As you know, we had a very busy weekend with a two-day photo shoot last Friday and Saturday for our Autumn/Winter colour collection and if that wasn’t enough for the team, Friday night was our Theatre trip to see Jane McDonald on her current tour.
We have been working for weeks on the organisation of the photo shoot, this was a first for Mia Tui and so we had no previous plan to work from. Friday morning dawned with Charlotte and I in our starting positions, adrenalin pumping and probably a look of trepidation in our eyes had anyone looked closely! Charlotte was meeting Samantha at one station and I met Cristina at another. On Saturday morning, again off we trotted to various train stations but this time slightly more relaxed following the success of the previous day! All the ladies who modeled for us over the two days were Mia Tui customers not professional models so this was a new adventure for them too!
Expose Media were hosting the shoot at their studios, Chris the photographer and Tom the videographer probably had no idea what was in store for them over the next two days (probably the best way with hindsight!) They got away fairly unscathed on Friday as there was only Cristina, Samantha, Charlotte, me and Emma who came to help us out. Saturday….well that’s a whole different story, we had more ladies Carla, Barbara, Emma, Gianna and her lovely daughter Annabelle. In the afternoon we also had Charlotte's daughters and their friends pop in to give us some last minute teen shots. There was a fair amount of choccy biscuits and Quality Street consumed (for energy purposes obviously ..) over the course of the two days!
We had set everything up on Thursday at the studios, so we got straight down to shooting short videos first thing. The videos are for the website to help customers visualise the size of the individual bags and what they look like when worn. It all sounds pretty straightforward and once Tom and Charlotte had run through what they were looking for from our models, they all relaxed into it very quickly. After a couple of practice walk on/offs, they were loving the camera! Over the course of the two days, I did hear a couple of ladies say “You don’t realise how hard it is to walk when you have to think about it!” Taking direction from Tom and Chris, all the ladies made it look so easy and their natural personalities shone through in all the stills that Chris took.
The videos didn’t really need clothes changes as we had planned to make this all about the bags rather than outfits. We kept the clothes simple a pair of black jeans and light top was the look we went for to emphasize the bags. As you may have read in my previous blog post, we had spent a couple of days shopping for all our models' change of clothes for the different looks that we wanted. I’m not going to bore you with a list of retailers and clothes but suffice to say, there are some rocking looks at really affordable prices for the Autumn/Winter. Our models cover a variety of ages ranging from teens to 60s’ and we found looks for everyone really easy to achieve. On day 2, Emma got to wear a leopard print dress from Tesco (yes I said Tesco!) that we had all been coveting. I am sure you will agree she looked stunning! The dress has a real air of designer about it but guess what? It’s only £22. A MAZE ING!!! Barbara absolutely rocked a mustard biker jacket which she said she would never usually look at buying but secretly I think she enjoyed her "rock chic" moment! There was also a fab Mustard coat from New Look which Carla teamed with a navy jumper and dark navy jeans for a sharp classy look.
Both mornings of the shoot was given to videos and then a quick lunch gave way to a really fun afternoon, we were pulling outfits together for a variety of looks from occasion to work bags. On Friday Cristina and Samantha just came alive in front of the camera as did our Saturday models Barbara, Gianna, Annabelle, Emma and Carla (who is a presenter on QVC) There was a good deal of laughing and you may have seen the “lives” that we had been doing on Facebook and Instagram. I also did a little interview with the ladies that are on our IGTV channel (if you fancy taking a look). We wanted to give our social media followers a behind the scenes of the two days, as after all we plan to repeat this for our Spring/Summer 2019 collection and we want more of our fabulous customers to want to join us.
Gianna actually spent her birthday modeling for us which was lovely of her to do. Charlotte arranged a cake and some flowers and we all enjoyed celebrating with her!
Friday and Saturday flew by so quickly and we all had an absolute ball, and soon it was time to wave goodbye to the ladies and thank them for making the very first Mia Tui professional shoot run so smoothly. All the ladies who joined us for the shoot said that they really did have a great time and it was a really good experience.
On Friday, Charlotte was on station drop off duty and I made a dash to Milton Keynes Theatre to collect the tickets for our evening out. We met back at Charlotte’s house and I will be honest, we felt we had earned a little tipple. So with a glass of wine (just the one!) in our hands, we felt a quick FB live would be a good idea.
Now, over the years, there have been an array of double acts to grace the stage. French and Saunders, Little and Large, Morecombe and Wise (you see where I’m going …) but actually our “Relaxing with a little glass on Charlotte’s sofa” live seems to me to be a little more reminiscent of Patsy and Edina ;-) (google it if this is not ringing alarm bells!) To be fair, and in our defense (one comment did say “maybe don’t publish this one) we were absolutely shattered and the stress of the planning and joy of the fab execution of said plan had slightly drained away to a point where we were bathing in pure relief. So the live was maybe not the most professional one we have ever posted but we are real (Charlotte helped with that line) and, like all women, some days rock and some days don’t. When you have a rocking day you just need to shout about it and we did.
The live was followed by a change of clothes that even Mr. Benn would be proud of and a lippy touch up and voila a vision of loveliness appeared ;-)
Tickets at the ready, watch out Jane McDonald the Mia Tui team are on their way for a fab night out! The evening had been arranged for us by Jane’s PR team, as you may know, Jane likes to use her Mia Tui bags when she is traveling. We all had the most fantastic evening, Jane’s voice was beautiful and she can certainly keep an audience entertained with her sharp wit and jokes. The evening flew by and as Jillaine (Jane’s PR) had predicted we were up singing along and dancing! After the show, we were taken backstage to meet Jane. Although we have a close connection with her we had never met Jane. She really is exactly the same as she is on TV. Funny, charming and she took time to chat to us and tell us just how much she really loves using her Mia Tui bags when traveling. What you see really is what you get with Jane. We had a lovely glass (or two) of bubbly together and met some of her lovely family.
We also met a lovely group of Mia Tui customers who are also huge Jane fans and had a quick pic taken. The ladies had come to the show from all over the country!
As you can imagine, by now Charlotte and I were flagging a little so we had a quick photo op with Jane and then we all headed home – a great night had by all. Thank you, Jane!
And of course a huge thank you to all the lovely ladies who took part in our shoot. Cristina, Samantha, Barbara, Gianna, Annabelle, Emma and Carla (not forgetting Charlotte's two daughters Mia and Amelie and their friends Isobel and Olivia. You were all amazing!!