Stella – the Daily Telegraph’s magazine supplement – has featured Interflora flowers in an article entitled ‘The Romantic Movement’. The flowers were used in the models’ headdresses, alongside Swarovski crystals, Chanel watches and Dior and Gucci dresses.
Take a look at the images below and read our interview with Robert Storey, the set designer and a key member of the team who put together the shoot…
What was the inspiration for the shoot?
My brief was solely ‘summertime’. Charlie Harrington, the stylist, and I discussed the idea of doing something which wasn’t an obvious floral print story. Rather, I would bring flowers into the shoot from a set angle, rather than in the styling. I took lots of references from old botanical drawings and aboriginal headdresses.
How do you research and bring all the elements together?
I research in my studio for half a day using the internet and just thinking about different elements I can bring together to create something aesthetically charming. I often then go to the St Martin’s library and spend time marking pages of old fashion magazines and old books covering all different kinds of disciplines. I get a lot of inspiration from fine art, using colours from old masters’ paintings and designing with contemporary artists’ work in mind.
Why do you like working with flowers?
Working with flowers is something I enjoy doing. I grew up in the countryside spending lots of weekends with my grandmother in her garden, learning how to take cuttings. I learned a lot about flowers, from the basics – like how many varieties of garden flowers there are out there – to learning all the funny little wives’ tales about what mystical things they all do. I generally just love how colour is so pure in nature, and how often I take so many colour references from plants and trees.
What are your favourite flowers to work with?
I particularly like to use any unusual flowers, and plants that people don’t often see. I live right next to a flower market, so spend most Sunday mornings having a walk with friends and buying fresh flowers for the house. I’m a little bit obsessed with all the carnivorous plants, like the Venus flytraps. I used to have them when I was a kid and force-fed them bits of meat. I think I killed them all! I also grew up near the Living Rainforest at Wyld Court in west Berkshire; it’s full of amazing plants and has a butterfly room.
Any other interesting projects involving flowers?
I was recently asked to make giant flowers, apples and pears while sculpting big bushes into shapes. A bit like Edward Scissor Hands meets Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, the budget was pulled and my magical fairytale garden idea was lost in my sketchbook. A designer recently saw the shoot I did with Interflora and she has asked me to make some flower head, ankle and wrist pieces for her fashion week show and look book.
How did you start in the business?
I studied fine art sculpture at university and when I graduated I moved to New York to have a change of scene. I started out working for some artists, building sculptures and doing studio work. But when it went quiet, I was offered a job helping out a set designer. There I discovered what I like to call ‘commercial sculpture’.
I really enjoyed the variety of projects I worked on and became involved in assisting full time on sets. I was then offered a job back in London assisting mega set designer Shona Heath. It was a dream job, working on amazing shoots with Tim Walker, in beautiful locations. I worked in New York for nine months and then in London for nine months assisting. Then I was offered my first job, shooting with Josh Ollins for Another magazine. From that one job loads more started coming in, so I started up on my own and that was only seven months ago!
Since then things have been a whirlwind. I got my own studio and my first assistant, Georgie, who works on everything with me. We have already done editorials for Vogue, ID, Elle, Another, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, plus so many more, and worked with commercial clients like Jaeger, American Express, ASOS, Topshop and Oasis.
Photo shoot credits
Photographer Yuval Hen
Set Designer Robert Storey
Stylist Charlie Harrington
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