Fiona Jones from Jones and Co Photography in Farnham, Surrey adores photographing weddings. To be able to document all the emotions, the love and the laughter and produce fabulous imagery for her clients is just a joy for her. Often wondering what it would have been like to be a photographer during different times of our history and being drawn to the 1920s inspired her to shoot a ’20s styled bride as a portfolio piece – her interpretation of being a bride from this time of spectacular opulence.
Often referred to as the ‘Roaring Twenties’ it was a great time for new technology, discovery and advancement, and this was a time of prosperity for many; choosing the right location for the shoot was key to the overall look and feel of the imagery. Loseley Park, near Guildford in Surrey, a popular wedding venue Fiona has photographed on many occasions, was the obvious choice.
Built in the reign of Elizabeth I, Loseley Park stands in ancient Surrey parkland close to the North Downs. It remains remarkably unchanged since 1562 and is still the More-Molyneux family home. The stunning exterior and magnificent Grand Hall were exactly what Fiona had in mind when planning the shoot.
The dress came next. No.10 Bridal Boutique in Farnham, Surrey, is a stockist for gowns from the Madeline Isaac-James collection, designed by British designer Natalie Gladman. The exquisite ‘Theda’ was chosen for its vintage style, beautiful crystal detailing and elegant lines.
The model for the day was Rebecca Dyer, chosen for her classic looks that really suit the era. Farnham-based make-up artist Lisa Hancox transformed Rebecca into the aristocratic bride after researching make-up from the time and using her expertise to create the look.
She created a modern, wearable interpretation of 1920’s make-up, starting with a flawless base and applying flattering, natural shading and highlighting to the cheekbones.
Lisa paired a wash of grey and deep amethyst purple for a contemporary smoky eye with semi-matte berry lips. Beige-nude nail varnish was applied to Rebecca’s nails for the finishing touch.
Think of 20’s hairstyles and bobs, and finger waves and Marcel waves come to mind. Genie Jewell-Smith, an award winning session stylist, took inspiration from illustrations and Art Deco wedding trends, with a touch of Downton Abbey. The look was prepped with a waver and Label M Volume Mousse, then twisted ringlets were made around the perimeter for a loose woven texture. A finger wave was created across the face to deliver a style that harks back to the 20s but would look equally as glamorous on the red carpet today.
With the dress, hair and make-up all enhancing each other, and Rebecca looking the quintessential 1920’s bride, it was time to accessorise to add the finishing touches, and the team had such fun sourcing the vintage glitter! Every piece chosen was thoughtfully selected – from the beautiful appliqué diamanté headpieces, delicate lace gloves and strings of pearls.
Every bride needs a bouquet, and the bouquets of the era were typically huge, overflowing white blooms and cascading greenery. Eden Blooms, a creative local florist, had these images in mind when they assembled a classic Avalanche – spiraled stems of white wedding roses creating a hand-tied shower design, softened with soft ruscus foliage.
Fiona was influenced by the beautiful imagery of Muriel Finley as photographed by Alfred Cheney Johnston, and striking iconic shots of the Hollywood leading ladies, and wanted to produce images that would be highly evocative of these times. So, back in the studio the team set to work creating sets whilst Lisa and Genie gave Rebecca a change of style. They had the luxury of another 2 dresses to choose from, both quite different styles; another gown from the Madeline Isaac-James collection, ‘Robyn’, and a flapper style gown by Gina Bacconi. Each look was stylized and embellished with pieces from the beautiful array of accessories.
Genie wanted to construct a separate style for each set. For one set she gave Rebecca a classic and tidy bun with slight movement at the sides to give a modern edge, topped off with a diamanté hair piece, then changed again for a third look. This time the hair was kept low at the nape and swept to the side to create an undone chignon. For each of the styles Lisa paired the make up, enhancing the look, and the result was a fantastic vintage appearance with an air of the modern day bride.
The research, attention to detail and expertise from everyone involved have certainly created some stunning images. Beautifully posed and truly elegant they convey the luxuriousness of the decade with the delicacy and femininity of the 1920’s bride. Next spring’s cinema release of The Great Gatsby is sure to bring this fashion and style to the attention of brides-to-be who are hoping to recreate the glamour and sophistication of the time.
Photography: Jones & Co Photography
Venue: Loseley Park
Model: Rebecca Dyer
Wedding Dress Supplier: No.10 Bridal Boutique
Wedding Dress: Theda, Madeline Isaac-James
Make-Up and Nails: Lisa Hancox
Hair: Genie Jewell-Smith
Bouquet: Eden Blooms
Accessories: The Vintage Sparkle Company, Arnage Vintage