Hi everyone! We’re so happy to share our first Style Lab look, and all of the adventures that came with it. Chasing unicorns with Mystery Man is always thrilling!
Every year, the Luisa via Roma’s Style Lab edition in February showcases spring looks, so even though it’s winter outside, most styling consists of skirts and dresses. To be honest, with the adrenaline pumping we didn’t even realize how cold it was outside till much later in the evening.
For this look, I wanted to capture the essence of spring by embracing florals and structured pleats. To add some definition at the waistline and a hint of contrast to the delicate colors and prints, I paired a belt with hardware elements to the feminine silhouette.
We had quite an adventure with this Style Lab edition. I mentioned earlier in this blog post that we wanted to attempt a different style of photography, and as much as we tried, things just proved to be more difficult than we imagined. Inspired by a nontraditional way of capturing images, MM wanted to extract a still image from a video clip, so instead of using a photography camera we wanted to experiment with a film camera. The goal was to capture organic movements. We spent the day before Style Lab testing this technique and footage. After many takes and reviewing the footage afterwards, we compared the results against traditional photography and saw that the images were not as sharp as we wanted them to be. MM packed all of his equipment to Florence in anticipation for this shoot. He even ordered supplementary equipment to prepare for this new technique, and as much as we wanted it to work, the results did not match our hopeful expectations. We still want to experiment with this technique, but next time, we’ll try it again with a higher performance film camera.
Even though we had to give up the filming approach, we were determined to stick with our original goal – to capture movement. Movement can be captured in many ways… the dress moves with the wind, the activity creates movement, or both. One thing about Style Lab is that we don’t know what clothing pieces are available until we get to the Luisa via Roma store. For this edition, light flowy dresses were not available (or at least we didn’t see any when we were there), so we couldn’t depend on the item to waltz with the wind. We had to create movement. MM and I brainstormed and we decided to capture the liveliness of spring by styling with a colorful dress on a bike.
Taking pictures in Florence for Style Lab is one of the best and most artistically challenging experiences. Every blogger is given about 4 hours to style and photograph the different looks. Hair and make-up at the beginning shaves off about an hour, pulling the different looks about 30 minutes, doing interviews about 30 mins, and moving from location to location takes another 30 mins (or more depending on the distance and traffic). Realistically, MM and I had about an hour and a half to shoot two looks. We wanted the Ponte Vecchio as the backdrop to our bike shoot. Unbeknownst to us, the day of our shoot was a holiday so there was more (a lot more) foot traffic than normal. Maneuvering against a sea of people on a bike was a little difficult. Not only that, the bike was too tall for me, so I lost control a few times. One of the times, a little girl who was playing with her brother jumped off the pedestrian walk lane into the bike lane as I was coming down. Our paths crossed as my bike gently brushed against her leg and we both almost kissed the ground. Luckily, no one got hurt!
In order to capture me in motion, MM had to run a few feet in front of me, wait for me to ride by, and run again. We were across the street from each other and I could hear him say, wait for me, and see him running in my peripheral. It was pretty funny. We were both panting (more him than me) and laughing at the end of each run. And then later, instead of running, MM rode in the passenger seat of an electric car parallel to me. I could hear him say… A little faster! Slower! Me? No, I was talking to the driver! It was a little hard to communicate from across the street with all of the street noise. Oh what an experience! The rush of chasing unicorns, the fear of falling off the bike, the site of seeing my MM run with his camera in hand, and the beauty of Florence dancing by!
We love chasing unicorns and I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else but him. Even though we were quite anxious leading into Style Lab, we reminded ourselves that the most important part was to have fun. A bike in Florence against the Ponte Vecchio. What more can we ask for?! And the best part of all… it was his birthday!
To my dear MM, happy belated birthday my love! You are one of the most talented and brilliant people I know. Thank you for being my anchor and for always encouraging me to chase my dreams. Thank you for always pushing and for never being satisfied with the status quo.
Thank you so much for reading and for being on this journey with us!
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