A butterfly shoot in London

18 Feb 2021

Elizabeth Solaru of the Luxury Business Emporium explains the idea behind this butterfly shoot featuring light and dark shades 

Photography: Eva Tarnok Photography   



What was the inspiration behind the shoot? 
The inspiration for the shoot was how 2020 was the year of major historic events - some of which have changed our way of life forever. It has been a demonstration of the butterfly effect, how a small event in one part of the globe can inspire a reaction that leads to some devastating consequences around the world. In this shoot I reunited with renowned bridal designer Joanne Fleming Design whose beautiful butterfly couture dresses once again provided the focal point. This shoot shows the duality of life. Prior to the unprecedented events, all of us were probably happily drifting along, dreamily unaware of the life altering chain of events about to happen. Now we are adapting to our next normal, co-existing with the unknown as best as we can. It was wonderfully captured by the very talented Eva Tarnok and with beautiful florals by the talented duo of Leanne and Andy at WildAbout, I'm sure you will agree that this shoot captures the essence of the butterfly effect in all its luxurious glory.  

Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen 
The setting for this shoot was the beautiful and spacious Pompadour Summer Terrace at the five-star Hotel Cafe Royal located in Regents Street, London. The historic hotel was founded in 1865 and has played host to royalty and rock stars. It was recently awarded the Butterfly Mark for its measurable impact and company-wide commitment to sustainability. The venue was chosen for its private terrace with sweeping colonnades which are a signature feature of this Grade II listed buildingIt offers the advantage of an enclosed open outdoor space most welcome during these unprecedented times. 


What did you choose for the flower arrangements? 
The tablescape featured a chic and unusually shaped dining table. It was a half moon, black and white split table from the UK Event Hire. The idea was to create the most stylish socially distanced seating arrangement for six (made up of a lucky couple and four permitted guests). WildAbout created a very beautiful floral runner made up of individual floral 'bubbles' utilising the curve of the table. This was made up of sustainable dried flowers such as dried bunny tails, pampas grass, ruscusstirlingia, feather pampas and eucalyptus. These were mixed with some fresh flowers including cream Bianca roses, pale pink David Austin roses, tiny daisies and delphiniums for the pale side of the table. For the dark side of the table the dried flowers were mixed with black magic roses, black cosmos, eucalyptus and ferns.  


The lovely black and white velvet chairs with gold trim were from Eden Events and Bailey Tableware Hire supplied the exquisite Anna Marie butterfly plates and Ebony flora chargers, the coloured crystal goblets and the gold cutlery. The Embroidered Napkin Company designed the monogrammed napkins and Ananya Cards provided the beautiful hand cut white, pink and orange monarch butterfly shaped stationery with vellum paper for the menus and invitations. 


WildAbout also designed two incredible bouquets, the first was made up of dried flowers, fresh Bianca roses, daisies with soft grasses and delicate ferns.  The darker bouquet was a mix of black magic red roses, pink David Austin roses, black cosmos and berries, black eucalyptus and delicate ferns. 


What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride? 
Jo of Joanne Fleming Design whose couture dresses provided the inspiration for this shoot, supplied two of the most creatively unique couture bridal dresses we have ever seen. The first, Juno, a romantic ivory butterfly tulle wedding dress incorporating bodice panels of antique Edwardian lace. A dreamy dress with short puffy sleeves and a high neck, it featured a flutter of lace butterflies on the dress and delicate pearl buttons down the back.  


The second dresscalled Psyche, is named for the butterfly winged goddess of the soul. A dramatic V-necked dress, it is covered in black embroidered butterflies, a drift with glittering jet studded wings, glittery embellishments and long sleeves with silk tulle ties. 


Both dresses were worn with handmade, embroidered and beaded matching bridal shoes by luxury shoe designers Coast and Koi. 


The bridal beauty was delivered by the wonderfully talented duo of Sylwia of Sylwia Make Up and Liz of Simply Beautiful Wedding Hair. For the first, lighter look, the bride’s make-up was kept fresh, dewy and natural. The hair was a loose textured updo, with her face framed with some tendrils.  


For the second look, the make-up was darker with a smoky eye and darker lips and the hair was left longer, fuller with a loose side sweep. 


What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together? 
Texture was hugely important to this shoot. From the delicately embroidered butterflies and 3D embellishments on the couture dresses, the edible pearls, bas relief, gold leaf and sugar butterflies on the cakes to the tactile spikiness and fluffiness of the dried and fresh flowers. Soft neutrals were the order of the day and the colour palette for the first half of the shoot included various shades of whites, creams, taupe, pastel pinks, and greens interspersed with white laser cut butterflies. For the other half of the shoot, darker colours and black laser cut butterflies were added for some contrast and drama. The chosen metallic accent colour was gold, which was used throughout the shoot. 

What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why? 
The accessories were custom made from the butterfly shaped stationery and menus, the butterfly embroidered napkins, the napkin rings, hair accessories, shoes and masks. It was important to show movement and texture and the contrast between light and shade. 

Steal Their Style 
Creative Director Planning and StylingElizabeth SolaruLuxury Business Emporium    
Photography: Eva Tarnok Photography     
Venue: Hotel Cafe Royal   
Dress Designer and Bridal StylingJoanne Fleming Design   
Shoes: Coast & Koi   
Hair: Simply Beautuful Wedding Hair  
Make-up: Sylwia Make Up     
Florist and Floral StylingWildAbout      
Stationery: Ananya Cards      
FurnitureEvent Hire Hub       
Cake TableEden Event    
NapkinsThe Embroidered Napkin Company    
Crockery, Crystal and SilverwareThe Bailey Events Company    
Model: Harriet Samuels Grey   



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