It’s official, Chantal Mallett has been creating one of a kind, couture bridal gowns for clients for 20 years & to celebrate we have undergone a rebrand & relaunched the website.
But that’s not all, we also collaborated with some very talented creatives, also based around London, to create a new set of images for the relaunch & we’re sharing some of the shot’s not found elsewhere on the website here, along with the ‘behind the shoot’ story.
Have you ever had one of those days when you had something big happening, that needed all of your energy & attention but the day was such enormous fun & full of laughter & even when you get home & it’s time to go to bed, you can’t stop talking about it? Well, much like a wedding day, our day spent at Danesfield House, Hotel & Spa in Marlow was one of those days!
Driving through the Berkshire countryside at dawn in late February with the first hints of sunshine teasing us, my photographer Sanshine Photography & I, having motorway-ed it most of the way, had driven the last few miles to Danesfield House through pretty market towns & country roads before turning into their gateway.
There’s something rather exciting about arriving at a shoot, to a venue you have only seen in photographs. Number one, you are rather relieved that sat nav has found this quietly, inconspicuous entry to Wonderland & two, there is that childlike feeling of wonderment & expectation as you follow the tree lined drive to the front door & see another English jewel rising majestically in front of you.
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This jewel was white with touches of gothic architecture & as we all stepped into the foyer, we were met by warm & hospitable staff who led us through a series of beautiful rooms to the Versailles Suite. I won’t bore you with a whimsical & detailed description of the gilded ballroom with it’s lovely bridal colour palette & copious grand chandeliers because the website is filled with images of it. What we will say is that, as with many of these venues, there is this air of elegance & tranquility & sense of stepping away from the hubbub of normality into another world, that makes them so special & perfect for weddings.
Our day was starting at 7.30am & it was straight to Victoria Percivals‘s hair & make-up station, where, in a flash Dani’s hair was curled & pinned up & her make-up underway. We had a number of looks to shoot & would be loosing the light by late afternoon.
By 9am we were shooting stills & a video courtesay of Edgas Vs of Wedding Films London & the day flashed by with laughter & the, you had to be there, funny moments & the pre-requisite behind the scenes photos of silliness that camera phones were made for – photos that, that night, were uploaded & shared & laughed at on group chat, when all of us should have been in our beds asleep.
With the 20th Anniversary at the forefront of my mind – the venue, the look, the way we shot the collection encapsulated 2o years of my design ethos & vision & beyond that my formative years as a child & teenager; discovering & loving fashion & design before it became my career.
My first introduction to fashion was when I was quite young, getting out of bed & going down stairs because I was ill & being allowed to watch Miss World on the television (the irony that Dani our model is both a model & real life beauty queen). The sense of theatre I get from my ballet dancer mother & grandmother, who also taught me to sew. At 8 I was given my first sewing machine, I went to school in an architectural gem that was a Rothschild Mansion & as a teenager I digested Haute Couture from Lacroix, Ferre, Westwood & Galleano worn by supermodels from the pages of late 80’s Vogues. It is rather fortunate that my creativity is balanced with an interest in how things are put together, that certainly comes from my engineer father.
Having wanted to be a designer & create clothes from a relatively young age, it is always such an indulgent dream come true to be on a shoot capturing the sort of images that I saw back when I was leafing through Vogue at 15 & it’s a it’s a feeling that never grows old! Just as it is wonderful to look back & see the journey & remember the brides & the dresses we have created for them over the past 20 years, whilst looking forward to meeting future brides & spinning their dreams into reality.
On this special shoot, we had a brilliant team of wedding professionals on board; not all of us had worked together before but work well together we did & we can’t recommend these wonderful friends & colleagues enough:
Sanshine Photography runs on Duracell batteries & creativity from the second she picks up the camera to the moment it is packed away. We have worked with San several times on styled shoots before & her images are always fantastic.
Victoria Percival is a total perfectionist; I met her at an event, knew the second I met her that she was our kind of person & feel very smug, having worked with her, I was right! She is always on top of the touch ups & whispy stray hairs & is that extra pair of hands that appears just when you need them, be it to lace a boot or pass clothes or pull out a train.
Edgar Vs is the quiet man, who films the scene beautifully, whilst never getting in the way. The concept for the video was ‘moving photographs’ that capture the same romantic, luxe mood & tone of the shoot. We know our dresses look great moving & don’t rely on being posed to look good, so we wanted a video with the vibe of a music video or cinematic trailer to bring to life the Chantal Mallett bride & we are thrilled with the results.
We’d also like to thank the staff at Danesfield, who looked after & accommodated us so well & to Dani, who was our beautiful model.
We hope you love the images & the new site, which today was also blogged by the fabulous Jessica of Deluxe Wedding Blog
Short version of Wedding Films London’s video: