A celestial bloom

The story of the fashion editorial

“Tonight, let’s meet under a collection of stars”, says Hannah.

In an enchanted oasis, only the shimmering details reflect the natural light. Against a backdrop of this starry setting, we see lacey landscapes crafted in navy, climbing patterns, flowing waves, and the hedges of a fine neckline. Your eye meets shy buds, spread on mounts and heights, limbs like gracefully blooming corollas, and petals soaring over a blond waterfall.

Feel the richness: observe and touch, as nightly motifs adorn natures heart.

A heart pounding under roses, vines, and petals. Woven together in this lively world and plunged into a Rembrandt lighting, we see them opening, blooming, flourishing. 

Wait and witness: Warm colors under the lights of the stars and dewdrops surfacing, matching the stellar cores. Let us be guided by blushed tones and shadows that lead you to piercing eyes looking right at you,

A décor through which the Earthly communicates with the Celestial, through which a show is about to start. (Title Ideas). This is the landscape lulled by the wind tonight.

And then, there is Hannah.

She is a celestial body who nurtures herself under the stars. As a divine keeper, she is on the lookout for any astral vibration or movement. She welcomes you into her hallowed hide-away, her home. When we only hear the wind whistling and the feel of the cold light of the cosmos above us, that’s when Hannah dances. Nature is whispering to her a melody that only she can hear. 

Dancing is for her a routine, part of nature’s cycle, part of an instinctive logic that has existed since the sky was covered by stars, and that the wind has graced nature with its presence.

Such as shooting stars that streak above and the roots that weave below, she is in the moment. Her choreography matches the wildflower’s sway, the majestic stalks rising within the blue space, and the whorls that spread shadows in the iridescent night. In sync with her organic tableau, each of her steps blends with the prominent sprouts springing up, and small blooms and bee balms burgeoning in bountiful shades and sizes.

Going with the untamed flow, she follows nature’s tempo. We experience a true state of florescence, the one of a celestial figure who, such as her peers from the plant kingdom, firstly appears shily, timidly. As a closed bud, she initially stays close to the soil. When the Earth spins, the Moon rotates, and the Stars stir, she rises up and blooms, slowly but surely.

Hannah, like her flowery fellows, allows the leading ethereal lights to guide her, while she whirls and glides. The ballet performance gently unfolds as she exposes herself both vulnerably and confidently, raising her head and unlocking her celestial body. She spins and twirls as a leaf borne by the wind. More than being inspired by Terpsichore and Uraniah, this performance taking place in front of us harmonizes with the stars’ journey. Like a plant salutes the zenith sun, she springs from her flowery and leafy ground up to the air, radiantly. Finally, after tracking the night light, she quietly bends and leans on Earth.

How we told the editorial’s story

This 16 shot series is built on a cycle: the natural pattern of plants and flowers, at night. The sequence starts with a seven-shot growing movement: we see Hannah’s body language stating a sense of exposure through her open arms and legs slightly distanced. The way she expresses herself with her body by mirroring and experiencing an elemental state of openness reaches its peak in the eighth shot. Hannah appears under a glowing light, upraised and embedded on the ground, like a fearless flower bending towards the strongest light and flourishing under its rays. As this shot symbolises the middle of the series, a decreasing movement starts from the ninth shot until the end of the series. She then communicates an impression of wilting through her body, as she crosses her arms and legs and finally reaches the ground, articulating the end of the cycle as she is nestled.

This photoshoot is an invitation to contemplate a natural ballet, to ponder over what happens at night in nature, and to dream. As Hannah is in sync with the natural elliptical course, her appearance evolves. Under the different lights of the stars, we see her living step by step and through her pace, she wears a new ensemble one stride at a time. 

A true metamorphosis happens as her outfits are transforming right in front of us: firstly, her chest is attired with exquisite lace, with harmonized textures glinting in the high-waisted shorts. Pieces of leading lights have been distinctively embroidered on her shorts.

By its nature, the trousers that she then wears are also girting her waist and covering her legs like the deep night she dances in. During her ballet performance, she covers herself with a shawl that has been cast on her and circles her shoulders. It is a cloak whereupon tailored stars shine. The thin mantle turns into a long skirt, draping her legs and filled in with long-sleeved lacey applique. She does not only play and dance with her skirt but lives within, for the long flowing material is reflective of nature’s petals and is part of her demeanour. 

Dark as the night and flickering as the stars above her, the dress she wears afterward seems to have been cut out directly from the skies. It protects her shoulders and sculpts a long starry stream that reaches her ankles.

