You may have noticed that a few new (and very awesome!) photos appeared on our site recently - these are the results of our photoshoot with Perry Jonsson Photo and a crack team who really made my rambled thoughts come to life. Having worked in a bank as an HR Manager for the 2 1/2 years proceeding starting up Carnivàle, I didn't exactly have much exposure (ba dum tish) to photoshoots, not exactly the norm in the exciting and fascinating world of HR... But I was in good hands with a great team comprising of Perry on photography, Amy on make-up, Drew on lighting and fabulous models Elizabeth and Jack. Elizabeth even did her own vintage hairstyling.
The brief I'd given to the team was to capture the romanticism of vintage - we took liberties with the styling to bring in a little contemporary edge by mixing up eras. My original thoughts were based on the feeling in this 90s commercial which has stuck with me since childhood, yes I am very old and clearly more than a little sappy too! As I like to give everyone a good challenge, I wanted an outside shoot in the dark and in January, which in Scotland would be lovely for my poor models. They all rallied to the challenge and we were blessed with a very mild January night, although I'm sure Elizabeth didn't feel this when dressed in a 60s summer mini dress!
For me the main reason I wanted to use the theme of romanticism for the images in that lovely floaty froufrou pink dress under the castle is twofold, firstly my love of the historic city of Edinburgh is obvious, this city oozes history from every corner and has been my home for 17 years. What more iconic image of the city is there than Edinburgh castle? Deeper than that however, I think part of the reason many people are drawn to vintage clothing (well vintage and antique anything actually), as well as the quality and environmental benefits of re-using, is that we romanticize a link to the past. We wonder who wore these garments, how they felt in them and what they meant to them. If there's one thing I have learnt in dealing vintage clothing, it's that we attach a lot of meaning and memories to clothing. I can't tell you the number of times I have been chosen to buy items from people, because they know I will cherish them in the same way they have for so many years. They seem to know I'm a safe custodian of the dress their mum made for them and which they have kept safe for so long. I promise to find that dress a good new home where it will be cherished by the owner. Fast fashion this is not; few people buy vintage clothing without some idea as to the history of the garment, and it has a little bit more respect over high street clothing because of that history.
One of the best examples I can give of others feeling the same way is a long remembered instagram post where the new owner on receiving vintage wedding shoes from the 1940s with the date and significance written on the soles, commented "This is what I live for". I actually originally mistakenly wrote souls there rather than soles; that really was a Freudian slip - there's something very soulful about vintage clothing.