Hair & Make-up: Ana Popescu
Model: Barbra P at MandP models
It all began last week with a reluctant journey to sunny South Bermondsey. I dragged myself and a big old suitcase to London Bridge to catch the overground to my destination. Had an attitude, due to the fact that I had to wake early on a Sunday and travel to one of my least favourite places in London. Anyway, Diva set off, luckily by the time I got to Baker St, the portion of the Jubilee line that I needed was actually running – Shock-horror! More good news when I got to London Bridge, South Bermondsey was only 5 minutes from there.
Got there bang on time and waited for Yohanna - the photographer, at the bottom of the red stairs as instructed. Five minutes into my wait, a brunette lady with what seemed to be just as much luggage as I, divided into three big bags, got out of a black cab. At the same time Yohanna appeared, walked up and gave the said lady a big hug. Ahhh I thought, she must be Ana, the make-up artist – she was. He then greeted me and gave us a quick intro as we set off on foot to the studio...
The studio was in the middle of an industrial estate which was in development, actually a better description would be a building site, as we clambered through muddy puddles and rubble. I was feeling nervous as I’d never worked with this team before. As soon as I entered the studio a sense of calm came over me when I saw Barbra P ‘the model’ lighting up one corner of it as she sat quietly. To say she was a natural beauty is an understatement.
More niceties were exchanged. Yohanna made sure we were all clear on the previously briefed concept I had conceived – Looks using vintage and new pieces to create Future Fashion. Ana got started on Barbra. I unpacked and hung up my outfits and laid out my accessories. A small ball of excitement was turning over in my belly the whole time. Yohanna set up and checked his lighting. We all went into our modes. I was taking mental notes of what I would create that day. Ana asked what was going to be my first outfit – I didn’t know – had to think quickly. I showed her my Legatte web detail dress. One whole piece which wasn’t too complicated, all it needed was tights and shoes. I could see Ana mind-mapping too as I showed her the rest of my pieces.
When Ana had finished her first look, Barbra P moved into my space, as soon as she put on the web dress, I got quite emotional. She looked like an ethereal princess. A simple, yet stunning effect. Everyone loved my clothes. I was so chuffed. I thought about how I used to be able to wear just about anything and look great. A voice in my head replied “Gone are those days love – they ain’t never coming back!”
At points, it felt like one big celebration – music playing, dancing, singing, gasping and bigging up Barbra and Yohanna. It was one huge in tune high. Artists in the process of creating. Just one glitch, some moaney woman from a neighbouring studio complained about the music being too loud, so I turned down Rihanna singing Jay Z’s “Run this Town tonight yeaaah eyee eyee yaaah..” to a lower level...until 20 minutes later...Workmen arrived on the development and started drilling and banging, banging and drilling – classic! The music went back up. I then realised everyone was creating something on the estate that day.
Yohanna was in his zone, contorting his body to capture his shots, and with such agility! Really impressive – directing as only he knows how. Perfectionist is his middle name, and as for Barbra - you can see she is perfection (The shots you see here have not been retouched! click on them to enlarge) At one stage we were joined by Louisa London, we stood behind Yohanna beside ourselves with excitement. It felt so positive, we all knew we were creating something amazing. I don’t think I breathed for the most part. Ana – Wow! – watching her paint her Barbra canvas and sculpt her elbow-length hair was a joy.
Looking at Barbra just made me what to improve on myself. She was just as beautiful inside as well as out. Thank you for the inspiration Barbra P.
The rest of the day played out at this artistic level. At some point we stopped briefly for lunch provided by Yohanna. Just in case you were wondering, yes Barbra ate too!
At the end we hugged and chattered at an exhausted high – which would slowly come down. We packed up our bits, Yohanna cleared and locked up the studio and we set off back through the rubble to the station in the rain! What a glamourous end eh?
At London Bridge we parted, confirming that we’d definitely work together again. None of us were being paid or commissioned to do this shoot. We did this because we love what we do and had no restrictions. Our results, in hundreds of pictures that would capture the day forever...
Vintage into the Future over and over again...