Like a recurrent verse, she then plays again with a shawl, echoing her thin fluid layer covered by the above. When she removes it, we see that on her dark blue corset, shooting stars have been sewn. The corset, like a dark blanket, is paired with elongated trousers, similar to slender stems. Her last nightly garment is a homage to nature’s delicacy as the stitches on both her trousers and top are thin links connecting different elements, reminding us of nature’s fragile system. 

As a conclusion to her dance, Hannah wears a sleeveless crop top, appearing like a naked flower whose bud remains flawless and ready to blossom again. Hannah, during this night, has offered us a ballet performance and a treasury of fine arrays. Hannah during this night has given us an insight into what happens when flowers bloom, at night. 

The brand

This collaged series is centred on Meg J Gardner’s work. More precisely, all the pieces that Hannah wears both on the cutouts and the backgrounds are from the Tempus 360 A/W Collection from Meg J Gardner.

This collection is inspired by the night and its astral complexity. A complexity that is gracefully visibly reproduced into Meg’s garments both in the choice of her fabrics and textures and in the variety of elegant and delicate cuts and lines. Nature, as a whole, is at the core of Meg’s work. Her designs and patterns are artful conceptions inspired by luxuriant landscapes and vivid natural stories. 

The colours

She manages to make different embroidered pieces shine on dark blue fabrics and hand-sewn beads on a dark corset. This union between black as night textiles and trimmings that are not drowned in this darkness, but shine radiantly while honouring the pattern’s colour perfectly represents nature’s balance of the nightly sky. With this collection, Meg pays a tribute to the ethereal and natural domains that surround us every day. Through her collection, Meg offers us a true and sincere contemplation.

The fabrics

As she crafts her designs with velvet, net, and worsted fabric, the link with the floral is reinforced for her main material to remind us of the soft and aerial sensations we can experience within the wilderness. In the outfits she created, she also hand-sewed lace to craft organic and unique garments that you would not get anywhere else. 

The shapes

Attuned with the infinite variety of shapes, forms, and figures of the outside world, her collection shows us a diversification of silhouettes: the draped gowns, loose trousers, and cloaks from the Tempus 360 A/W Collection symbolize freedom, an amplitude, a sort of fantasy, the one you experience only when you let your imagination run wild or the one found in nature’s truth. The fitted tops, corsets, and embroidered pieces evoke notions of proximity, an unveiling feeling, a revelation. The different references invoke together a sense of passion, only inspired by fashion, the flora, and the stars.

The silhouettes

The intention behind each of the different cuts of Meg J Gardner is always to enhance women’s silhouettes. By hugging them with a tight corset that perfectly shapes the breast, or with trousers moulding the waist and simultaneously offering to the legs, with their flared style, enough air, and space to live and run. Behind each of the creations from the Tempus 360 collection, there is a willingness to beautify the body while matching a mighty boldness and powerful mind. Meg J Gardner’s craft lies in the attention to detail.

The stitches

Such as nature never ceases to amaze us in its infinite minuscule features, the stitching a technique in Meg j Gardner’s garments does not only catch the patient eye seeking for minutia traits but reminds us of both the subtlety and sturdiness that exist within each of nature’s pieces. A complex network, comprised of meticulous stitches interlaced and woven through bodices and sleeves fastened with delicate clasps in Meg J Gardner’s apparel. 

Along with the telling of her connection with nature, with the Tempus 360 collection, Meg J Gardner has handcrafted garments with complex, elegant designs and fine points mirroring nature’s gracefulness. A true artist, she has painted the heavenly vault, and as a true giver, she has picked the most impressive and beautiful wildflowers that she has gathered in a bouquet that is her collection.

Explanation of the collages 

A remote photoshoot

This collage series is at the crossroads between modern-day technology and handicraft art design. It has been conceived between West Yorkshire and Toulouse (Southern France). All the abstract compositions present in A celestial bloom originate from a remote photo shoot.
Firstly, Hannah executed the ballet positions with the two gradual developments symbolizing openness and closedness. As for every photo shoot, we spent a lot of time conceiving and managing the type of lightning that should be the most suitable for the photoshoot’s general atmosphere. We opted for a chiaroscuro light for the whole series with an exception for the eighth shot that symbolizes the climactic moment of the shoot and for which a glistening light was more appropriate. 

The different poses that Hannah performed were then printed and used as cutouts. 

As the aim of the photoshoot is to celebrate Meg J. Gardner’s design, we took closeups of Hannah that we used as backgrounds to create an artistic series whose first and only resource is Meg J. Gardner’s invention.
We placed a piece of fabric from Meg’s collection in front of the camera lens to color the backgrounds with a blue hue and let a pattern appears on the backgrounds. The backgrounds result in blue-tinted, blurred, and textured photographs. 

