Capturing the opulence and decadence of the 1920s art deco era, this bridal shoot offers inspiration and ideas aplenty
An art deco wedding theme, if effectively executed, offers a sense of chic sophistication and dazzling details galore. Make-up artist, Frances Moore, takes us behind the scenes of this 1920s art deco bridal shoot - fulfilled by a host of South West suppliers.
What was the inspiration behind the shoot?
An art deco, or Great Gatsby, inspired theme is a classic choice for a wedding. And it’s not hard to see why. The characteristic warm colours, bold designs and opulent furniture make it a concept that is very pleasing to the eye, and the camera.
I always had it in my mind that, given the chance, it would be my first choice for a styled shoot. And here we are. The final push came when I was watching the BBC’s adaption of Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’. Considered Christie’s masterpiece, I was enthralled by the look of the set, the costumes, make-up and the thrilling pace of story retold. An odd inspiration for a wedding styled shoot, but here we are.
Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen.
Can you imagine that tucked away down a sleepy road in Weymouth, is a house that has been perfectly preserved as a sort of 1920s capsule? Well that was Portland House.
When Az Rehman (the photographer) and myself looked around this property we knew it was the place for our styled shoot. And when we heard the sad history of Portland House, told to us by The National Trust who own and manage the house; we wanted to celebrate this unique place even more. Amongst a young millionaire dying before the house’s completion, were rumours of wild parties that may have been attended by the famous Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII set. If only those walls could talk.
What did you choose for the flower arrangements?
All the floral arrangements and bouquets were designed by Jo Hicks Flowers, who is an extraordinary Hampshire florist. She came up with the idea of mixing pastel shades with deep coloured foliage, to create a sort of watercolour soft focus look reminiscent of the old Hollywood films of the time. Not forgetting to add a touch of glamour through the addition of peacock and pheasant feathers, along with a glitzy brooch.
What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride?
It was important to us as suppliers to use modern elements that had a certain ‘feel’ for the 1920s era. We wanted to avoid using vintage clothing and hair accessories. We literally wanted couples to stumble across the shoot and perhaps piece together what they loved from it, to help build on their own art deco wedding theme. So for example, the art deco inspired wristband actually came from eBay - a really useful and cost effective way of achieving the look for less.
Because of this it was vital that Brides of Winchester were involved. They simply stock the most exquisite wedding gowns. With designers such as Chanticleer, Charlie Brear and Suzanne Neville - Laura (owner of BOW) easily interpreted the style of the shoot and gave her expertise to neatly round off the theme.
For the make-up I had to do a bit of research, as I simply didn’t just want to ‘recreate’ a historical make-up design. I wanted to bring the look into the modern age, so I had a bit of a task on my hands. Firstly, I created a basic smokey eye, introducing gold glitter by MAC on the centre of the lid. I then kept the base very simple and flawless, using a strong even strip of blusher along the cheekbone which was very popular during that period. To finish, I used lashings of a purple lipstick also by MAC in Rebel and MAC Dazzleglass in Funtabulous (now discontinued).
Model Chloe is actually a hairstylist by trade, so she came up with her own twist of a 1920s/modern design for the hair. Keeping it simple with a nod to finger waves, which defined the era.
What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together?
Pulling the whole shoot together came from the cake and stationery, which were provided by Jill Chant of Jill The Cakemaker fame and Laurel Design Studio respectively.
Jill’s inspiration of the theme was exceptional. The cake she designed for the shoot was breathtaking, and smelt divine too. Jill used classic art deco colours such as mint green, gold and black along with geometric shapes to give a glamorous design that made the cake feel like it came straight out of the 1920s.
The wonderful girls at Laurel Design Studio made us some beautiful pieces to showcase. Again using classic colours such as gold and black, along with sparkly brooches, the stationery was the most fun element of the shoot. I couldn’t quite believe the immaculate and exquisite shapes cut out of the paper... and that was just the envelopes.
What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?
The ‘art deco’ inspired hair accessories were provided by Tracy Rees of White Designs. The beautiful adornments were perfectly pitched to the theme and were a joy to work with. There were a lot of gasps from the other suppliers when they came out of their boxes. So beautifully designed and all handmade by Tracy.
Get the look:
Photography: Lemontree Photography
Make-up: Frances Moore MUA
Bridal gowns: Brides of Winchester
Flowers: Jo Hicks Flowers
Cake: Jill The Cake Maker
Stationery: Laurel Designs
Venue: Portland House, Weymouth
Hair accessories: White Designs bespoke bridal adornments
Model: Chloe Lancaster