I’m currently lying in bed in my East Village apartment (well, I wish it was mine!) with Nubby the day after the first ever Blogcademy. It’s 7am and we’re both bolt upright excitedly gabbing about the events of the past 48 hours. It was a weekend of magical, unexpected, positivity and excitable exhilaration. Loving, learning and inspiring each other – all in our own imitable fashion. I feel mentally exhausted and my feet hurt like hell but it’s oh such a good feeling. Our 30 attendees were just what we hoped & prayed for and more, and I honestly feel we’ve all made some new BFFs for life.
Gala, Naomi & me with Eleanor the photo bomber!
It’s been five months since I was here last but as soon as we landed in JFK I felt like it was only yesterday. Everything was so familiar, so comfortable but also so exciting! I’ve fallen head over heels pretty quickly again and I’m so thrilled to be back here.
So happy to be reunited with Gala… as are our ridiculous blogger phone cases!
After a flight that dreams are made of with Virgin Atlantic -including an upgrade (I thought this only happened in the movies!) and an almost out-of body experience in the Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 (“Manicure? Spa treatment? Hair cut? A dip in the pool or a trip to the sauna?!”) we hopped in a yellow cab and were whisked towards the bright lights of Manhattan.
So here we have it, the final installment of Gala & my frolic around NYC! When Christina & I first starting thinking about shooting in New York there was one place top of both of our lists – The Brooklyn Bridge! Iconic the world over, nothing screams New York more than this structure… or the amazing views from it!
After a slightly hair-raising cab ride through China Town and over the Manhattan Bridge, we arrived in Brooklyn and proceeded to walk the 1.1 miles over the East River towards Manhattan.
The bridge was packed full of tourists, maniacs on bicycles (boy, they don’t slow down!) and commuters when we arrived, but with Christina, Marielle & Alie‘s magic camerawork you’d never have known it was so packed! At one point Gala & I were doing our ‘thing’ while about 25 tourists snapped away ferociously behind the girls! I wonder who they thought we were?
Can we just please stop and share some love for the amazing dress I’m wearing? I found it in a vintage store on Venice Beach back in August and although I loved the lace detailing and the amazing blush pink colour it wasn’t at all flattering (you can see a before and after picture here!) However at just $40 I knew I had to have it! When I got back to the UK I went to see my girls at Fur Coat No Knickers to see if they were up to the challenge of making it into something beautiful for this shoot…and jeez louise did they!
The final dress was actually a combination of two dresses, the original bodice on my dress was unstructured and unflattering, but Emma & Laura found a satin gown that matched the colour of mine perfectly…and even better, it fit me! So they took this bodice and created a brand new skirt from the original tulle from my dress. They even added the vintage lace and applique details from my dress to the new one. Doesn’t it work wonderfully!?
Shooting with Made U Look Photography and Gala in NYC was like a dream come true. It was so much fun exploring the city with my girls!
But wait…there’s more! Gareth & I did a shoot as well (as you probably already know, I’m never one to turn down posing in front of the camera). We’re still waiting on the final photos from our couple’s shoot, plus the video that Marielle made, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled as I’ll be blogging them really soon!
After the exertion of jumping around the rooftop, Gala & I decided a much more leisurely pace was required for the second part of our day. So we hopped in a cab with the Made U Look girls and headed towards the uber trendy West Village.
Oh and yes that is me… and no I didn’t have a quick dye job in between! I bought this sky blue wig on a whim from Stargazer when I was purchasing my regular round of baby pink dye. The hair is fake but considering it only cost me a tenner I think it actually looked pretty good! I have plans to buy it in other colours too… I’ll wear them when I feel like going incognito!
