Lisa Tant shows you how we pick what goes in each fashion shoot

Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Chris Nicholls

We started shooting our fall fashion and beauty stories earlier this month. Our fashion room, a long narrow space around the corner from my office, was overflowing with racks upon racks of clothes, and the shelves were packed with footwear, handbags and accessories. Two days before our big Canadian location shoot, the clothes spilled out into the hallway and a nearby boardroom.

What do we decide to shoot? We started planning our major fall fashion features – photo shoots and articles – immediately after Paris Fashion Week which wrapped in March. Liz Cabral, FLARE‘s Fashion Director, and her team edited images from more than a hundred shows for our August issue’s trend report. Then we narrowed down which themes make sense for a cold Canadian winter. We always cover the highest impact trends – like the major military inspiration – in our all-important September issue. And every summer we travel to a different Canadian location to do the shoot. Last summer, Liz and Chris Nicholls, our top Toronto-based photographer, went to the Yukon.

Once I’ve approved the stories, Liz will decide upon her favourite looks from Europe, New York and the local market that best reflect the theme. For example, Burberry Prorsum was a standout collection – we all loved it – that had some of the best examples of military. Then she’ll collaborate with the photographer on the mood of the story before presenting her ideas to me and Tanya Watt, FLARE‘s Art Director. Our decisions will be based on the overall look and flow of the entire issue. For example, in September, we’ll have a balance of studio and location shoots, plus contrasting looks of models, hair and makeup, and styling direction.

The clothes are delivered to FLARE a few days before the shoot – every piece is catalogued by our team of brilliant interns. Liz spends a lot of time in the fashion room putting together different outfits. She has an excellent eye and does a great job of mixing high and low priced labels, plus unexpected styling twists. The day before the shoot, she’ll present her final outfit ideas to me. We rarely argue. Liz and I have worked together for more than ten years. This time, I only nixed a couple of pieces – and then it all gets packed and ready to go.

Each photo shoot is a huge amount of work. The joys of shooting on location will have to be saved for another blog. You’ll see Liz’s first Canadian location shoot in our September issue and the second one in our October issue.

I’ll be back again next week. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter