Redefining Ruffles: An 80’s Themed photoshoot.

Hello, my lovely readers!

If you follow fashion trends then you know by now that while the 70’s is still a huge trend inspiration, the 80’s are quietly sneaking up on us once again. For a lot of us, the 80’s don’t seem quite long enough gone to make their reappearance.  However, if there’s one thing fashion does, it is to make up its own rules.  After all, the 90’s have already made their second debut in what seems like a very short amount of time….well, for some of us anyways.

The 80’s were a time of exciting fashion diversity and experimentation. Whatever you say, the 80’s were one of a kind. I kept this in mind when given a choice with respect to the subject for my final course photoshoot.  The choice:  “Patterns or 80’s inspired”.  Now to a lot of people, patterns would have been the obvious choice, because mixing patterns is cool and edgy, whereas no one wants to touch that tacky thing we call the 80’s.  Right?  Wrong.

The 80’s call to me. Glitter, big shoulders, bigger hair, Madonna, Pretty in Pink.  I was born one year shy of being included in this magical time…but I’m not bitter or anything…Mom.

And so I didn’t give patterns a second thought as I jumped at the chance to bring the 80’s back to life.  Now the difficult part. What aspect would I work with? There was so much to choose from. The power suit, rise of workout gear, glam metal bands, etc..  It was hard to pin point just what I thought would define the 80’s for me, yet be able to spin into a modern look. Ultimately I went with an 80’s classic – ruffles.  Ruffles have always been a fun way to add femininity to clothes.  While these can often be seen as garish or childish, done correctly it can be very chic and elegant.  So I began the quest to do just that – to redefine ruffles.

third photo shoot board


Once the idea came into my mind, everything fell into place.  I knew exactly what I wanted my model to look like, and from there it was only a matter of finding the pieces needed. I was lucky to immediately find my main piece, a one shouldered black neoprene dress in TopShop. Conveniently I also found a large black bow and large black earrings that made the look scream 80’s, but in a classic way.  The shoes I found from Kurt Geiger were absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately they didn’t make an appearance in the final photos.  However, here is a photo of them anyway because they are just that great.


From the beginning I knew I wanted a hugely elaborate belt to be the main focus of the look, but the image in my mind was so particular, that nothing I saw fit the bill. So, I did what every desperate fashion student would do – I made one myself.  After scrambling around Soho for silk, beaded appliqué, stiffener and ribbon, I finally had my dream belt in hand the night before the shoot.

File Dec 20, 20 08 40

File Dec 20, 20 07 14

Very excited, (with a semi glue-damp belt packed away) I left for our location in East London, ready to see the final look on my model. The day of a shoot is usually a chaotic thing, especially when there are many different looks involved. Though there is always a time line, it’s rare not to run behind schedule.  In our case, the shoot went late, leading to my very first night shoot!  At first the idea was scary. What about the lighting?  Would we still have our choice of settings?  It was all new to me.  I was reassured when the photos came through. The lack of light gave the photos an edge that they wouldn’t have had in the day time. The city itself feels different in the dark and this was reflected in the mood of the photos.  This shoot taught me that while you have to be aware of time management, you also need to be flexible.  Art is never straightforward, you can’t force it to go your way. Ultimately all you can do is be patient and hope to be rewarded in the end by seeing your vision come to life.

80's resize 2

80's resize


Photography: Jamie Kendrick

Makeup: Martin Carter

Hair: Carolina Crona

Model: Christie Leigh 


I’ll see you all in the coming year. Hope you have a happy holidays and New Year. See you in 2016!