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The Shoot: A Whirlwind of Activity to Capture a Perfect Moment
Posted by Bryony Bennett | May 30, 2012


With only five weeks to go till graduation, the countdown begins in earnest for the photo shoot — another notch on the merry-go-round of Contour that signals achievement, change, progression and the ending of it all drawing ever nearer.

It is Easter but for me the weekend is completely devoid of anything remotely spring-like, not to mention any eggs; instead it is enveloped in a thick coating of lace appliqué. I cannot so much as move the mouse on my Mac for fear of knocking a little rosebud off into the fifth dimension.

Lace appliqué waiting to be sewn.

As the photo shoot draws ever nearer, and the invisible thread reel grows ever thinner, a sick and unfriendly knot begins to grow inside my stomach, teamed with an unbearable concoction of curiosity, excitement and foreboding.

Will I get everything done in time? Will it fit? Will it Look good? What will the Photo look like? What if the shoes don’t fit?

Rumours spread through texts, phone calls and Facebook messages about the models that only add to our already giant Lists Of Anxieties. All the questions and worries whirl round before reaching the pinnacle of emotion at 3 a.m., putting all my problem-solving skills to the test in a frenzy of irons, pins and last-minute stitches to make everything look absolutely perfect.  

The Shoot really is one of my favourite parts of lingerie design. That moment when the camera flashes and you see the garment you have tirelessly worked on for months looking better than you ever even expected is just too special for words.

We were lucky enough in getting a location set, and even luckier with dazzling sunshine, beautiful and mesmerizingly perfect models, and the photographer Fabric LeChant, fresh back from the Maldives after having shot Tom Ford’s campaign.

Bryony putting suspenders on a model.

The photo shoot passed in a sort of heady, surreal daze, almost as if the sound was turned down the whole time and all I could focus on was if the garment was sitting right, the suspenders matched up okay and the waist band was perfectly in line. It only just about registered that, amazingly, through all the rushing around on the day and with the demand of all those poses, my strapless bra on the 30GG model stayed up. Perfectly.

With me and all my housemates physically shaking with the buzz and high from the photo shoot we rushed home excitedly, making plans for celebratory cocktails later. Apparently our exhausted bodies had other ideas for us, though.

What happened instead was we all woke up confused beyond belief at 6 a.m. the next morning, having clean passed out, on top of our beds, in all our clothes, with the lights on. Hedonistic students at our finest …

Shoes lined up for the photo shoot.
Student collections on a rail, ready to be put on. Shown (from left):
Sarah Cordroy, Gemma Cheyne, Sara Caspi, Elena Fenby, Bryony Bennett, Kiri Boyle.
Makeup and hair products for the models backstage.

NEXT: Hitting The Wall

[Editor’s Note: The Contour Fashion program at De Montfort University wraps up with the annual student catwalk show in London on June 7.]

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