What could be more NYC than a West Village stoop? We did find Carrie’s (yes, the actual one they used when filming the outside scenes in Sex and the City) but there was a chain across it with a polite warning to stay off (!) However the road itself was pretty deserted traffic-wise so we had another little dance/pose-off in the middle of the street. I’d like to think SJP probably did the same thing in between takes…
A few of you were asking after I published part one of the shoot, which camera’s the girls use…well I asked Christina and she said, “For the shoot we shot on Contax 645, Contax G1, Hasselblad 500 cm, Polaroid Land Camera 330, Canon AE-1, Pentax 35mm, Canon 5D Mark II DSLR (2 of them – one for filming & one for shooting), Instax wide….& 3 iphones haha!”
♥ Topshop Cutout Back Self Stripe Flippy dress
♥ Kimchi Blue black & glitter shoes boots / Jimmy Choo Tokyo hi tops
♥ Stargazer ‘Japan’ wig in ‘Sky’
♥ Sparkle & Fade Skull Cardigan
♥ ‘We are all mad here’ necklace by UntamedMenagerie on etsy
I’ve been obsessed with Made U Look Photography for as long as I’ve been blogging. Even in the early days they were wonderful to me and allowed me to feature their beautiful weddings as much as possible. Christina, Marielle & Alie are amazing girls, and when Christina and I started whimsically chatting about one day doing a shoot together I knew we’d make it happen somehow!
Fast forward a few years and the opportunity for me to travel to New York for a shoot with a make up company arose. I was over the moon and even more so when they said the Made U Look girls were shooting it! I think it took me approximately 20 seconds to reply and say I was 100% on board. Unfortunately these things don’t always pan out and the shoot was cancelled a few weeks before I was due to fly out. I was disappointed but I thought, hell, I’m going to New York now anyway and I wanna shoot with these girls damnit! So I emailed them to ask if they still wanted to come to New York (they are based in Bakersfield, CA) and shoot with me & Gareth and then me & Gala! I was overjoyed when they agreed. I’m a firm believer that things always happen for a reason and now we had completely free reign to create the shoot(s) of our dreams!
The day began with make up by the fabulous Regan. He works for MAC and is awesome at what he does. Plus, when he asked if I wanted to try pink eyebrows I knew we were onto a winner! Gala went for a more 60s inspired look while I opted for my trademark bright pink lips to match my brows!
For our first look we decided to head up to the windswept rooftop of our East Village apartment (Gareth & I decided to rent an apartment during our stay instead of booking a hotel. I loved it and the fact that we were in a non-tourist area, it almost felt like we were living there for 2 weeks!)
So, what do Gala & I do when we’re excited to be hanging out again? We pull silly faces and have impromptu dance parties of course! The elevators of Vegas were our practice run, but now the rooftop was our place to shine! Oh boy it was windy up there but I think you’ll agree it was worth it for these shots.
The Made U Look girls are masters of the camera…no, strike that…masters of a gazillion cameras! Each of them carried about 4 cameras each, and as we shot they were constantly changing up and shooting with a different one. Each camera had a different kind of film in it so all the shots are totally different. If you love vintage-looking photographs then these are the girls for you. No fake vintage photoshop edits here people, these are the real deal!
♥ Nanette Lepore Jacy Pleated Floral-Print Skirt (seriously the brightest thing I’ve ever owned!)
♥ Zara t-shirt
♥ Upper Street Ballet Flats (designed by me!)
♥ Sparklebeast on etsy (Gala’s)
♥ H&M ring
♥ Forever 21 bangles
PS: I told you things got a little bit silly…
After the aceness of last week I wasn’t sure my New York adventure could get any better…oh how wrong I was! On Monday we waved goodbye to The Lasertron’s (boohoo) and Gala & I then basically spent the whole week distracting each other. I’d love to move here one day, but if I did I fear neither of us would ever get any work done! We had too much fun doing things like this…
On Wednesday Christina, Alie and Marielle of Made U Look Photography flew all the way from California to shoot Gareth & me. We shot in our apartment, on our roof and around the East Village where we are staying. It was seriously fun. These guys are the best!