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Thursday, 6 February 2014

In Venice With Nina

It seems almost impossible that an entire week has already gone by since I am back from Italy.
But I guess this period is going to fly away even faster than time usually does: New York Fashion Week approaching, London Fashion Week after that and loads of projects coming up are making everything so frantic and yet so exciting!

But some of you might wonder what was I doing in Italy so soon after I left my home country at the end of the Christmas Festivities.
Well, despite the absolute need to celebrate the end of the exams, I was not in Italy for holidays this time, but for work.

It all started some months ago, when the brilliant designer Nina Athanasiou, that you've already heard of as I was at her shooting in London back in November, found out that I was from a town very close to Venice and wanting to shoot her new collection over there decided to get me involved.
I was there representing Flawless, first of all, but I would have been likely to do whatever as I was so glad to just be there and work with this amazing team one more time.

Taz flew from London to take care of hair and make up, James came from New York and the gorgeous female model I had heard so much about, Kayla, flew from the US as well.
Sami and I went there from Dublin although I arrived one day earlier in order to settle down at home and get a chance to join my best friends for Sunday night drinks.
Then this time we had two directors that came from Germany with Nina in order to record a fashion film which is meant to be the background at Nina's show at NYFW and which I am sure will be mind blowing.
A nice addition was my gorgeous friend Anna who came over to model as well and who was such an angel despite the horrible trip we had both on the way to Venice and getting back from there.

In fact, the first thing that got our attention when we came out Santa Lucia train station was that the water was way too tall: normal after all the rain that had fall the night before.

But things became tricky when we realized that the entire city was completely flooded.

But we couldn't stop and we needed to get much closer to the sea so we just bumped into this tiny man selling horrible plastic boots and we decided that getting them was gonna be better than swimming in dirty middy water.

Then we began the research for the Palazzo Nina and the team were staying at and which was going to be the location for the shooting as well: Ca' Corniani deli Algarotti.
The research which seemed very unsuccessful at the beginning finally brought us there and we were able to join everyone and get in the right mood to start.

(Taz, Anna and me)

(Sami embracing the Venetian spirit)

(Ca' Corniani degli Algarotti)

After a Nice breakfast Nina got for everyone, we all got down to work:
Nina choose the outfits to be worn by the models and I helped with the steaming while Kayle was being taken care of by Taz.
It took quite a while to get everyone ready to go and meanwhile Sami was going out in search for location someone looked down at us as a bright bright sun came out and made everything better.
It also made the water go down which I felt so relieved about…

If you asked me what do I like the most about my country or what do I think makes it special, the light would certainly be at the top of my list.
When the sun comes out in Italy it's like you've never seen the sun before.
I've been to Spain, to the south of France, to Africa, but nowhere else I have seen that kind of sun as the one we get in Italy.
It's like it comes out with a blink, sudden and beautiful as a smile, lightening up the beauty around it.
Maybe it's also the fact that sun reflects everything that makes it so special in Italy: it's like the beautiful buildings and scenarios are reflected many times more an amplified and highlighted.

We explored different locations outdoor and they all ended up being fantastic and giving Sami the chance to experiment with different lights and spaces.

 Between each locations the team was gathering back at the Palazzo for changes and retouched which allowed us to stay in the warmth for a bit: outside it was freezing.
The story was the one of a man in between two women who both want him.
One of my favorite shots was the one we've taken on a bridge not far from the Palazzo.
It has been such a challenge as apparently we got a bridge that was right beside a primary school and the time was exactly the one when kinds got out of it which meant dozens of kids running around and stopping on the bridge to look at the shooting and at Kayla and asking questions.
Thank god we had Taz and Nina that being moms didn't get annoyed and second of all knew how to kindly make the kids river flow in order for us to be left on the bridge again.

The last shot outdoor was the one James, Sami and I took on Rialto bridge, where Sami asked me to bring them.
The sun was going down, but it was definitely the most amazing time of the day for them to see that location: lights already up and still a bit of light in the sky, boats all around, the shops open and people shopping, the nice smell of food that was beginning to be prepared for the night…
It was Venice at its nicest and I am glad that the boys got the chance to see it.

When we got back at the Palazzo, the sun was completely gone, but that didn't prevent us from shooting two more looks with the girls.
Making up the set I just started playing around with the elements we had as furniture and decoration in the Palazzo: a wood globe, some couches with vey old brocade…
The result was just amazing, very high fashion and we ended up creating another little story which went on with the competitive theme between the girls, this time without the need of a man but just competing between each other for the most fabulous shot.
They were both great, which ended our little game absolutely even and gave us some amazing shots.

It was a long day, and after these last looks everybody felt like it was time to call it.
Anna and I left the team in the Palazzo and headed back to the station after sneaking in a vaporetto (bus boat) as we were way too late to walk there.
In the end we could have actually walked and stopped for dinner somewhere as well as due to an accident the train left over an hour and a half later… As usual I get so emotional about the beauty of my country and about how easy it is to live in a wonderful way there, but if you have dreamt about working in Italy let me kindly recommend you to change dream or relocate it somewhere closer to Germany!

What can I say: shooting with Nina in Venice was a fantastic experience which made me realize one more time how much I love this job.
I was so delighted to be there with these amazing people who are not only great at what they do but who also manage to make everyone feel confident and relaxed while working, which is such an important part of being a member of a team.
I was also very proud of our creature, Flawless Magazine, that everyone seemed to love and which will feature some of these beautiful images as well…
I am sure that until we will have fans such Nina and James our magazine is going to grow better and better shooting but shooting.

Thank you, Nina, and thank to all the guys for such a fantastic day which made me see Venice under a very different and unique light and which I will never forget…

And you all, enjoy the pictures and stay tuned!

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