CLEA BROAD

MILLINER - FLORAL STYLIST - DESIGNER - MAKER

Why I stayed up late for Grace Ormonde

Press, Floral Fashion, Fashion, Bridal/WeddingClea BroadComment
Bellatrix headband.

Bellatrix headband.

Late last year I got an email from my wonderful PR manager, Nicky Malone requesting I send some of my headpieces off for a fashion editorial with luxury bridal magazine Grace Ormonde. When items are called in it's a question of gathering them together (providing they aren't already out on another shoot) and sending them via post, courier or hand delivering them to the stylist, photographer, magazine or studio. You may send off one item or a dozen items, but there is never any guarantee they will end up being used. In the end my headpiece might just not work with the outfit or mood of the shoot or the vision of the creative team. You learn to be quite pragmatic about these things and I never take it personally if nothing I send gets used.

For this particular shoot I had a few pieces called in, amongst other things, Oliver Vaughn wanted my Bellatrix veiling headband, which made the cut, as you can see from this striking final image from the magazine, captured by photographer Adam Alex

Close up of the hand stitched pearl centred hydrangeas.

However for this shoot there was an additional request. Would I be interested in making something bespoke?  I saw the beautiful mood board images Oliver put together, featuring lots of ornate skull cap headpieces, and I couldn't resist. I am a sucker for a good mood board, it is one of my weaknesses. 

My bespoke hydrangea skull cap (right)

I set about decorating a skull cap with silk hydrangeas, individually hand stitching each one with a pearl centre, hundreds in total, until the whole piece was covered. This, as you can imagine took hours and hours, so many hours that I stayed up well into the night stitching. As with all jobs that are time consuming and repetitive, I distracted myself with music and podcasts and the occasional biscuit and found my rhythm. Bearing in mind I knew from the offset that this would be a long job, would it surprise you to know that just because you make something bespoke for a shoot, there is still no guarantee it will be used in the end? Yes, even if you make something bespoke. In light of this you probably think I'm either crazy or crazily dedicated (I like to think the latter). So why would I go to all that trouble, potentially for nothing? A few reasons, other than the gorgeous tempting mood board. I genuinely love to make things, I like a challenge and I also think that whilst it's important knowing your limitations (don't say yes if you can't deliver on time for example) it is good to dream big and aim for the stars. 

After the shoot a courier delivered the headpiece back to me. And then it was a question of waiting for the magazine to come out for the big reveal - would any of my pieces make the final cut? More importantly would the bespoke skull cap make the cut? I am always excited when I see my pieces in print but this was particularly exciting, there styled to utter perfection was my bespoke headpiece. The hours of hand stitching and lack of sleep had paid off.