Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Behind The Scenes | Manchester Arndale SS16

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Last week I had the pleasure of joining Manchester Arndale on their SS16 shoot and get a sneak peek of what’s to come. Not only has Manchester Arndale been my go-to shopping centre growing up, the team there are just amazing people and a delight to be around so when I got invited down, I snapped their hands off!

Although I work in fashion everyday, it was great to go behind the scenes on someone else’s shoot, to see it through a different set of eyes and see how they get things done. The shoot itself took place outside the hustle and bustle of the city in my home area of Derbyshire at Ben Spriggs Studios. The studios were nestled in woodland and once inside, it was a complete transformation entering a white wonderland AKA Instagram heaven.

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There was a real buzz on set and myself and Lauren from Fashion Panic, quickly settled into the flow of the shoot, being introduced to all the crew and snapping away at all of the behind the scenes. Refinery’s Creative Director Darren ran through the aim of the shoot which this time round had a fresher and more directional angle than what Manchester Arndale has done before. A centre as wide and diverse as Manchester Arndale can be tricky to appeal to everyone but Marketing Co-ordinator Debs explained how the main markets are the student and younger professionals so naturally it made sense for them to focus on that sector.

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Young and directional it definitely was - the lovely Gemma Harrison was on set styling all of the looks (there were loads) and ran through all of the trends the shoot was covering. There was your usual monochrome mixed in with acid brights, ruffles and metallics to name a few. Whilst some of the looks may be more out there than your usual everyday pieces, the team wanted to inspire the customer and not simply tell them what to wear. Each trend was pulled together to give the customer a starting point, even if they don’t necessarily like the hero piece, to be inspired by its palette, its shape or even its fit. She coined the slip dress as a key piece for spring/summer - the team shot a stunning nude number from H&M with a statement lace back. Teamed with a heavy bomber, it made what would normally be more of a night piece, daytime appropriate too. Gemma summed up the shoot pieces: “It’s basically saying you can pull the trends and high fashion looks from the catwalk but you can put it into your wardrobe that’s affordable and easy to wear."

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Pieces were pulled from the vast catalogue of amazing shops and brands Manchester Arndale has to offer from New Look to H&M and TK Maxx to Topshop - I don’t envy the team who had the tiresome job of trawling the shops. Wait okay, maybe a little! Were all of the looks ones I would have immediately pulled together myself? No, but that’s what I want from fashion. I want the new, the fresh, the exciting and I want to be inspired. There was a bright orange jacket shot on the day that isn’t my personal taste but on shoot looked fantastic. And for someone like me, who to be honest, shies from colour, the orange vibe might make its way more subtly into my wardrobe into a statement necklace or even a coral lip. And that’s the great thing about fashion, it means different things to different people. You may interpret a trend completely different to your friend, the world would be a pretty boring place if we wore the trend exactly the same.

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The girl who made all of the amazing clothes come to life was model Nicole Harrison. I have to say, there wasn’t one look she didn’t completely own. You know a model is pretty kick-ass when she nails every shot, and I’m not going to lie, I was getting massively envious watching perfect shot after perfect shot flash up on screen. Even the ones off guard looked campaign ready and she was an absolute babe too. We managed to squeeze a few minutes in with Nicole and MUA Michael in between looks who explained the process behind choosing the looks for the day. Make-up was quite natural and allowed the clothes to speak for themselves and hair complemented each ensemble - initially we saw a slicked back straight style which was later switched up for a messy loose waves do.


If the unedited shots are anything to go by, the campaign looks to be on of Manchester Arndale's strongest yet combining killer looks at affordable prices, all brought together by a great marketing vision, a stunning model and an epic team. Stay tuned for the finished shots, a behind the scenes video and your chance to bag £50 to spend in the shopping centre itself.

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