The planning for the Spring Summer photoshoot starts in December when the initial concepts are played out for the season. Spring is the perfect season to showcase the best of Donegal, our home and the place where much of our inspiration stems for the collections.
Inspirational mood boards for SS20
The process evolves at Milan in February, our main textile show, when choosing fabrics for the collection. At times it can be hard getting excited about linens and the beach as the snow falls in Europe in the middle of winter, but the fashion world is always two seasons ahead.
Selecting fabrics at Milan
A photoshoot has a glamorous ring to it, but involves rather mundane planning and logistics, in particular chasing samples around the world to make sure they arrive on time. However it does have its exciting elements – pulling together the long-planned outfits and creating a story around the collection, we finally see those initial concepts coming to life.
The day arrives and with it, the hope it will be dry, we don’t mind if it is cloudy (better for the photographer) or windy but horizontal rain, so often found in Donegal creates a problem. We have managed over the years to combat all weathers – from snow, to gales and torrential rain. This year we chose Murvagh to shoot – a long sandy beach banked with Maran grass and dunes. Perfect for this year’s theme – a Sea Safari.
We have a brilliant team – Alex our photographer who we have used for the last few years – he has the ability to give Magee, a brand steeped in heritage, a cool and contemporary edge. We pull video into the day as well – a vital medium for the digital age we live in, Ciaran quietly works around Alex and brings the day to life with his engaging behind the scenes and collection videos. Add makeup, hair, models and our own patient, hardworking and enthusiastic team.
This season for men’s we are using Roelof, a fun and classically good looking South African model who we shot a few seasons ago. (The key is ensuring our models work with our brand profile and fit our clothes – we have had a few disasters over the years, with wooden models and those that simply do not fit our garments, despite their profile size and reassurance from the agency…)
The day usually starts with makeup and hair around 0700. By the time Roelof arrives we are ready to shoot the first shot at about 0900. This year we started with our capsule collection of casual lux – a contemporary, branded range of Irish Linen shirts, pants, sweats, polos and tees – a very new look for us! We try to get the bulk of the shots in before lunchtime – about 1400 and tend to work through about 12 – 14 shots a day, with casual clothing it is easy, but suits create require more tweaking to ensure they look sharp.
My aim is to ensure the shots look great but also that the day is relaxed and fun. If everyone is happy the shots and videos are so much better. The results below speak for themselves, a sneak preview into our SS20 collection – launching January 2020.
An Irish Linen suit designed and woven by us styled with an Irish Linen grandfather shirt. Suit available from February 2020