Tuesday, April 3, 2012

M&S: Spring 'Collezione' Shoot

M&S S/S 2012

Picture taken by me, Oxford Street (London)
January 6, 2012
Ph: Uli Weber

By David Gandy

After a gruelling 3 weeks that took me from London to Paris, London to Puerto Rico, London to Miami and then London to NYC, I was thoroughly looking forward to the sun, scenery and sand of Sicily, which was the destination for my 3rd shoot for the Collezione campaign with Marks and Spencer. The team for Collezione all know each other well now, so unlike many dreaded trips of introductions and not knowing quite what is in store, these trips are always a pleasure and the team is like a well oiled machine. But who is this on the call sheet? David Nolan? Fresh meat, perhaps? David is actually the new stylist for this trip, what has he let himself in for?

On Sunday morning I make my way to Heathrow to meet with hairdresser Larry (I’ve just noticed he always wears small oval glasses and his name rhymes with Harry…so call him Larry Potter immediately, for my amusement if no ones else’s). 5 hours, yes 5 hours later, and I’m still at Heathrow airport with Larry Potter (the new joke now wearing thin) and the plane grounded due to fog. We miss our connecting flight in Rome and land with 30mins to spare for the next one. A kind man for Alitalia escorts us - now rather irate – English and Italians to the flight for Sicily. Finally in Sicily we drive an hour (in the rain) to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the crew – most of the team arrived yesterday to prepare the locations, they certainly had found a lovely location at the Hotel Metropole, with a somewhat cloudy view of Sicily. Not that this location was to be used for the shoot you understand, this was just for dinner (ooooh the hard ships we endure).

After 12 hrs travelling, the good news is, its been raining for the last 2 days and it will continue for the next couple of days and if that wasn’t bad enough, I realise I’ve lost my passport as I try to check in to our wonderful AshBee hotel…oh the glamour of international travel.

After 5 hours sleep, my room is invaded by people. Usually it would just be Larry and our understanding of a no speech policy until after our first coffee is broken by the film crew. Oh yes, I have a film crew with me who are filming a documentary and they want a commentary of every move I’m making. I’m not good at talking at the best of times (just ask my ex-girlfriends) but at 6am in the morning…the ‘bear with a sore head’ analogy comes to mind. We meet everyone for breakfast, faces are a little anxious as the rain is still falling and this is a spring/summer shoot, at this moment I wish Larry Potter would wave his magic brush and wizard up a miracle.

We head to the old Sicilian train station (the only location with cover). Within 20 mins, even with all the hurdles so far, Uli Weber (the photographer) and his assistants perform miracles with lighting and cameras and the pictures look wonderful. The train station provided a wonderful back drop and a real story and depth seems to preside in the pictures, somehow they seem to be the best we’ve produced so far. The clothes are helping though. There are some pieces in the collection that astonish me. There are such design details and style with such quality cloths that Ralph Lauren and Armani would be proud to have them in their collections, a navy linen pin stripe jacket stands out and it will certainly be in my collection for next year. David ‘fresh meat’ Nolan turns out to tie a tie with the best of them and this is enough for me and him to become friends instantly, that’s how easy I am (just ask…actually I wont finish that).

We all finish the last shot back at the hotel and have been shooting with such efficiency we even have time for a few variation shots before the sun goes down. We all celebrate with a well earned and triumphant beer. Cant wait for everyone to see the shots. And talking of shots there was the wrap dinner…but that’s a whole different story!



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