Modelling for Brides of Winchester
Modelling at Brides of Winchester for a training day with Stuart Parvin revealed the art not just of designing but of dressing a woman, which Stuart has down to a tee. Within seconds of me stepping inside one of his dresses I was strapped into a corset that transformed my figure into a perfect hour glass with a tiny waste that haven’t seen for a while!! Flapping, brushing and gesticulating about me with accessories, veils, ribbons, straps, lace and belts which came on and off with me barely realising, Stuart danced his own dance amongst the dresses with his audience hooked. I knew at once that I was in the presence of design royalty so it came as no surprise when I found out that he dresses the queen. From just putting on a dress to ‘wearing’ the dress the way Stuart had designed it completed transformed it. A very thought provoking and eye opening experience. Apart from wanting to take Stuart home with me to dress me every day, there is something else that I have taken away from this experience. The choreography of dressing; the way he smoothly, nimbly and speedily, efficiently but beautifully darted around me and the dress, combining functional with expressive gestures. What a character and what a wonderful set of motifs and ideas to explore for a dance piece...
Modelling for Brides of Winchester on location at Sopley Mill, with Helen Rushton Photography was just like performing in a dance show. Hours spent backstage in hair and make-up, teching and planning, took up most of the time on this photo shoot. And, just like any site-specific work, all plans flew out of the window as locations, props, people and weather are temperamental at best! Working on this creative photo shoot, bought to my attention that, as with any piece of art, a meaning, agenda, narrative or purpose was essential to the work. And, as I have learnt with choreography, sometimes you plan it and picture what you want, what the final piece will be like but then you struggle to reach it. Letting go and allowing the piece to unfold with the tools at hand, being brave enough to let the journey take you to a work that is what it is the scariest but most essential skill required in making anything creative and it applied here as much as it does the dance studio.I thoroughly enjoyed being preened and pampered and the centre of attention- it’s any girl’s dream come true. I love playing in Laura’s beautiful dresses and my flower crown was the icing on the cake, (although I did get a few looks on the way home with it still weighing down my head!). Thank you Laura and Helen for giving me this great opportunity to learn new skills in front of the camera and making me feel fabulous in the process.
Keep up to date with bridal style on Brides of Winchester’s Blog here:
Keep your eyes peeled for the photos from Helen’s vintage themed shoot on her blog: