity that is found in remote areas of the world … making the English countryside a lovely atmosphere for the collection.”

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So what does the future hold for Little Name? Well, Alexis has recently become a new mother and she says this is spurring her on to create more gorgeous kidswear collections. “Our beautiful daughter is called Fable… Maybe a fable-themed inspiration could be in the making.”

That sounds fabulous – I can’t wait.

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Photographer – Richard Burns. Fashion Stylist – Becky John. Hair & Make-up – Sally Kvalheim. Location – Wingsfield College, Suffolk.

 

THE VALENTINE GUIDE

My Loved-Up guide for your VALENTINE…………..

PUCKER UP! LIP SHIRT, 39.50, OLIVER BONAS

PUCKER UP! LIP SHIRT, 39.50, OLIVER BONAS

For those who wish to wear their heart on their sleeve or anywhere else –

Cut-out Heart dress, £49, Simply Be. Lip Skirt, £59, House of CB. Fringed top, £9.90, People Tree. Heart jumper, £55, White Stuff. Heart print dress, £45, Oliver Bonas

Cut-out Heart dress, £49, Simply Be. Lip Skirt, £59, House of CB. Fringed top, £9.90, People Tree. Heart jumper, £55, White Stuff. Heart print dress, £45, Oliver Bonas

For the homey –

Cake stand, £10 Sainsburys. Jigsaw, £2 and Lap tray, £5, both Tiger Stores. Heart dish, £49, Le Creuset at Occa Home. Heaert pillow, £16, M&Co.

Cake stand, £10 Sainsburys. Jigsaw, £2 and Lap tray, £5, both Tiger Stores. Heart dish, £49, Le Creuset at Occa Home. Heart pillow, £16, M&Co.

If food be the music of love –

Box of Chocolates, £39, Hotel Chocloat, Red heart box of chocs, £14, Butlers Chocolates. Individual champagne chocolate truffles,Hotel Chocolat. Personalised wine, £19.99, Gettiing Personal. Louboutin inspired chocolate shoe, £35.95, Azra Chocolates.

Box of Chocolates, £39, Hotel Chocloat. Red heart box of chocs, £14, Butlers Chocolates. Individual champagne chocolate truffles,£3.75,Hotel Chocolat. Personalised wine, £19.99, Getting Personal. Louboutin inspired chocolate shoe, £35.95, Azra Chocolates.

For those who LOVE to accessorize –

Heart cufflinks, £79, Amara. Heart Keyring, £50, Juicy Couture. Sunglasses, £15, Monsoon. Socks, £2, Tiger Stores. Stck of rings, £6, Accessorize

Heart cufflinks, £79, Amara. Heart Keyring, £50, Juicy Couture. Sunglasses, £15, Monsoon. Socks, £2, Tiger Stores. Phone charging purse, £79.99, Cuckooland.  Stack of rings, £6, Accessorize

And Finally the Lingerie Lover

Red bra set, £16, Tu at Sainsburys. Floral bra, £28 and high waisted brief, £16, Boux Avenue.

Red bra set, £16, Tu at Sainsburys. Floral bra, £28 and high waisted brief, £16, Boux Avenue.

Floral bra, £25 and knickers, £12.50, Marks & Spencer. Cerise bra, £28 and thong, £12, Boux Avenue.

Floral bra, £25 and knickers, £12.50, Marks & Spencer. Cerise bra, £28 and thong, £12, Boux Avenue.

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KIDSWEAR – ROYAL BLOOD

On a crisp Winter’s day we travelled down to Hever Castle in Kent. We wanted to create a majestic look as might befit such a glorious castle as well as highlighting the theme of the land and nature. So I styled the kids very opulently in rich velvets and silks and added leaf crowns and foliage to mix the two looks. Here are the results..

Photographer – Dan Pangbourne   Fashion Stylist – Becky John   Hair & Make-up – Claire Portman

 

Clothes by I Love Gorgeous

Clothes by I Love Gorgeous

Dresses by Bonpoint. Crowns by Atticus and Gilda

Dresses by Bonpoint. Crowns by Atticus and Gilda

Sweater and breeches by Rachel Riley. Sheepskin gilet by New Look

Sweater and breeches by Rachel Riley. Sheepskin gilet by New Look

Girl wears sweater and breeches by Rachel Riley. Boy wears sweater and trousers by Bon Point. Both wear faux fue gilets by Angel & Rocket. Crowns hand made by Stylist

Girl wears sweater and breeches by Rachel Riley. Boy wears sweater and trousers by Bon Point. Both wear faux fur gilets by Angel & Rocket. Crowns hand made by Stylist

Dress by Mini Raxevsky. Feather shrug by No1 by Jenny Packham at Debenhams

Dress by Mini Raxevsky. Feather shrug by No1 by Jenny Packham at Debenhams

Crown print dress by Rachel Riley. Faux fur coat by John Lewis

Crown print dress by Rachel Riley. Faux fur coat by John Lewis

Clothes by I love Gorgeous

Clothes by I love Gorgeous

Behind the scenes with photographer Dan Pangbourne and H&M artist Claire Portman

Behind the scenes with photographer Dan Pangbourne and Hair & make-up artist Claire Portman