The collages

The backgrounds were printed on tracing paper under which a piece of fabric has been placed, like a canvas symbolizing the night. We then placed the cutouts on the backgrounds and proceeded to a second photoshoot. With this second photographic capture, we lighted both the backgrounds and the cutouts with a light reflection to symbolize the moon and stars’ lightning. Finally, all the collages were edited. 

The different participants of the photoshoot

Meg J. Gardner – http://www.megjgardner.com/@meg.j.gardner.design

This collage series couldn’t have happened without a brilliant team composed of five creatives: Meg J. Gardner, Hannah Doyle, Georgia Hodds, and Ringaile Narkeviciute.
Meg J. Gardner is an independent fashion and textile designer based in West Yorkshire. She has chosen womenswear, eveningwear, and bridalwear as her specialized fields and focuses on textiles to fully express her creativity.
She obtained a first-class degree, worked for different bespoke bridal companies.

After years in the industry, her passion for slow fashion has been increasing project after project. She wants to share her love for this way of thinking with her customers by perpetuating artisans’ practices and processes while elaborating garments and by proposing to her clients investment pieces.
Meg puts into words and actions her enthusiasm for slow fashion as she publicly displays some of the specific techniques that this movement harbors on her Instagram account and her website.
Meg J. Gardner’s fashion handcraft needs to be seen, touched, worn, and mostly observed lengthily as her method and artistry are full of unique touches proper to the designer’s insight, savoir-faire, and devotion to her work. 

She had her work showcased in London and launched her bridal label. 

Hannah Doyle – @hannahdoyle_x

Hannah Doyle, the model posing and executing a ballet performance throughout this series is a professional fashion model. Before breaking into the industry in front of the camera, she was behind the scenes as a makeup artist. She has been scouted by an agency that spotted her as they loved the way she walked. She then has been proposed to become a model. Five years later she still loves this industry and is looking more than ever to be part of imaginative stories.
Her experience as a makeup artist enabled her to become more creative. She then relates to the role of a makeup artist and knows how to perfectly pose to enhance the makeup that has been done and catch the light, beautifully. Both of her occupations have strengthened the importance of working with a team, to her.
She has practiced ballet for years and can connect makeup art, ballet, fashion, and modeling as these fields require a lot of creativity, skills, and dexterity.
She has done a lot of research to be prepared for the remote shoot and as someone versatile, professional, and confident for she was surrounded by creatives, she managed to become both the literal setting of the photoshoot and its different characters.

Georgia Hodds – @hoddsygmua

Georgia Hodds is a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist. She studied at the University and College of Birmingham and specialized in hair & media makeup for three years. At first, she hadn’t planned to become a makeup artist but she decided to set out for an artistic journey during college as she knew she was already a genuine creative.

Makeup is her art. An art that helps her to relieve anxiety from a high pressuring industry. As she is the first person to open the ball during a photoshoot by doing makeup, she has to embrace a leading role. She wants to make the photographer’s job easier to not edit excessively the skin and hair of the model. As she feels that she is in control, the pressure stems from.
She prepared a lot for this remote photoshoot as it required a lot of attention to makeup details for them to be extremely visible on the final images. 

Her love for transformative makeup, the one that takes your breath away, is noticeable in this shoot as she participated in the elaboration of Hannah’s character: a celestial body. She wanted the makeup to be stripped back, that Hannah looked healthy and dewy. She created literal metaphors as the pearls she put around Hannah’s eye are similar to dewdrops.

She both loves to perfect the skin and to enhance everyone’s natural beauty, the one that is already there and that she sees. More than focusing on beauty, she wants people to feel good.

Ringaile Narkeviciute – http://www.ringailephotography.co.uk@mellow.focus

Ringaile is a portrait and fashion photographer based in West Yorkshire, UK. She is from Lithuania but has been living in England since 2011. A self-taught photographer, she has learned her craft through Youtube tutorials and by practicing for countless hours. She loves photography as it enables her to show her perspective, how she sees the world, and capture people’s individuality. She finds a lot of inspiration in nature, fashion, design, light, and new connections.

As the chief lighting technician for the photoshoot, she had to set up the different light sources accordingly to the photoshoot’s plan while keeping in mind the expected results. As the light is captured differently from one camera to another, she faultlessly displayed them and adapted them to the remote photoshoot’s situation. 

As the photographer’s assistant, she framed each of the different shots perfectly. 

During that shoot, she showed the depth of her knowledge concerning light, as she mastered it and adjusted it not only to the remote photo shoot’s conditions but to the expected results. When she framed Hannah’s silhouette and face, she showed that she has a sharp eye for details.
She prepared a lot for this shoot, as she asked for the photographer to explain the different shots she wanted to do in detail and she also studied the lighting variations she had planned to make sure she get it right on the day.

She enjoyed this unique artistic experience through which she demonstrated her artist and technician skills.

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