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Plant writings, gardening thoughts & observations of Paul Hervey - Brookes, Award Winning Garden Designer & Plantsman.
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Monday, 14 September 2009

A sneak peak

Its said that Alfred Hitchcock used to put footprints on the floor for the actors to know where they were expected to move to in a scene. The Legendary Marlene Dietrich studied stills of actresses wearing gloves and came up with idea of adding little wooden blocks to the tips of her own gloves to give an elegant silhouette on film. Marlene also had a full length mirror to the side of the camera so she could see herself, and the lighting to ensure it was perfect and you will never see a picture of her without the butterfly shadow just under her nose.

What I love about these stories and the countless other ones like them is the attention to fine detail, obsessive perfectionism and down right potential to trick you get from the camera. With all that said, and the reason why I am saying it is because we had an opportunity to be part of a 'Fashion Through the 20th Century' photo shoot over the weekend which gave us the ideal close up to study what is an art form.
With countless models, makeup artists, stylists, hairstylists, costumes and not to mention photographers it was a very busy and very much
fun time. Another love of mine is vintage machinery so you can imagine my delight when an original 1940's jeep which saw action on the beaches at Dunkirk along with 1960's scooters and a 1950's ford pick up all turned up to be part of the show. I could have spent all day just breathing in the scent of oil and worn leather! Some of the props where rather amazing, our own Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniels were used in a 1950's shoot with 3 stunning young ladies and some flower arrangements over 6ft high were also created for the show.

Now I spent quite a while looking at the flowers, burnt spindle berry foliage had been combined with dried Eucalyptus gunni to amazing effect. If you have not seen it dried the Eucalyptus takes on a much deeper metallic sheen which looks although moodier and brooding. Other nice touches which made these arrangements stand out from the ordinary was the addition of grasses such molina and muhlenburgia. I also spotted some tree lupin foliage which was soft to the touch and silky from the tiny hairs.

I have included my own, bad pictures of the day but sadly they do not convey the atmosphere or the excitement of the day however I can assure you I did learn a few tricks of camera!


Anonymous said...

what a lovely day you all had. The garden is lovely and we have been up to see you at the nursery before. All I ask is where are your photo's especially with all the practice at Malvern in the spring!

Anonymous said...

Hi, it was a great day and everyone had a lovely time. I'm the mum of one of the models, the gardens are amazing and being able to watch the shoot was brilliant. I've told everyone to have a day out and visit the gardens, even though they look lovely in the photo's they are even more beautiful in real life!

Paul Hervey-Brookes said...


The photo-shoot was a great day, I was not in them because I am not a model and have not been blessed, alas, with height or model looks. Some of the models where at Malvern Autumn Show and looked amazing in the Harvest clothes. Next time either of you come to the garden, please pop up to the nursery and say hello to either Sean or myself we would be delighted to see you!

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