Growing up in the 1980s, my head was turned at an early age by Adam and The Ants, Duran Duran, Visage, and all the outlandish fashion of the club scene. It’s such a visually exciting look, and completely original and representative of each person. No carbon copies back then; everything was borne of pure imagination. I just had to do a shoot that incorporated this into a bridal setting, no doubt about it. And I knew exactly who to ask to be on the team!! Fellow fans of this scene, who know it, love it, and brought serious expertise to the day. And there’s a huge thanks to Myriam from La dame au beret, who was this superstar stylist on the day, taking the reins for creating the looks superbly. She was in her element, and did such amazing things with the dresses, jewellery, and overall looks for the models.
All these suppliers took the look from my mind and made it into something so wonderful and beyond my dreams!
The dresses belong to my new preloved bridal range, No Debutante. Myriam and Lauren sourced most of the outfits, and these ladies know their early 1980s stuff! We added these finds to some dresses I already had in my stock, and together these perfectly represented the New Romantic scene crossed with edgy bridal. We teamed them up with glittering jewellery from Wolf & Moon.
Paola de Paola Photography
First of all, I want to say how lucky I was to work on this project with such talented and inspiring wedding suppliers.
As a photographer, I’d like to explain why my choices of lighting and cropping. The Blitz Kids and New Romantics began in the nightclub scene around the ’80s, so my inspiration for the lighting was dictated exactly by this – nightclubs and music, and artists like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Boy George (who I was really lucky to meet in the late ‘90s when I was working for record companies and music magazines; he had his own label and I actually photographed the artist in his house, but that’s a different story…).
Going back to the shoot, my aim was to create very distinctive, defined, bold images with strong lighting, asking the models to pose like the music artists of the ‘80s. After the first editing, I found that the lighting too harsh at times, so a quiet extend, very gentle retouch was applied during the re-editing. The inspiration was New Romantics and Blitz Kids, but we wanted to keep the shoot modern, contemporary, fresh and fun. Thank you to Dreamland for allowing us to shoot there, and a huge thank you to all the suppliers involved. This would have not been possible without your very highly-skilled input. We had the gorgeous Gwenda on The Vintage Floral Design Co. and Constance Peach model for us on the day and they were perfect for the look we were going for.
Hair and MUA – Leila Kimberley Chauhan, Make up by Leila
I worked with a moodboard of photographs of the original clubbers taken at Billy’s and Blitz. Myriam, our stylist and milliner, said they looked like diamonds in the rough, and the make-up should be raw and glamorous. She asked me to get my inspiration from Princess Julia, Susan and Joanne of The Human League (especially the cover sleeve of the LP Dare), and Bowie’s White Clown character from his 1980 Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album.
Flowers – The Vintage Floral Design Co.
This theme, and a colour scheme that included black, gold and silver, definitely didn’t lent itself naturally to your average flowers! Opting for co-ordinating bouquets made from artificial flowers in whites, yellows and oranges, I got busy with the spray cans for the rest! The beauty of ‘faux’ is also the availability of blooms in colours that Mother Nature failed to supply – just like the yellow hydrangeas Lou styled into the tablescape.
Cake – French Made
For the cake, I took inspiration from the both the geometrical element and the glitzy aspect of gold and silver, mixed with black and white, which was popular in the ‘80s New Romantic scene. I created a square cake and decorated it with black sequin and tulle, as well as glittery gold ribbon and painted brush strokes on one of the tiers, which is reminiscent of the Blitz Kids’ make-up.
Millinery and styling – La dame au beret
The Blitz Kids were all about ‘the look’ – the clothes, the make-up, the hair, the attitude… and the music, obviously. Glamorous Punks, in a way. For the styling, I had in mind Visage’s Fade to Grey and David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes videos (Bowie’s death was such a shock, less than a month after the shoot). I made a selection of late ‘70s-early ‘80s glittery clothing and accessories from Erin’s No Debutante preloved label, and chose some of my La dame au béret cocktail hats to perfect the models’ New Romantic looks. Headwear was one of the key accessories of the Blitz Kids, and milliner Stephen Jones started his career during that period.
Stationery and Props – Beyond Vintage
I jump at the chance to work on any project that inspires me, so it was a no brainer to get stuck into the Blitz shoot. With such a talented suppliers on board, I knew it would be a success. Prop-wise, the venue did all the hard work; Dreamland had the perfect mix of vintage, retro and pop for this. All I needed to do was pull a few key pieces to add in. The table linen was a black lace fabrics mixed with the vintage brass candelabra, which ticked the New Romantics box perfectly. The plates were hand drawn by me with a graphic black and gold design. Mixed in with this were some coloured glassware, reflecting the pop colours of the era and blending nicely with the backdrop of Dreamland. The stationery was based on a geometric ‘80s design, mixing print with gold foil to give a modern texture.
How awesome is this shoot? I love the 1980s styling – Make sure you check out No Debutante‘s collection of dresses from Way Out Wedding. Thanks to Erin and Paola De Paola Photography for sharing this amazing shoot with Marry Me Ink today.