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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Coco Chanel in WedLuxe Magazine

By now, many of you will have seen the spread we were asked to produce back in the fall for WedLuxe magazine's Designer Issue. Photographer Jackson Huang of Ikonica, Florist Extraordinaire Lidia Tacconelli of Fiori Floral Designs and I were given Coco Chanel as our muse and inspiration for our assignment. What an honour.

I snapped behind-the-scenes photos that day with my trusty iPhone which I'm attaching below, along with some of the professional photos taken by Jackson and Gillian Williamson at the Ikonica studio that day. You can see the real deal in the magazine or by clicking here for the online version.

This is the beautiful double-page spread that opens our feature. We imagined an intimate wedding, more sexy dinner party than grand affair; one that might have taken place in Coco's own apartment in Paris... The gorgeous 3-seater sofa is part of the new "En Provence" collection available to rent from Contemporary Furniture Rentals.

... And this is the scene on the other side of the table: Lidia had sewn a beautiful black fringe on the front of the tablecloth -- the trouble was it was so heavy that it kept pulling everything forward. We ran around the Ikonica studio looking for things that would weigh it down to stop the pull of gravity. Paint cans, tool boxes; just about anything with heft was put into not-so-glamorous service!

This shot is of our bridesmaid, Audrey, sitting at the table. This photo is particularly special for me because she is wearing a vintage dress that once belonged to my grandmother. The weirder thing is that I found it, along with some other extraordinary gowns, in an old trunk just days after Angela from WedLuxe asked me to produce this feature... I had totally forgotten they even existed.

This is Jackson, working out the lighting and the layout of the shot you see above.

Lastly, this is Yumiko laying the black and white "marble" floor. In reality, this was printed on vinyl, complete with the natural striations normally found in marble by our friends at Emerson Design. They also printed the banners in the background and the fabric runner going down the centre of the table that the menu was featured on. Because it's all printed digitally, the process is remarkably cost-effective and the possibilities that you can create are almost limitless...

More Fun with Coco

Here's the fantasy shot: Our male model, Michael, who we dubbed 'The Hotness" looking rather enticing in behind the place cards and in front of the fountain of pink champagne. The staircase banner was also printed by my friends at Emerson Design.

... and here's the reality shot: It wasn't pink champagne at all, but ginger ale with a few drops of red food colouring added to each bottle. Here's Lidia filling the glasses and balancing them rather precariously on top of one another. Not to worry, though: we all shared some of the real stuff at the end of the day -- you can see it here in the vintage champagne bucket, lent to us by the fabulous Peter Somers of Contemporary Furniture Rentals.

This is a shot that didn't make it into the final spread: our bride, standing ON the table, showing off the bouquet and the runner with the printed menu running across it. I love the single feather that fell off her dress, landing perfectly (and unplanned) onto the salad plate.

This is Toyo, the stylist from Judy Inc., adjusting our bride, Sarah. The shoes are by Valentino.

Finally, this is my dog, Miss Jinx LaRue, posing in pearls and diamonds with the gorgeous cake, designed by Roxanne Wickware of Roxycakes. Gillian from Ikonica took this photo to simply to humour me; I had no idea that Jinx would make it into the magazine... appearing twice, no less!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Art Basel Miami Inspiration

Every December, our annual trip to Art Basel in Miami is a highlight of my year. The city just comes alive during this contemporary art fair -- the creativity and artistic vision that is literally on every street corner is intoxicating, rejuvenating and plain old inspiring. After a hectic wedding season, those 5 days in Miami going from exhibit to exhibit are just what I need to get revved up for another year of parties and weddings. The creativity is literally everywhere -- these (admittedly bad iPhone photos) were taken when we saw more installations on the side of the road in the Wynwood District. In spite of the fact we were tired, hungry and on our way to dinner, we all jumped out of the car to experience yet another version of 'art' because you just can't seem to get enough of the colours and overall vibe in the city that week. The sun seems shinier and the drinks taste better when you're experiencing the power of the human imagination...