23 Mar Elizabethan Era Inspired Fashion Shoot
There is something so magical about the clothing from the Elizabethan era that I just love. A few years ago I found the inspiration to put a team of creatives together to do a slightly modern twist on this style for a fashion photoshoot. I loved it so much and feel the need to share it with you all.
The term “Elizabethan era” refers to the period during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign (1558-1603). Some think this was a golden age in English history. It has been widely romanticized in movies, books, plays and TV series such as Bridgerton which was hit on Netflix. We did our shoot before Bridgerton aired but there have been countless movies like it before and there will be many from this amazing era to follow.
Creating a strong team was easy for me. It was a no brainer for me to chose Fatima Abeduljalil as my makeup artist. She loves to push boundaries with her makeup and is always ready for a challenge. For fashion design, I asked Michelle Beaudoin, who is incredible at making beautiful custom dresses. I also got my super creative mother-in-law, Ruth, to make the ruff (neckpiece). Ruth has a history of creating amazing halloween costumes from scratch and continues to make elaborate dance outfits. For hair, I asked Emma Ward, who is beyond creative when it comes to hair. I reached out to a local florist, Nectar Flowers, to be part of this project. I showed the owner a few inspiration photos and with their knowledge about plants they gave us some beautiful greenery. And finally, the model, Alinaa, who was suggested to me by another model. I actually came up with the concept with Alinaa in mind. She has soft light skin and a beautiful face structure that felt perfect to me for this look. I am super grateful that all these ladies said yes. We always have so much fun creating together. I invited each person being their own interpretation of the “Elizabethan style” to the shoot keeping with a similar colour palette so that it would all come together. And come together it did!
I was working at a local camera store at the time and I remember standing in the fabric background section and staring at all of the different options. I knew I wanted a fabric background because they can have a stressed vintage look to them that you won’t find in a modern paper backdrop. This was key in giving the shots a “painted” look. I finally grabbed the pink coloured fabric because I felt it complemented our colour scheme and because pink adds a romantic element.
Also, let’s take a moment to appreciate Michelle’s dress. It was a masterpiece! I loved the polka dot pattern that was on her chosen fabric. She is brilliant.
I took portraits from as many angles as I could to show off everyone’s beautiful work. I love close up portraits more than anything in the world because faces are fascinating to me. Have a look at how beautiful the ruff turned out and how the golden colour matched the dress. Now that’s teamwork! These portraits also show off the beautiful job Fatima did. She not only applied makeup on Alinaa’s face but also on her hands, arms and legs. Talk about going the extra mile.
Taking portraits of someone’s elaborate hairstyle can be challenging because most portraits are taken from straight on to show the person’s face. I made sure to get a few different angles to show Emma’s beautiful hair work. Every person involved made these portraits come together so I did my very best to make sure they each got some shots to showcase their work.
Alinaa really did an amazing job with her expressions and posing. Most models don’t get a lot of opportunities to do such historian pieces, and I was grateful that she understood that modern fashion poses wouldn’t work. Notice how she wasn’t smiling in any photos? Back in those times only the rich or important people would be drawn for portraits, and that would require them to stay still for long periods of time. Smiling wasn’t an option.
These portraits have such a big place in my heart because this project took a lot of work and passion to bring to life. Each person did a lot of research on their own and worked hard. I am so proud of everyone’s contribution. Also we had a lot of fun together creating these. Never settle for mediocre. We got these portraits published on a fashion website called Raw Magazine. That was an exciting win for us.
To see more of my team’s work, click the links below.
Model: Alinaa (who is also an amazing fashion stylist) https://www.instagram.com/___instalina/
Makeup artist: Fatima https://www.instagram.com/beautytouch_byfatima/
Hair: Emma https://www.instagram.com/emmashairstyling/
Fashion designer (main outfit): Michelle https://www.instagram.com/basement68clothing/
Fashion designer (ruff): Ruth (sorry she doesn’t have a website or IG account)
or their website https://nectarflowersottawa.ca