Modern, Fashion Forward, Asian inspired Editorial at the Branch Museum Richmond Virginia.

December 7, 2021

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Inspiration:

The inspiration for this shoot was pulled from a variety of sources. 

The initial inspiration was one of my all time favorite venues in England, Anyhoe Park.   They have a space, The Orangery, that is so whimsical and inspiring.

The room is mostly neutrals.  Shades of whites and creams with a bit of unexpected whimsy.  The texture and the interest of the room comes from the plaster collection displayed in a way that is similar to a museum.  There is a heavy focus on architecture, history, and classic sculpture. 

Venue:

I wanted to emulate the monochromatic, focus on textures, and keep this palate mostly neutral. The Branch Museum in Richmond, Virginia was the perfect venue for this.  It is an architectural museum, it has great plaster detailing, and great windows with lots of natural light.  It is a historic venue on Monument Avenue, a famous street in our country’s history. 

Florist:

Photosynthesis Floral Design, is so incredibly talented when it comes to her installation abilities.  Being an architecturally inspired shoot, I knew we had to do more than a tablescape. Photosynthesis, built living walls that framed the table creating an intimate environment for the guests.  Each floral, and branch was carefully designed to create structure and softness simultaneously. 

Cake:

To bring in more of a modern feeling we created a cake vignette. Using multi tiered acrylic towers we showcased a deconstructed wedding cake created by Maliha Creations. We kept with the monochromatic aesthetic, focusing on textures, and the colors coming strictly from the florals. It was framed beautifully by the The Branch Museums gorgeous windows. 

Stationery:

The stationery was an unexpected surprise, but I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out. Isidore Augustine received the same creative brief as the rest of the team, but she added added a touch of green.  I really think that little bit of green added such a layer of sophistication and polish to the overall vision.  The paper quality was a sensory experience, something that all couples should consider.  The invitation is the first insight into your wedding day experience.  You should stimulate the senses, and get your guests looking forward to what is to come. 

Swoon:

As a company, I want to make sure that we are showcasing various cultures, nationalities, abilities, body sizes, etc. There are many nationalities that are under represented in the wedding industry. With the current attention of the media being on Asian hate, I wanted to showcase, Asian beauty in our industry, without it being overly themed, or too traditional.  If we are being honest, their natural coloring, the porcelain skin and black hair also fit into the motif perfectly.  I can’t even explain to you how excited, and honored, I was, to be able to showcase an Asian who was also Albino.  I felt like I had found a beautiful unicorn. 

Hair and Make Up:

When working with various skin tones, and hair textures, who you hire as a hair and make up artist matters.  Not all makeup artists are cross trained in various ethnicities.  Emily Artistry is an incredibly talented, and fun, hair and make up artist who is cross trained in different ethnicities. She is quite literally an artist. She was able to blend in the skin tones, style the hair, and even add a pop or orange, to create a fresh and editorial look while still keeping the quality to where it looked amazing on both film and digital photography. 

Fashion:

It wouldn’t be a Swoon Soiree event without having a bit of color.  The Millia London gown was the perfect addition to an otherwise neutral theme. The color orange is so vibrant, and when used correctly can instill a feeling of energy and happiness.  When we are working with neutral pallets, I am very conscious to keep them exciting.  We are in this industry to celebrate.  The energy in the design should be exciting, feel good, and be fun.  The groom’s attire was elegant and classic, but tailored in a modern fashion. Our on site stylist, Justin Uglow, expertly styled the accessories we had pulled, and ensured that each look was flawless. 

The fashion and the details were carefully curated to showcase our clients personality.  They are bold, smart, and sophisticated.  Most of our clients appreciate high quality, heirloom pieces.  However, they are more modern, very stylish, and a bit rebellious. Blending these two aesthetics, is one of my favorite things to do.   I love mixing the unexpected to create something magical and new, while still maintaining etiquette, tradition, and quality. 

Photography:

All of this work would have been for nothing had it not been for the incredibly talented team of Nikki Santerre Photography.  Nikki has an incredible talent and such an eye for fashion, style, and movement, but also the traditional and heirloom quality that so many couples want for their wedding day.  She immediately embraced the concept, and added to that her creative understanding of the vision.  On site she is warm, and kind but also gives strong direction and ensures that the photo will look great. 

When selecting vendor teams, I work very hard in understanding everyones strengths and weaknesses.  I need to build a team that complements each other. If everyones professionalism, skill set, and creativity is in tandem, when we blend strengths, is when we see something amazing come out of it.  This team embraced the vision, put their creative touches on it, and worked quickly and efficiently on site. 

I feel that many people put so much pressure on weddings that they forget to have fun.  We are here to celebrate. If you have an intuitive design, a smart plan for logistics, and a stellar vendor team, you can have both.  You can have that traditional, heirloom quality, classic wedding, mixed in with a few unexpected details (dragons) and moments of surprise and delight for your guests. We are throwing the party of your lifetime.  It should be something magical. It should be specific to you. 

This editorial was recently featured on Magnolia Rouge

The vendors that made it happen:

 NIKKI SANTERRE SWOON SOIREE PHOTOSYNTHESIS BRANCH MUSEUM MILLIA LONDON EMILY ARTISTRY ISIDORE AND AUGUSTINE  DIAMONDS DIRECT BLACK TUX J CREW BRACKISH BOWTIE MALIHA CREATIONS LA TAVOLA MAISON DE CARINE LOUD VISION PRODUCTION PAISLEY AND JADE THE COLLECTION BY COURTNEY INGHRAM TOBY HAWES C/O KIM ALLEY ZARA ADAMS C/O THE ARTIST AGENCY JUSTIN UGLOW

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