When Red Online asked me to art direct and style a Christmas shoot for their exciting new website I wanted it to be a celebration of what had inspired me this year. Shining brightly in a world that isn’t equal - a new generation of feminists who have filled me with confidence and excitement about the future. Enter the 3 wise women.
Where did that leave the boys? Dressing up and having fun to emerge as playful urban angels who were confident enough to pull off faux fur, glitter high tops and metallic skinny jeans.
Art direction and styling Ashlyn Gibson represented by Refresh-Agency
Photography Dan Scudamore represented by Jackie GibbsHUM Rachel Jones represented by Terri Manduca
With special thanks to all of our models from Urban Angels Kumani, Zachary, Evan, Isabella, Florence and Erin
Thank you to Pines and Needles for our glorious Christmas tree.
Shot on location at The Clapton Laundry.
There is no doubt about it that being an adolescent girl is tough. Girls have to navigate undeniable bodily changes. They are bombarded by the advertising and fashion world with body imagery that isn’t honest. On top of that they have to find their way through a labyrinth of trust issues and friendship. Add the rise in power of social media to the list of influences that infiltrate everyday life and you are looking at a very different landscape to the one that you probably grew up in.
My daughter is about to start secondary school and I wonder how different the experience will be for her in 2015 versus 1975.
If only she would listen this would be my advice.
- Don’t judge people too quickly.
- Look for the lesson in the things that don’t go your way.
- Don’t run with the pack - be honest about your likes and dislikes and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
- If you don’t know something ask and if you still don’t understand ask again.
- Don’t rush to the finishing line - take time to stop, look and listen.
- Find people who accept you as you are.
- Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.
- Embrace and celebrate your uniqueness and everyone else’s.
- Make time to switch off from social media - to simply be yourself.
Whilst the summer is dwindling away I am trying to hang onto happy memories of our holiday. Every year is different but just as precious as the last. Life is so incredibly busy that I have an overwhelming urge to get away for as long as possible, to breath some fresh air and spend devoted and longed for time with Olive, family and friends. Time to re-connect, re-charge and to re-discover. Time just to be!
It was a 3 week adventure that took its own turns with heart-breaking news from home that Olive’s grandpa had died. With such sadness in a heavenly place there was the distinct feeling that the holiday had its own heart-beat and all we could do was roll with it. It was about the unexpected, the beauty of nature, the strength of friendship, the pain of loss and the reward of determination. We shared a dose of escapism and wild abandon but this wasn’t sugar coated - it was a reflection of real life and all that comes with it. There isn’t any getting away from life and this was a heart-rending lesson with moments to reflect, to honour and to celebrate the good.
Olive is 11 and has ticked lots of boxes, big emotional numbers that some grown-ups would find hard to navigate. I console myself in the knowledge that she, like all children, has an intuitive in-built wisdom that has an almost magical quality to it. My only hope is that wisdom is her best friend - along for the ride never leaving her side.
We re-connected with nature in a family retreat high up in the mountains of Sierra De Carzola. Immersed ourselves in culture and inspiration in Grenada. And whilst Olive graduated to sitting in a line up with the real surfers we kicked back in a beach haven on Costa De La Luz.
With salty twisted hair and a sun-kissed nose I bought my little surfer home a day early for her beloved grandpas funeral.
Rest in peace Grandpa Ron.