Models with binoculars

We are very excited to feature this beautiful styled ‘Last Days of Summer’ shoot today. Okay, so we know that summer is not yet upon us, but this shoot reminds us of the long summer days ahead. The dramatic make-up by Claire Salter and dreamy palettes created by Ailsa McLaggan have been captured perfectly by Sarah Jones Photography…

“The name came about as the shoot had been conceived some time ago, but due to everyone’s working schedules we didn’t shoot until much later, the 28th August, so it literally felt like the very last days of summer! It was a shoot that was very dependent on the weather as we wanted it to look summery and light, so we were very lucky in the end; the dappled sunshine through the trees and the hazy light as the sun went down was just what we were after.

“The idea behind the shoot was to create these two beautiful fashion creatures and a whimsical dwelling for them in the meadows using furniture, beds and tables. We wanted soft, dreamy palettes and silhouettes, but brought an edge to the look by adding curiosities such as skulls, wishbones, cut glass, binoculars and antlers — we almost wanted to create the idea that our fashion creatures were surviving by hunting and gathering objects of beauty from around their habitat. I tore pages from old nature books and chose lines from classic pastoral poets to nail to the trees, and used large sprays of fennel as floral decoration, again to reinforce the hunter/gatherer idea, but also to suggest a sense of romanticism and creativity.

Models standing in field

Model standing in field

Model looking away

“The styling reflected some spring/summer trends such as Ladurée colours, broderie, pretty lacework and fringing, which kept the shoot looking current and accessible, and by using models with similar features we added a high fashion element edge to it. I’ve always been captivated by the Chloe and Mulberry campaigns where girls are running somewhere, often with quite a fierce expression, and the running shots from our story are my favourite!

“I mixed high street fashion with designer pieces, such as Amy Jackson’s collection which tied in beautifully with our scheme, and Joanne Pearce the jewellery designer made us some amazing accessories as well as loaning some of her own pieces. I also hired some more theatrical pieces from Royal Exchange Costume hire and, in the last scene, we used a pair of £5 sale dresses from a Vintage boutique — I love the simplicity of the dresses paired with the girls’ look of intimacy in that shot. In many ways the styling was also a process of hunting and gathering from many different sources!

Model sitting in chair

Model leaning on table

Model looking into camera

“It’s also worth mentioning the other stars of the shoot. Gwen Stefani the Afghan hound was a happy accident who very quickly got into the role of supermodel dog — we loved the idea that these beautiful creatures had found each other and they really complemented our scene. Since the shoot, Afghan hounds have coincidentally been enjoying many a fashion moment, seen sashaying down catwalks of New York Fashion Week and appearing in many glossy magazine spreads.” — Ailsa McLaggan

Model laying on bed with dogs

Model with dog

Model standing behind dog Model holding skull

“I approached this shoot with an open mind. I didn’t want the shots to look too other worldly, but it’s tricky being creative and keeping a relatable look, and that’s why we started with the simpler shots then flowed in and out of the more dramatic feel.

“I relied on natural light and it was cloudy until the afternoon, then using the sun to romanticise the shots, shooting amongst trees always looks so beautiful, I just let nature be.” — Sarah Jones

Model standing under tree with book pages stuck to it

Model Model with headdress

Model in tree

“The hair and make-up for the shoot needed to be soft and whimsical, with a harder edge to it so it was in-keeping with Ailsa’s concept.

“I chose to keep the hair soft with lots of texture so I could move around the styles to suit the clothing. I put much more emphasis on the eyes using deep and rich plum, pink and mahogany tones, with a hint of ivory to really make the girl’s eyes pop! I also kept a soft gentleness to the lips, so you are instantly drawn to the models’ eyes.” — Claire Salter

Two models sitting at table


Models sitting in tree

Two models in field

Photography: Sarah Jones Photography

Styling and Art Direction: Ailsa McLaggan

Make-Up and Hair Styling: Claire Salter Bridal Make-Up and Hair Styling

Models: Vera and Emily Scott, Boss Model Management

Production Assistant: Li-En Yeung

Assistant: Anna Budrys