Of course I was delighted to be named the Home and Lifestyle Editor for Wellington Woman Magazine. I have been really impressed with what Lauren Mann, the Editor-in-Chief, has done with the magazine in the three issues she’s been running this publication. Lauren works really hard at all levels of the magazine from dropping copies off to selling advertising, from planning new issues to working on the current one. Even with all that work on, I always find her to be really happy, smiling and calm. I’m looking forward to the future and what we will be able to achieve with the magazine, as well all the written pieces I will be a part of.
The inspiration for the December cover shoot was Christmas. For me, being from the UK, my immediate thoughts turn to fireside snuggles, the smell of oven roasted food and mulled wine, the deep colours of winter and white snow. Living in the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve had to change my thinking as it’s all upside down to what I know. Christmas here in New Zealand is about warm sunny days at the beach, outdoor lunches at the family batch (holiday home), summer dresses, and long evenings with lots of light.
I wanted the styling for this cover to have that informal eclectic feel we do so well here in New Zealand. I had spoken to Lauren about the colour themes as we decided not go with the traditional and look to something feminine, pretty and informal. As the magazine audience is mainly women I thought there was nothing better than a bit of pink and gold for our festive scene. Both myself and Kate Marinkovich, the Food Editor for Wellington Woman and from Tomboy Cakery, who joins me on the cover, loves pink and flowers, too.
Planning time for shoots can vary, but this one had a more intensive feel as we were watching the weather. When it looked good for the start of the week, Lauren made the call that we would go for it and we got the perfect sunny day. Flowers are always last minute, so I am used to having to gather materials at the midnight hour and food is the same. Kate brought everything to Boomrock, our location for the day, and we chose the plates and props from the selection I brought along as she plated on site and we shot the recipes.
It was quite an honour to appear on the cover for this shoot, as it was my introduction in my new role for Wellington Woman. It changed my usual routine on set as I usually arrive and go straight into setting up, but this time I went straight into hair and makeup with Natalee Fisher, the Beauty Editor for the magazine. I stayed in my own clothes whilst we set up and shot the recipe images and organised the Christmas table for the cover shot, then I changed into my beautiful dress from Wilson Trollope and adorned myself in as many jewels as I could from TORY & KO. Christmas is, after all, about a bit of sparkle here and there.
If you think modeling is easy, I can tell you it’s really not. It’s pretty much an art form. The subtle movements you have to make, while getting direction from the photographer. Have a quick blink – and then, in this case, keep a natural pose – whilst trying to look animated without moving very much. Phew!! All of this happens while you are wondering if your chin is in the right position, and how does my hair look… really? Am I holding the same pose? Am I doing it right? I think I was holding the “cheers pose” that made it to the cover for about 20 minutes, all the time being directed to make very slight adjustments to my face, body, hands and shoulders. So it’s amazing I look as happy as I do, I think it’s down to the talented Louise Hatton, photographer, more than anything, certainly not my modeling skills.
I have many favourite memories from this shoot, such as the liquorice meringue recipe that Kate has shared in the issue.. Delicious! The powdered liquorice is a showcase product from Moore Wilsons and adds a cracked pepper like detail to the plating. I also fell in love with the blush plateware we used from Cittá Design, a cool little store here in Wellington. A little side note: it’s pronounced “CH-I-TTA”. I loved it when I saw it in the store (I worked with them for my Wellington on Plate shoot) and it was a perfect pairing for our luxe, blush and gold theme for this cover. The little white decoration charms appearing in some of the recipe shots were from there, too, and I love how versatile they are: Use them on your Christmas tree, on your napkins and the hearts and stars you could use all year around, they were under $5 each too. I really like the range in store at Citta Design, it’s really nice quality for the price point and it’s always worth keeping an eye on their new season releases for some inspiration.
Make sure to pick up the Christmas Issue of Wellington Woman with its fabulous red sparkly title. It is available from Mojo cafes and New Worlds around the Wellington region and keep an eye for future issues, where I will share lots of homes, life, and style with readers.