Friday, September 11th 2015
Mood: Inspired by our recent Cuban adventures, we’re dreaming this Friday of long balmy evenings, spent outdoors surrounded by the scent of cigars, sipping on the unmistakable flavours of fresh lime, mint and Havana rum…take us back!
60mm / 2 ounces White Rum
1/2 fresh lime
10 fresh mint leaves
Cut the lime into 4 wedges and place in a sturdy glass, adding 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and muddle together gently. Clap the mint leaves together in your hand (bruising and releasing their aroma) before adding them to the glass. Half fill the glass with crushed ice, adding the rum. Stir together until the flavours are mixed and sugar dissolved. Top with ice and a splash of soda water.
Playlist: (Follow The LANE Playlist on Spotify)
Desert Night / Rufus
I Play You Listen / Rufus
Once / Ngaiire
Girls / Slow Magic
Kong / Bonobo
Thursday, September 10th 2015
Having long dreamt of shooting our first mens editorial with a specific vision in mind before Cuba was even on the cards, we realised the more we researched the incredible location of Havana, the more fitting it was. And so late in the game, our mens shoot (our third editorial for the trip - we must have been crazy!), was added to the itinerary. We knew at that moment the trip was going to get busy, very busy!
Calling in a mix of both quintessentially warm climate linens, all pale greys and cool neutrals, evening pieces were added to the mix, hinting at the bygone elegance of Havana itself. Channeling a kind of league of gentlemen, cigar bars and whiskey vibe (or in this case rum), the sensuality of the city oozed from every building and bar, the textures of walls the perfect backdrop to mirror the beautifully textured fabrics.
Hoping to find moody nooks in which to savour cigars and unhurriedly sip drinks, smoking parlours in tobacco tints and rooms with a story to tell, old Havana brought to life (with an uncanny accuracy) our creative references and location scouting dreams! Finding everything we went in search of, the streets and spaces left us feeling as though we’d stumbled across a bespoke movie set, one of unbelievable authenticity. This ‘movie set’ also came with an amazing crew of people…onlookers, passers by, taxi drivers and waiters - people we would befriend over several days, each so accommodating and respectfully curious of our work unfolding throughout their surrounding spaces.
Setting up camp in the (now familiar) downstairs level of a favourite restaurant, the makeshift clotheslines (ordinarily used for drying tablecloths) proving the most perfect base from which to hang the male wardrobes, we worked stealthily in the sticky heat, moving through looks and chasing shadows across bars whose light streamed through etched glass windows. Each room offering a perfect setting for a different mood and detail, those slightly secret details we love most…the stitch of a lapel, the crisp edge of a french cuff, light catching on a honed surface of a signet ring.
Having long joked as a team about all the things our first mens editorial needed to be, or more to the point what it needed to definitely not be…(namely no clean cut Ken-doll-casting or styling that could stray into the territory of a bad suit catalogue!) we went in search of interesting faces, and seriously handsome men with a style and presence that didn't feel contrived.
With a characteristic no nonsense attitude, a total professionalism mixed with a cheeky sense of humour, models Zander & Sammy took sweltering heat and curious onlookers in their stride. In an office (and lets be honest, an entire industry) largely ruled by women, we discovered the energy of collaborating with men on a creative pursuit was as refreshing in the change of scene it offered... and refreshingly a different way of directing which unlike our women's editorials, was less about fabric movement and all focussed on the mood and energy of the shoot.
The afternoon and evening unfolding over sips of rum, both on and off camera - waiters whipped up a refreshing round of mojitos mid afternoon for the team (well, when in Havana!), and Zander, a non-smoker, tirelessly inhaled and exhaling a cigar, adamant on ensuring we had the perfect shot for a specific frame we had in mind. A rum sipping, cigar smoking dream shoot for the guys aside, they were unbelievably dedicated to their craft, and managed to make flannel suits in thirty something degree heat look both sexy, and effortless. No mean feat.
Moving to the rooftop sequence, just as the sun sank low, we took in the colours of Havana at dusk - that magical golden hour casting a honeyed light over already the most beautiful buildings. Racing down kerbside for the final shot, we hailed vintage cars both for framing (in photo), and a second car, to assist with a little backlighting, the darkness having enveloped us suddenly when we weren’t watching! A light sprinkle of rain over the streets adding a cinematic mood to the final frames, we wrapped with a kind of euphoria, following an afternoon that felt both incredibly calm, and incredibly stealthy…making our way straight back to the rooftop bar for (celebratory) mojitos and a quick team portrait on the way.
See the full editorial here.
Photography: Ted Grambeau
Karissa wears: Lover (Wildflower Tunic)
Monday, August 24th 2015
As with the beginning of any creative brief, our wildest editorial dreams usually begin simply with a single element - a gown, a city, a muse, a mood. Sometimes it’s a dress spotted during bridal week that we just can’t get out of our heads, or a continent that beckons, our minds drifting there too often to ignore. Sometimes it’s a woman we conjure who embodies our entire narrative. At its most magical, it’s the serendipitous coming together of all of these things.
