One of the key aspects of my role at Kettlewell, and one which I really enjoy, is choosing models – after all, they are the first people you see when you click on our website or thumb through the brochure that has just landed on your doormat. Finding the right faces to represent the brand is really important, and some of the models have come to feel almost like family over the years. As our collection grows, the number of shoots per season increases. Currently we book 6-8 models every 6 months and shoot in both studio and on location.
We’ve come a long way since the early days of the business, but I still get that same buzz when the models arrive at the studio and we start the casting process. Today they come from some of London’s top modelling agencies, such as Premier, Models 1, Select and Hive. When we first launched in 2004 we used friends and family for our photo shoots, but soon discovered that the key to showing off the collection in the best possible light is to use experienced models who understand how to create good shapes and know how to move without feeling self-conscious. With so many colours and styles to photograph in our collection and endless combinations, the photo shoots are tightly packed days and it’s important to have an experienced model and good team who work well together.
Of course, our model castings aren’t a simple case of whittling the choice down to the most beautiful women – our challenge is to find four perfect models who represent each of the seasons, as well as actually suit our clothes. Customers have pointed out in the past that some of our models have been too young or too skinny, and we really take that into consideration, paying attention to body shape and age, and looking at whether the girls are curvy or angular. As obvious as it may seem, they also have to look like they are enjoying what they are wearing and, most importantly have a certain energy to them – after all, colour is joyful.As I mentioned in last week’s blog, it’s never a good idea to guess your colours, models included, so we refer to a trained colour stylist for this task. For our latest casting, we were fortunate enough to be accompanied by House of Colour MD, Helen Venables, who brought her colour drapes and analysed all the models for us, which was no mean feat considering there were about 20 girls. Once their season had been identified we checked to see if they fitted our clothes. Keira, our in-house stylist and photographer, then gave each seasonally coded model a Kettlewell silky scoop neck to be photographed in – mint green for Springs, duck egg for Summers, rust for Autumns, sapphires for Winters.Later, back at the office, the hard work began in earnest, sifting through all the images from the casting before finally deciding on the perfect ‘Spring’ and ‘Winter’ to model part one of our next collection – ‘Spring’ Sophie for her sunny, energetic and engaging personality and sporty physique, and ‘Winter’ Violet (a dead ringer for the actress Rachel Weisz) for her glamorous dark looks and curvy figure. Find out how they both got on at our Spring/Summer 2017 collection shoot in next week’s blog.