Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Charlotte Taylor - Jamaica Inn









The first thing to mention is the owl. He was real; his name was Alfie, and he was my co-model for the latest Charlotte Taylor A/W 2012 lookbook. He also nipped me (it didn’t hurt), but it’s very easy to forgive any creature that is happy enough to sit on my hand in front of a team of eleven and flap his wings for the camera. His presence also made the two days spent in London one of the most memorable modeling experiences I have had - and one I was very honoured to be asked to do. 

I have now known Charlotte Taylor and appreciated her wonderful designs for several seasons. Charlotte’s brand is instantly recognisable through her use of prints – intricate and boldly patterned fabrics that alter every six months to reflect the theme of her collection, as well as her exquisitely cut pieces.
This particular theme for Autumn/Winter is Cornwall – from the purple cabbages to the miners’ lanterns – all based on an inspiration-gathering trip that Charlotte made with her father. I found out about this backstory after using a London A-Z to navigate my way through the chilly streets of Dalston to the designated studio. I arrived early and, once everyone had thawed a little, Charlotte ran through the all-important ‘mood’ that stitched the collection together. It was altogether darker than previous seasons – with storm clouds, bare floorboards and a velvet chair that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the imposing house of Manderley.
For of course, the collection instantly calls to mind the writing of Daphne du Maurier – an author who immortalized the landscape of Cornwall in books such as Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn, the last of which is also the title and stimulus for Charlotte’s collection. As she talked through how she envisaged the lookbook, I resolved to combine the romanticism of Dona St Columb with the gothic threat of Rebecca. The images in my head were ones of walking on cliffs in the rain or exploring rooms filled with drapes and echoes. The clothes, theme and inspiration appeared to be conspiring to out-do each other in the “This is Roz’s idea of perfect” category. It’s steeped in the rural; cut with the classic and tinged around the edges with literature.  

This collection calls to mind the wind shrieking through Bodmin Moor, or the sun dipping below the thin line of the horizon as waves shush and crash. These clothes suggest stories – the owl prints to be worn in moonlight, or the banjo dress to be donned while listening to a live band in a crumbling, atmospheric pub (or Inn). Much like the books of Daphne du Maurier, they mix together an irrepressible charm with a hint of chaos beneath the surface.

There is a sense of pace and adventure that runs throughout Du Maurier’s books – as well as an eye for carefully built suspense. They are the kind of novels that one subsides into for an afternoon, consuming chapter after chapter, unwittingly becoming emotionally involved in the fate of the characters. For me, the experience of reading Daphne Du Maurier inevitably links to thoughts of how the story could be expressed through other art forms – they are cinematic; photographic; evocative and lavishly visual. So they are rich in source material, and lend themselves well to the narrative of a collection - as demonstrated so beautifully here by Charlotte Taylor.

When reading ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ recently, I was intrigued by author Julie Myerson’s introduction – not least because I have met and talked with Myerson (she was a judge on the Vogue Talent Contest). Julie Myerson herself had a sporadic correspondence with Daphne Du Maurier. The idea of exchanging strings of letters and postcards has a dusting of magic about it. I think it is the appeal of making contact with someone who is respected for his or her achievements – being given the thrilling chance to communicate with a greatly admired creative mind. Similarly, there is something to be taken from grasping at every chance that makes itself known – embracing the possibility to work with highly imaginative and skilled designers, photographers, hair & make-up artists and stylists.

The owl is often seen as a symbol of wisdom, which is apt – because Charlotte’s latest array of clothes are not only delicious to admire, but also easy to wear. It’s a very wise collection, both business and design wise, being her boldest and grandest yet.  Thank you to the whole team, and especially to Charlotte for asking me to take part! You can see the whole lookbook here and the gifs we shot here, on very talented photographer Claire Pepper's website (gifs produced by Harriman Steel). 

Design - Charlotte Taylor
Photography - Claire Pepper
Stylist - Hayley Simmons
Make-up - Camilla Hewitt
Hair - David Wadlow
Art Direction - Harriman Steel

55 comments:

Maria Elyse said...

When I saw the lookbook a week or so ago, I instantly did a double take and thought, "Is that Rosalind?" And sure enough it is you! The resemblance was too striking to be anyone else.

I love the aesthetic of Du Maurier's novels. (Rebecca is by far one of my favorite books.) I think that same atmosphere Daphne Du Maurier created for her readers was truly recreated in this lookbook...that's what I love about all art forms: they make the view/listener/reader/wearer feel genuine emotions.

I'm glad it was such a lovely experience for you! You look fantastic and Charlotte's designs are as beautiful as ever.

xo
Maria Elyse
www.uneasyimpressions.blogspot.com

Fashion Tales.... said...

Oh my goodness I just finished viewing the site and absolutely adore these stunning prints, also the visual gifs. What a fun and inspiring shoot this must have been!

I agree, the boldness and wisdom of this brilliant collection is what's so alluring to me.

Closet Fashionista said...

WOW! You look so amazing!!!! That last shot is soooo gorgeous! And Alfie is so cute! I LOVE owls! :D

I can totally feel the mood she was trying to create. So perfect

http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

Congratulations on being a part of the lookbook!
These images are absolutely breathtaking. I love owls; what a nice experience to work with one (even though he nipped you!)

chiikalivelovelaugh said...

aaa that's too funny, that was the first thing I was going to ask and your first sentence was that the owl is real...I love these photos...i love all the prints charlotte uses in her line
xoxo stephi

The Lady Nerd said...

I saw this on Charlotte Taylor's blog a couple days ago and my jaw dropped, then promptly snapped shut. (I figured it wasn't ladylike to leave it dangling.) I'll admit that prints are not quite my thing so I was more focused on everything but the clothes. I love the mood that was set, along with the colour scheme. The deep rich hues of storm blue and purple almost make feel swept away to read some coastal mystery.

You are truly beautiful Rosalind. With that incredible bone structure of your face, I'd almost wager that you can't take a bad picture. Oh and don't even get me started on that luscious hair!

Pins, Needles & Fashion said...

You look absolutely gorgeous and these photographs are beautiful. Not to mention the collection is stunning, I love the prints and colors.

www.pinsneedlesfashion.blogspot.com

alexandratherese said...

First of all Rosalind, the shots of you are absolutely stunning - you must be thrilled to have such quirky, beautiful designs in your lookbook! Having spent every holiday I've ever had in Cornwall I have a very strong affinity to the place and feel it is somewhere, within the UK, with which I have dual citizenship. The north west is where I was born and brought up but Cornwall is my adopted residence - a place I hope to live in when I am old and grey so that I can appreciate the landscape completely without having the pressures of a job etc.

Because of this I am also a great Daphne Du Maurier fan - and although Rebecca is perhaps her most famous, dramatised and revered novel, Jamaica Inn was the most gripping I have read. It is true what you say - her books can swallow an afternoon because it is necessary to immerse yourself completely in the life of the characters. Due to their settings I always feel there is a sense of timelessness - the elements play a much greater role than any attempt to keep the stories contemporary to the time in which they were set. Her books always transport me back down to that mysterious county with it's legends and folklore and ancient customs. I really appreciate how it has inspired Charlotte's work - the vividly contrasting colours can be seen even from the A30 (Cornwall doesn't need a motorway!) by the great difference between the deep green of the hedgerow and the sunshine yellow of the gorse. Just as Christopher Kane used his Resort 11 collection to express space and the night sky - I wish someone would dedicate a collection to the sea. Maybe they already have - but there are leagues and leagues of possibility there.

Really enjoyed this Roz - you've inspired me to get writing a fresh post of my own. Alexandra xx

Joy said...

You look really good here. Your writing is fab as usual.

Natalie Anne Bourn said...

this is such an amazing photo shoot. The owl is a unique and fabulous touch and adds a sense of pure beauty along with the model. The clothing is lovely, it really flatters the figure.
www.theorangewalls.blogspot.com

Lydia said...

These photos are so gorgeous!! Your hair looks amazing. I'm not familiar with this line but I am loving the prints. And Alfie!!! Dare I say it, this shoot reminds me of Harry Potter (whom I love!)

Gaby My said...

hey! que bellas fotos! muy lindas!

http://dancingwithtearsgf.blogspot.com/

Junaluska said...

Wow! The clothes are amazing, and you look amazing in them. I really love the last dress, and the wedges compliment the collection well.

I've only read Rebecca and The Birds, but I guess I'll have to check out Jamaica Inn now.

Izzy/Bella said...

