When Pam Pierce, MILIEU’s Founder and Editor in Chief, decided to showcase new blue and white floral prints we thought we’d photograph them on upholstery pieces in an abstract setting, giving them a modern twist.
I set about finding a selection of interesting pieces for Melanie Williams to slip cover. We chose mostly items that can be ordered plus a few lovely antique pieces. I spent many days visiting lots of fabric showrooms and gathering dozens and dozens of samples of fabrics and trimmings. We decided to mix some of the prints which gave a bit of an edge to the pieces, and to use trimmings for embellishments. The pair of Max Rollitt corner chairs came with the most wonderful turquoise painted legs so we decided to use that colour as the accent for the trimmings.
As a backdrop for the pieces we wanted wide striped walls of grey and white. To work out the best scale and sizes I experimented by cutting out and painting bits of card to work out how we could show lots of combinations of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal stripes. I then sketched the various scenarios to show Pam the layout for the feature.
Tim, our wonderful set builder, was commissioned to build and paint the 10 foot walls. Melanie Williams and I went over all the ideas for covering and trimming the pieces. Some were delivered to her studio and some to my house so we had a busy couple of weeks over Christmas! A huge blackout studio with a cove was hired. It wasn’t heated and it was very early January in London! We worked hard and fast and consumed a lot of hot chocolate and coffee! Melanie and my assistant Milly had to sew and pin a lot in the studio so we had a little electric heater for their frozen fingers!
On the second day Simon Brown, our photographer, arrived with Milo and started to light the sets and shoot them. We had to move the walls a lot to get good angles for each shot-it was a mathematical conundrum working out the combinations so that we didn’t repeat ourselves! Our tireless set builder was kept busy constantly sweeping up silver confetti from the sets which kept falling from the roof after a very raucous New Year’s Eve party there! It was quite the way to ring in 2019 while dreaming about the spring!
Snapshots and Written by Katrin Cargill, MILIEU European Style Editor