To Discuss My Inspiration For The Dress HOPE And Ultimately Shooting At Tallebugera Creek, I Need To Start From The Beginning.
COVID-19 hurt many industries around the world and Australia was no exception. Within the space of a few weeks in March, many industries, including the wedding industry, were shut down, with no certainty of when business would reopen. Then the Australian government required we go into lock down, which successfully flattened the curve and saved Australia from the crisis that many other countries were not so lucky to escape. At the time, there was much doubt and worry as to when we would open again and what the industries would be like when we did reopen. Unfortunately since this shoot, Victoria and New South Whales have not been so lucky, with the second wave of COVID-19 having more than double the amount of infection, compared to the first wave Australia wide.
As a business owner, mother, and wife I wanted to protect my family, which in turn helped protect others. I put us into quarantine for longer than the mandatory time, where only my husband left the house for work and upon his return, strict sanitising protocol was enforced to keep our family COVID-19 free. This also gave my team and I a lot of free time, as all my brides who were to marry up till August, had no choice but to postpone their wedding and in turn, their appointments with me.
Helena Couture Designs is not just a career for me. Designing and sewing evening and bridal gowns was a hobby since my teenage years, which lead to a three-year, fulltime course in a Diploma of Applied Arts in Fashion Design. From there and with the encouragement of my husband and other family members, became my career, which I am deeply passionate about. If I was to have stopped working altogether during COVID-19, you might as well have chopped my arms off, as Helena Couture Designs is not just my bridal label but a very strong part of who I am. It was at this time I knew I needed to work out what my team and I were going to do, to keep me from falling into a depressed state and that’s when I came up with an idea that would keep us all busy. That is when my range of COVID-19 dresses were born.
I decided during the initial lock down I was going to design a dress or two, and HOPE was inspired from the feel of hoping to come through unscathed. It is essentially a simple, playful backless dress with a dramatic halter plunging v neckline. It is the quintessential combination of modern design and sheer elegance. This dress was designed for the model, coinciding with the couple’s passion for the Gold Coast’s playful lifestyle and their interests in health and fitness.
The beach seemed to be the obvious choice for the story of this photo shoot destination, themed with a rather grand twist. To contrast the subtle sand and blue tones of the beach scene we utilised ornate gold leaf cake décor with hand-crafted sugar flowers, golden candelabras, and lounge props. The blue of the sky and ocean tied in with the groom’s mid blue linen suit and the lounge cushion. The sand complimented the warm tones of the golden candelabras and ivory dress. The atmosphere created was intimate and sophisticated within a relaxed playful beach environment. Extraordinary!
I also loved the additional photo opportunity with old weather-worn trees with exposed gnarly roots and impressive branches. Mother nature showcasing her beauty and strength. The icing on the cake was being able to incorporate local Aboriginal art on the wall leading to Burleigh Head National Park. It all worked amazingly well and was exquisite.
The photo shoot itself was a huge team effort and an amalgamation of diverse creative talents. I initially designed my dress HOPE, then each other professional was invited to showcase their ideas with artistic licence, to compliment the style of the shoot. Even though many of us had not worked together before, being professionals, the shoot ran with ease.
I would like to thank my team of creative industry professionals, who helped turn my dream, this shoot, into a reality…
Let us hope that the worst of COVID-19 is behind us, as we look forward to celebrating many weddings and other family gatherings, which have been on hold for over two years.