A few months ago I was asked to style a shoot for Cashmere with Raina and Wilson of Arlene Reps.  The ads are the newest version of a runway-inspired campaign featuring gorgeous dressed made entirely (or almost) out of bathroom tissue.  My job was to source the mannequins and dress-forms to display the dresses and then to style them on set and make sure that they looked their best for photography.  As usual, we had to have a ton of options to choose from and I found myself driving around town with a car full of plastic body parts (soooooo wanted to use a mannequin-passenger to drive in the car-pool lane). One of the issues was that the dresses were made to be worn by tiny little models, not regular size 4/6 dress forms so finding the perfect fit was difficult.  We needed lots of options on the dress-form base (chrome, gunmetal, wood etc), and the mannequin (silver, white etc) so I had my work cut out for me.  I had to find the right coulour, shape AND fit; all at once and all on a tight deadline and budget.  No problem right?

Well, it turned out just fine and I am super pleased with the results.  Here is a look at the first ad (the second one features a longer dress and isn’t ‘in market’ yet so can’t publish here-stay tuned).  I think R & W did a fantastic job and the look is so soft and pretty with tons of style.

A couple of stylist secrets: the bodice is pinned tightly to the back of the dress-form to make it perfect and I stuffed the skirt and bust a little to plump it up.  I also had to steam it very gently to take out any wrinkles, the “fabric” was delicate and easily damaged so I had to be very careful.

Before photography or “plumping”.  Also, the wooden base was changed for the final image….and the sparkles removed in post.

It takes a lot of rolls of bathroom tissue to find the perfect one:

This is some sort of a lighting contraption that makes light look mottled and soft.

Some of ‘the girls’ waiting for their close-up:

One of the original sketches.  I love to see how an idea goes from conception to actuality.

They aren’t as big as they look:Everyone in our business knows what this is.  Notice how many cups of coffee are on the desk?

Hi Raina!  You are so cute.

As soon as I have permission to publish the second image I will include it here as well.  In the meantime, watch for it and think of me (in my car, with headless mannequins and size 4 torsos).


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