This week I flashback to an editorial shoot I put together last year, which celebrated my long time passion for the books 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden, and 'The Tale of Murasaki' by Liza Dalby. The images in my mind are still built up of stunning written descriptions, of layered silks and immaculate Japanese settings, and romance in a culture so exotic to me.
Gorgeous wedding blog, Want That Wedding, published this shoot last year, confirming that there is definitely a space for my own quirky bridal ideas out there.
I go more for the anti-bride, than the straight up pretty and classic.
I love photographing real brides of any style, of course, but my own creative shoots are more a reflection of me. Sonia's introduction (the creator of Want That Wedding) was lovely, and I don't think I can top it:
"Gemma of The Wardette Studio has taken the popular boho bridal look of the moment and turned it on its head by incorporating beautiful Japanese detailing. The inspiration still remains beautifully feminine with its lush, pinks, peaches and creams colour palette – absolutely perfect wedding inspiration for romantic, boho brides who love a bit of quirk!!"
It all started when I found, and fell in love with, the antique kimono pictured here. This stunning piece is a beautifully thick silk, with wonderful structure, shot through with subtle watercolour hint of peach and pastel green;
oh and the blush pink lining, oh be still my beating heart.
It was the perfect starting point for both theme and colour palette.
Although boho is my bridal style of choice, I wanted to try and create something totally new with it. I thought, if use the kimono as a central piece to the theme, I can change up ‘boho’ completely, and bring a new reference in. At the same time, Boho could do something really interesting to the geisha style.. It would pull it apart and loosen up the structure and symmetry, to create something with more flow.
Model Sarah Wilson, was a brilliant person to work with. Her creative input, and energy, made this feel much more like a collaboration. She totally trusted me, even when I told her
I was creating the entire shoot myself, without suppliers, with the sole aim of proving that you can create a stunning look with just found objects and a little DIY.
For example, I made the floral headdress myself, found all the objects photographs. All the floral details and settings are bought from local shops, using fruit to vary the texture and fill out the table setting.
The other table pieces are all found and antique.. The table names are handmade stamps, with hand carved details. The square formed place settings are comprised of classic starched linen squares, stacked rectangular white china plates, and antique floral, ceramic chopsticks. The glasses are small antique port glasses, with gold gilt details.
The table centre piece is built up out of peach roses, double white dahlias and single variegated dahlias, gypsophilas, peaches, pomegranates, tall white orchids, antique wooden chopsticks and tall glass vases, Japanese trinkets and teapots.
The ‘wedding cake’ is a Sicilian lemon and blueberry cheesecake, with a stunning (and spot on colour theme) glaze of citrus with fresh blueberries.
The kimono is a Japanese bridal piece which I found on eBay. The dress underneath, is a vintage ghost gown and the bridal bouquet is a simple bunch of peach gladioli bound with cream ribbon.
“...And then I became aware of all the magnificent silk wrapped around my body, and had the feeling I might drown in beauty..."
'Memoirs of A Geisha' Arthur Golden
Thanks again to Sarah for being such a gorgeous model. We'll work together again soon!