In this month's Journal, we're going to be talking to everyone involved in the shoot from the Moores, the photographer, the makeup artist to our lovely model. But we thought we'd start at the beginning with the team who got everything off the ground. We're a family business, as you know, and Helen works alongside her daughter, Hester and daughter-in-law Jessica. They in turn work with with our designers, production managers and a marketing and PR team - we'll introduce you to some of them later in the year.
This week Hester and Jessica Moore talk about the inspiration behind the collection, the styling of a shoot and how it doesn't always go according to plan!
When you plan a shoot/campaign what is your inspiration?
Hester: I like to think about what inspired the collection, the colours, tones and the textures. This years collection looks and feels very soft and feminine but I wanted the shoot to be strong and sharp, just like the women who run the business!
Brown Quail Capelet
When you work on a shoot how do you prepare for it?
Jessica: Shoots for me are all about organisation, I love a spreadsheet and a Helen Moore photoshoot has multiple. We have to work out all the products and which colours we want to shoot them in to make sure our range is represented. It can be too easy to go crazy for new colours and not represent our classic collection. These spreadsheets are then the backbone for the whole shoot and we know the outfits and products we are working with inside out. It's imperative for adapting our plans in the face of any unforeseen problems.
Are you influenced by Fashion weeks and trends?
Hester: I’m inspired by everything. I love following fashion but it’s not all about what people are wearing, it’s about a style that is in the air - you can see it in exhibitions, film, nature and even what people are talking about. You have to make sure you are absorbing it all.
Does feedback from customers influence your planning and selection?
Brown Bear Long Collar and Boot Toppers
How do you put together a colour palette?
Shirt Collar Powder Blue and Blaze
Tell us about the styling of a shoot
What do you love most and is there anything you dislike about shoot days
Hester: Shoot days are so great. The stress and anxiety leading up to a shoot can be a bit overwhelming as so much work has gone into the collection but once you get there and everything is in place it can feel quite calm and relaxing.
You’ve worked on so many Helen Moore shoots - what moments stand out for you?
Tell us a bit about the process during the shoot - Are you editing as you go
Hester: It’s all in Jess’s planning! And luckily she plans for me to make a few creative changes along the way. Editing as we go is hard but very necessary, but this shoot editing out images was even more difficult than usual as we loved so many of them.
During lockdown, you must have had to adapt your work totally - tell us about how you did this?
Hester: Absolutely, but it wasn’t all bad. It gave us time to reflect on the business and truly appreciate what we have. Having our own factory meant we were not tied to mass manufacturing abroad with vast amounts of stock. We could react quickly to adjust our business. I needed to be at home with our daughter so started making scrubs for the NHS which was a great way to for me to process what was happening, feel creative and contribute in my own small way. Some of our machinists were making scrub bags, and it wasn’t long before we started manufacturing face masks.
Has social media changed the way you work?
Hester: Social media is such a part of our lives now that it is hard to think of a time before. However, social media certainly doesn’t define who we are. We were creating and making and selling a long time before Instagram and Facebook. And my Mum, Helen, whilst having an appreciation for its uses has been in fashion for long enough to know it’s not the only way to share your creations or be influenced.
If you could choose one thing from the 2020 collection what would it be?
Jessica: It would have to be the Diana Collar. It's classic, sharp and goes with everything. I love the velvet ribbons and simple design, it will go just as well over a winter knit as a party dress.