Long infatuated with Cuba as the most amazing editorial backdrop our eyes could imagine, the creative process began with those inimitable textures and colours of a city left to ruin, the palette and patterns of its streets informing the dresses we chose and the spaces in which to shoot.
In search of summer silks and dusky tints, the kinds of soft embroideries and embellishment that would effortlessly merge with those ornately decorative walls and dilapidated buildings we love so much, we chose favourite (& future favourite) gowns befitting our preference for the unexpected…each one shipped, packed and ready to accompany us for an adventure in Havana.
From a styling point of view, we love looking to colours and textures, context and narrative before pulling together elements that sit harmoniously. Besides being an absolute must to achieve that all important cohesiveness (sometimes lost in what we describe as ‘Pinterest Weddings’, where too many clashing trends have been incorporated into a single space, a single day!), applying this philosophy of styling to your wedding will create a harmonious aesthetic, as well as helping to guide the endless decisions. Start with what is non-negotiable for you (whether it be a gown you’ve always dreamt of wearing, or a reception space you have your heart set on) then build the other aesthetics around that... something to keep in mind for bridal party photography as well, choosing a location that beautifully contrasts but compliments your styling.
Scouting the perfect location for each dress, working out the best time of day and light to highlight their movement or the details we loved most, certain windows were paired with a certain look, a particular staircase proving particularly perfect for the movement of another. And through these explorations, we uncovered along the way some of our favourite discoveries of the trip - bars, restaurants, streetscapes and people, places that we’d return to again and again over the course of our stay.
Mixing sheer fabrics with fluid silks captured beautifully in soft light against soft colours, the dresses of this editorial hinted at the fleeting mood we hoped to evoke. A mood mirroring (we realised after arriving) the fleeting nature of Havana itself - a city changing before our very eyes in the short time we inhabited it (a surreal example - the same dusty streets we shot in, we returned to days later only to find paved in new black asphalt).
The usual pre-shoot rituals of steaming skirts and transporting impossibly long dresses to each location, were rendered all the more surreal here where gowns rode with us across laps rested on wide leather seats of vintage cars, and modelled in a city where their pale palette alone struck a chord of curiosity with locals, who for the most part adore a dress code of brights.
As with any photo shoot in a public place, the day offered up a hilarious sequence of unscripted moments, exclaiming at least a dozen times how much we wished we'd filmed our entire Cuban adventure, furtively capturing the kinds of events and conversations that only ever unfold, unguarded in real life.
Moments such as our driver for the week attempting to navigate precarious back roads under construction in his immaculate (low riding) 50’s Chevrolet, an almost comical exercise in picking a busy street only to have to back up again in search of a different route, when half way down we discovered (almost on top of it) giant excavated areas, impossible to pass, but concealed by throngs of human traffic, the same humans who would each help us trickily navigate our way back offering eyes on all sides!
There was the endless people watching (just as mesmerised by the locals as they were by us) mixed with occasional ogling (our amazing, totally un-fazed model smiling back graciously at taxi drivers who literally reversed through crowded streets for a second glimpse). And the old man on his bicycle (straight from central casting) who dodged metres of a particularly full hem, proclaiming in rapid Spanish (which although we couldn’t translate we understood perfectly to mean) his incredulity that such a dress should be trailing across (admittedly quite a dusty) road!
There was the plastic wrangled under bottoms, entirely necessary for nailing the perfect shot without ruining one of our favourite gowns, our model perched on a filthy windowsill. And the waiter at our restaurant location, so outrageously handsome we considered casting him in our mens editorial…his nonchalant stance and silent gaze, quietly observing us work, rendered each of us more self aware than any of the admiring street calls later that night.
In sweltering heat and dusty streets we gratefully accepted the help of both friendly locals and our amazing driver, each offering assistance with dark stairwells in which to change, or the ingenuity of a makeshift tent, fashioned between car doors and white sheets borrowed from the hotel. Capturing nine amazing, unique dresses over the space of a single afternoon (an insane pace even for our ambitious and stealthy little team!) we wrapped for the day as the light began to soften, in the midst of the chaos of a street at dusk, sweaty and disgustingly dusty, totally exhausted but so excited about the magic we’d just made. (well all except for our superhuman model Karol Santos, who despite having to be dressed in more layers of silk than anyone remained impossibly cool and chic... with just one request after the shoot, a tequila shot!).
Landing at the nearest bar, where our production manager, had mojitos (and tequila!) waiting, whipped up by the most patient staff who’d permitted the use of cheeky bathroom changes all afternoon. We toasted over a cocktail the crazy city we found ourselves in, having finished shoot one of three editorials!
View our latest editorial, Immemorial.
Photography: Ted Grambeau