NOT TO LOSE FOCUS, BUT IT'S SHOOT DAY!
Amidst these strange times, while we are cozying up in our flats, we found ourselves reminiscing on the intimacy of our photoshoots. The entire ambience is quite romantical. You know the kinds where we find ourselves a dark room and see what develops!
Shoot day is always a mixed bag of excitement, chaos, pressure, fatigue and adrenaline. A full day of assiduous labour could not be more gratifying when a team of creative minds work in synergy to create beautiful imagery.
It always starts at the drawing board for us. Once we had our collections ready, we were eager to tell our story. We started pulling inspirational images, keywords, props and thoughts for our mood board. The Amazonico collection for instance, was inspired by the wildest, dense most jungles with the idea that you could find the most fantastical, unsuspecting creatures in the unexplored wilderness. The entire concept revolved around the “Wild and Wonderful.” In true Bivain style, the collection morphed into the Magic realism sphere, deeply inspired by Frida Kahlo.
Although Amazonico is lead by the jungle theme, we didn’t want the literal forest as our backdrop. So we liked the idea of creating shadows of foliage on the bare walls, suggestive of the theme.
Ultimately, the Bivain customer is the quintessential taste-maker with discerning tastes and we wanted to stay modern and connected. We wanted a dark, moody, quirky setting, whilst remaining lux and sophisticated. Think a glass of scotch by the fireplace, a ton of coffee table books, some wild animal tusks or horns, all squinting in the shadows of the foliage. As humans, we tend to associate smells with memory and every time we smell a cigar we think of smokey, dark rooms and perhaps some deep jazz sounds. Every prop lends a thread to the weaving of the story. A lot of greens, greys, earthy browns, and various exotic indoor plants would be our colour palette.
Days before the photoshoot we started creating mini sets to stage each of our collections and gradually started to add and edit the props and accessories to create the look we envisioned.
I started my career in fashion as a visual merchandising intern when I was just 16 years old and I’m so glad to be able to use my experience in my own business. This merchandising process is most stimulating for me as it gets the creative juices flowing and starts to bring this drawing board fantasy to life.
I was also fortunate to have designed a salon cum library for our private clients who graciously allowed us to shoot at their premises. The cozy room with sleek grey panelling, tortoise shell coffee tables and a suede chaise was the perfect canvas for the shoot to which we added our plants, props and an eclectic touch of Bivainity!
Our brilliant photographer, has worked closely with us ever since we started in 2016. He has an MA from Paris and is such a good sport. P is always up for a challenge and together, we create tons of magic moments, like this one below. Shooting this particular set was a little time-consuming but also the most memorable. We shut all the curtains and made the room quite dark, and set up some Areca palms and house plants like the Ficus away from the frame. P improvised by making paper cones and folding cardboards to make focus lenses to create shadows of the plants on the walls of the frame. While I held back plants to create the right amount of shadow play and the mood lighting so the focus and brightness remained on our star cushions amidst all the various “objets de curiosité.” The entire mood created was resonant of a dingy Havana salon and we couldn’t be happier.
Just as this one, we had to prepare at least a dozen different distinctive sets to do justice to our unique cushions. Choosing the right furniture, colour schemes, props and accessories was incredibly fun. This was our visual version of...lets say…your big book of bed time fairytales from your childhood nursery.
We have always been really proud of our visual merchandising and I think a large part of product design is creating desirability. Tapping into people’s desire of a perfect home, outfit or look is paramount but to create novelty in the process is what excites us most. Realising images conjured up in the strange compartment of the right side of our brains drives us here at Bivain and I think it’s the most rewarding part of our design process. For us, we can give ourselves the pat on our backs only if our images relay the flax-golden tales we want to spin and do justice to our collections.