When you browse through our winter lookbook, Once Upon a Time, you will see charming scenery as a backdrop for a fairy-tale inspired story and a lovely model in beautiful clothes, looking effortlessly sophisticated…but the truth is, that effortlessness requires a huge amount of effort! Behind every lookbook is a team of people working long hours to make sure that everything you see, from the sets to the makeup to the clothes, are styled to perfection. So we wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at our winter lookbook shoot. We caught up with the talented team behind all the magic, so read on to hear about creating golden apples from our Creative Coordinator, posing a horse and a model at the same time from the talented photographer Brandon Kidd, the story of the lookbook from our Co-Founder Mai, and all the other key players who brought our vision to life.
A candid smile from our beautiful model, Zuzana!
What was the creative vision/story for the winter lookbook?
For this season's lookbook we were inspired by the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I think that our locations really helped the Snow White theme come to life. The forest that we shot in was gorgeous! We also planned out our scenes to include certain details that alluded to the fairytale, without being too literal (for example: the white horse, the scene with seven empty chairs, the golden apples, etc).
Tell us about some of the props! What did you create?
One of the prettiest props that I got to make were the golden apples used in the fireplace scene. Those are actually real apples! I painted the apples with gold spray paint and then covered a few of them with tons of gold glitter (you can never have too much glitter!). Fun fact: A few of the apples were leftover from our Greeting Autumn feature!
I think that my other favorite prop would have to be the moss-covered chair. We borrowed a beautiful chair from Found Vintage Rentals to make it. I was able to purchase a moss table runner that I used as "fabric" to cover the chair. It was surprisingly easy to make and I loved how it turned out!
-- Orchid, Creative Coordinator
This was our models first time ever riding a horse! Luckily, Avery didn't try to pull any stunts on her other than a few unexpected tours through the forest.
How would you describe the experience of helping out on a lookbook shoot?
Lots of stressful fun. It's really beautiful to see all the ideas of the team come to life, but attached to watching everything come to life comes a time crunch, paying attention to every detail of the outfits and being focused on meeting the expectations of the stylist, or whomever may need my assistance. (meaning I can’t get distracted by all the pretty clothes or gossip with the model.
As a styling assistant, what are some of the things you handle throughout the day of a shoot?
Making sure the model is ready to be photographed. The outfits are all put together; nothing is wrinkled, everything is tucked neat and ready to shoot. Making sure the model is having a good experience getting ready in between shots. And meeting the needs of the stylist as well as anybody else that may need assistance (hair/makeup, Mai) or whoever else.
-- Justin, Stylist Assistant
Sparkle Tafao putting the finishing touches on our model.
What is it like being on the set of a lookbook shoot?
I absolutely love being on set at a Lookbook shoot and watching all the talented people turning their vision into reality. It truly is a joy to be able to photograph it. Lookbook shoots are often really long days and incredibly fast paced. Sometimes it can feel chaotic but we love watching all the organized chaos come to life.
Every time we work with Ruche we are so inspired by everyone's passion for their craft and the joy they bring with them to each shoot. Kristin and I feel very blessed to be a very small part in the big Ruche family.
What ended up being your favorite photograph in the lookbook, and what about it, from a photography perspective, makes you happiest with it?
This is always the toughest question because I never end up having just one favorite image. But if I had to pick it would have to be this one. I think this image embodies the over all feel of the entire lookbook. From a photography perspective it is incredibly difficult to pose and position your subjects in the way you are envisioning when one of your subjects is a horse and has a mind of it's own. It also difficult to make your other subject (our model Zuzanna) look and feel comfortable riding such a massive creature when it was her first time on a horse.
As a photographer you always have to look out for angles, composition and focusing which becomes increasingly difficult the more your subjects move involuntarily. In addition you have to be aware of the outfit and make sure that all the key attributes of the look are highlighted (shirt, sweater, pants, shoes, necklace) all while conveying this particular moment in the overall story of the lookbook. I feel like this image captured the beauty of the subjects in relation to the beauty of their environment perfectly and that it did so in such an effortless kind of way. Even though a ton of effort went into it :)
-- Brandon Kidd, Photographer
Our model broke out in laughter while the rose petals were being thrown around her!
Can you describe the story behind this lookbook for us?
This lookbook was inspired by the story of Snow White. We added very subtle elements from Snow White so you will really have to look for the clues. In the forest, she discovers the seven wooden chairs, magical diamonds (mined by the seven drawfs), and a bed of roses. She then enters into a magical palace filled with golden apples and overgrown moss. The story ends with her and beautiful white horse, symbolizing her Prince Charming's horse.
What was your favorite scene from the winter lookbook, and what do you love about it?
My favorite scene was the one where Zuzana (model) was surrounded by seven wooden chairs. I think it ties the entire storyline together because it is the only scene that really confirms the Snow White theme.
The horse in this lookbook seemed very familiar! Why is that?
That is the beautiful Avalon, our same friend our Fall lookbook last year.
-- Mai, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Mai, our Chief Creative Officer, directing the model in-between shots.
Can you describe the styling vision for this lookbook in 3 words?
Enchanting, polished and wearable!
What were some of the winter trends that you incorporate into the shoot?
Full skirts, chunky knits, pastels, and statement coats.
-- Sarah, Stylist
Jesse, our lookbook set assistant, sprucing up the scenery in the middle of a redwood forest.
What sort of preparation goes into a lookbook shoot for you? We would love to know more about the process! Do you meet with the stylist, do you see the outfits ahead of time, or do you tailor the look after the model has been dressed?
Before a Lookbook I'm always preparing by first seeing the direction that the team wants to go in. Ruche always has a good idea of what direction they want to go in. As soon as I get the concept. I go to the stores to look at all the cosmetic collections to see if any of the colors inspire me. After that I start to organize my makeup kit. I remove everything from my kit that isn't for the project at hand and I pack two kits. One for preparing the face/hair and one kit for on the go. There's so much of a fast pace that I only take what I need for emergencies, makeup changes and touch ups.
Everyone wants to know, what was the red lipstick that you used for most of the looks?
Chanel has a cream shadow called "Fantasme Illusion D'Ombre" that would deliver this ethereal yet dreamy quality of a modern Snow white. For the lipsticks I used Napoleon Perdis "Front row red." And also Dior 999. Two total different reds. Front row red was used with the mauve and purple background where she's wearing the hat. The red she is wearing where she is amongst the red flowers is Dior 999.
And which look ended up being your favorite?
My favorite look was the outfit with the burgundy hat. The hat is just so chic.
-- Sparkle Tafao, Hair and Makeup Artist
Our gorgeous mismatched chairs from Found Rentals.