You've elevated modeling to the level of art. I loved reading about how you contextualize your shoots and storyboard your experience. Now I'll have to read Du Maurier at last! She's my mother's favorite writer, so it was always as if she kind of belonged to her. You look beautiful of course, but what is extraordinary is the composure and expressiveness you achieve while in a pose. And I loved the patterns as well. Lovely all around!
Xx
Izzy
Www.misadventuresofme.com

London is passion said...

I l-o-v-e these photos, especially the last one. The outfits are beautiful, you look amazing and your hair are SO gorgeous!
xoxo
Yana, Moscow

Polka Princess said...

What a wonderful mix of prints & colors!!! Truly a collection worth being nipped by an owl to wear! :)

And you, my dear Roz, is looking perfectly gorgeous & ethereal to befit the dresses & the set. The whole shoot has come out beautifully......each picture seems to be telling a story of it's own...

daisymay aka Chantele said...

OMG these photos are amazing, so beautiful, and the owl is great. The clothing is all so stunning too, these photos are even more striking than usual!
Daisy Dayz

daisychain said...

Roz,

My brain has been over-run by cold germs but I must just say you look bloody amazing here and I am more than a little in love with the owl.

x

Soccer Mom Style said...

The photo-shoot turned out fantastic. I just emailed you saying that I saw these at Charlotte Taylor blog first and was smitten with them.
xx
maya

Kate said...

Every single one of these photographs is beautiful, and the gif of the owl moving it's head is delightfully charming, you must have had so much fun shooting with it! The prints are gorgeous and I cannot decide on my favourite!
In response to your question about the key necklace- the paint hasn't chipped off as of yet, but I think adding a layer of varnish would add protection from rain and general wear and tear, as well as a lovely shine!

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

I had to take a look at your blog before I wrote a response to your much-appreciated comment on mine.
I'm so very glad I did.

What exquisite photographs! The fashion is great but even more compelling to me is the choice to use you for this collection. You are more than a model or spokesmodel; you breathe intelligence and beauty into the whole project, making the sum greater than the parts. Just lovely. Thank you.

sacramento said...

I have never seen you more beautiful, Rosalind, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
The first pic blew my mind.
Now, I want to fly...
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

the nyanzi report said...

beautiful.

Jessica said...

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW! Congratulations, what a great opportunity! I just looked at the site, the moving pictures and background a re fantastic, the owl is adorable too :)

http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

Please take a minute to look at my trunkshow;

http://iouproject.com/tsh/jessica-karen/

Lucija said...

Thrilled to have found your blog - so new and creative!!

XO,
Lucija
WLL

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Congratulations on your look book shoot! The dark, gothic atmosphere certainly becomes you. Exceptional photographs (and I do love the owl and all he represents.)! I will need to check out Du Maurier's books now. She seems to weave all my favorite elements of art and literature into her text.

J xxx

Courtney said...

You look absolutely amazing! These photos are fabulous. LOVE the owl! xx

polka dot said...

Oh my goodness, Roz, what a beautiful series! Congratulations, sweet friend.

I had come here to say hi - I've been away from all things fashion for so long, literally and metaphorically - and like someone else said, my jaw dropped. The colours, her designs.. I'm blown away. Wise, yes: grown up, intelligent, genius, inspiring design. And the way you were styled - hair, makeup, Claire Pepper's wonderful photography - and YOU!

I can't even choose my favourite. Perhaps the shot with the trousers: I love your pose. But also the wonderful red/gold/black shirt and wide skirt.. I love it all.

I can't believe I've never read anything by Daphne du Maurier, and now that I've finished my own, first, novel, and am allowing myself to read fiction again, maybe I should read her next. I'm currently working my way thru the Michael Dibdin/Zen series.

Well done: to you, to the whole team, and especially to Charlotte Taylor. xox

Zorian said...

What beautiful photos. The Gif's are amazing. You, look amazing. The clothes are wonderful. What a great post. You are stupendous in the photos.

100%soie said...

oooh my god, you look perfect, especially with the nmaxi dress !!! I love it, really beautiful pictures and outfits !!!

Fashionistable said...

Now that the anticipation of these has been fulfilled I am more than impressed they are wonderful, beautiful, magnificent. It was brilliant to hear what was running through your head whilst you were being photographed. It is so rarely you hear what the model is thinking and feeling. You were perfect for this. Xxxx

lover said...

