Twenty Five Years On…The Photo Shoot January 28th 2014
It’s hard to believe that this year celebrates my twenty fifth year at French Sole and so we decided to make a big splash by investing in a big budget photo shoot here in wonderful sunny California where I have a home.
I arrived in style, First Class British Airways flying in the new super huge 500 seater, double decker block of flats sized dream liner plane, the best and most amazing new aeroplane in the BA fleet. Special Services headed by Matt Underwood looked after me at Heathrow and thirteen hours later I was in my Santa Monica home drinking tea and listening to the Pacific Ocean.
The weather here is perfect for our shoot and our British fashion photographer Helene Sandberg arrived a couple of days later.
We used an all American team - two great models, wonderful hairdresser Josie Choi and make-up artist Jennifer Kim and our amazing fashion stylist Ryann Linehan showed a professionalism and style that we will never be able to surpass. She was brilliantly assisted by stylist Hannah Vaughn and the shoot was managed and directed by Maggie Katreva who was way beyond incredible in every way.
The sun shone and every day the temperatures soared to around 87 degrees - blue skies and not a cloud in sight.
We went to Griffith Park to shoot the famous Hollywood sign while the coyotes circled around us looking for food tidbits left behind.
We shot at Venice muscle beach and on the famous Santa Monica Pier and of course at my personal dream paradise, Malibu beach.
It always amazes and intrigues me the way Californians view their weather. Here it simply never rains and the sun always shines and so the weather reporting on KCAL is pretty limited until God forbid there is the tiniest amount of what we Londoners know as “drizzle” - that very light misty spray that is little more than a tiny shower in early May.
This Californian phenomena is greeted as headline news on all stations - over excited, immaculately groomed news readers flash their bleach - whitened perfect teeth offering a frenzy of homespun advice - “We have sprinkles today so be careful on the Freeway, drive carefully, mind the 10 as braking cars are sliding all over and don’t forget to take a jacket “!!! Take a jacket with you? Sprinkles!!! This is what Americans call rain - only in California.
However, earthquakes - of which we have at least one each week, even magnitudes to 3.5 never get reported on. Last week we had two quite big quakes, a 2.7 and a 2.9 of which both were disturbing to me and very frightening, but to my Californian friends they were “nothing” and certainly not newsworthy - yet the lightest of moisture in the air gets the lead story on the 6pm news stations !
Well I am off to Venice beach now to view the huge waves that have appeared and to watch the ninety foot spray that is unleashed as each one crashes onto the shore.
The photo shoot came to an end yesterday and Helene has packed and gone back to London to photograph in the cold and rain. The first pictures look amazing and as I look at them, I realise that twenty five years of bringing the humble ballet flat to the world of fashion has all been very worthwhile. I am in heaven.