I never tire of coming to see what you are wearing and your expression on your face and your body movements..


xoxo
m

Vix said...

Look books normally leave me cold but these images are absolutely stunning (and the clothes aren't too shabby either). You look wonderful. x

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Warm congratulations on the lookbook. This is where art and fashion meet. I adore the marriage of prints, and you are striking in the most beautiful way. XX

SabinePsynopsis said...

Beautiful photos, Roz! I haven't read any books of Daphne d. M. but I certainly think you are a very classic beauty and just perfect for the shot... and 'your partner' the owl is incredible! xoxo

Clara Turbay said...

i love it it´s perfect.

t said...

Cool looks!

http://initialed.blogspot.com

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Daph is my idol and she has the power to take me to places I never knew existed in my imagination. I love your owl friend, I've always wanted to see/touch one. You look glorious beautiful Roz, I nearly pee'd myself when I realised Charlotte had used the purple and green-print fabric for several of her designs. What a legend!!! xoxox

Raez said...

Holy wow, you are a stunner Rosalind!!! Love that we get to see some of your modeling work. It's a very beautiful collection, and I love the story behind Charlotte's designs. Fantastic job to everyone involved in the shoot!

xx

adrielleroyale said...

The photography is just awesome!! You model so beautifully! This was such a pleasure so see :)

Thea vintage said...

Oh so beautiful! Everything - you, the styling and the clothes!

Not Just A Pretty Dress said...

I wanted to leave a comment to say that I saw the beautiful portraits by Vanessa Jackman and really liked it (your mustard trousers are so original!). And them I found you in the amazing prints of Charlotte Taylor...what a great surprise! Or maybe I shouldn't use this work as you are simply perfect to channel her style. And the owl print is so nice...

Barbro Andersen said...

This is marvelous! Congrats on your great work, I must say; I absolutely adore her designs!

The owl is such a beautiful creature, and so are you, dear Roz!

Hope you are well <3

Bella Q said...

Mind. Blown.

INcredible prints, wonderful clothes and beautiful you. A metaphorical feast for the eyes, my dear- the best things about fashion are staring at me right here. What a wonderful collection, great photos and you are a star. xo. -Bella Q

Pearl Westwood said...

I am speechless, deliciously dark and beautiful!

EIGHT LONDON said...

Hmmm, what can I say that 42 others haven't said already? I think I'll go with 'slamming'.

I'm so glad you are still enjoying the opportunity to model. I have to admit, I have had my eyes opened to the world of commercial modelling in Paris and it is far from pretty. The way the girls are treated is so despicable. I am completely with Erin O'Connor when she campaigned for a Models Union to protect girls. And the industry in the UK is far more supervised than in France. I think the best way is to manage yourself, work with people you know and love, and make beautiful, rare pictures as a result.

I have to admit, I've been very naughty - I recently watched Hitchcock's Rebecca, which is BRILLIANT, but I haven't read any of the books...

I will soon though! x

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

I loved this lookbook. The clothes are stunning, and I can think of no one better than you to interpret a Du Maurier heroine (if they ever make another film of Frenchman's Creek you should play Dona)! Frenchman's Creek was, incidentally, the book I always used to read when I stayed home sick from school--and now I'm thinking I need to revisit Jamaica Inn as well...

styleeast said...

I've been hding this in my Bloglovin feed for ages, waiting for enough time to look at it properly, I was so entranced by that first photo. I could not think of a better model for this collection, you wear it so beautifully, plus the dark lips (just a hint of gothic) suit you so well. Your friend Mr Owl is very sweet too, i hope you made good friends with one another on the shoot! xx

RACHEL GOODCHILD said...

Wow! These are really stunning Roz.

Kirstin Marie said...

Absolutely stunning. These photographs are pure perfection. I am definitely going to checkout the look book. I lice her designs. The owl is so beautiful. Ive always thought was were so secretly magical & majestic.

lola said...

Wow , great photographs, beautiful clothes, xx

Lizzifer Jones said...

Exquisite!

Lizzifer Jones said...

Exquisite!

RACHEL GOODCHILD said...

Wow! Just having a quick catch up on your blog and have just seen these photographs. TOTALLY STUNNING! You look beautiful. I particularly love the top one.
Rx

The Bumbling Fashion Novice said...

I've just come across this blog post and I have to say Rosalind you look absolutely stunning!