When: July 2021
Team S x C: Erin, Mim, Jem, Bonnie, Ella, Katy, Pippa, Jade, the entire team, myself and my dear friend Vy.
On a rainy and cold Sunday arvo in July, we arrived at The Oxford House in Hepburn Springs to shoot our beloved Anabelle collection. Amidst the chaos of 2021 and all the plans that never happened, we’ve managed to (almost) pull off two successful photoshoots, which I am thanking my lucky stars for.
Soo let's start from the beginning then shall we…?
You'd think I paid someone to place that duck there... nup just plain ol' luck. ;)
First things first - we unloaded the truck (shoutout to Aus for driving this beast), our overflowing cars and then picked our rooms for the week. Now, just to paint a picture of The Oxford house? It is HAAA-UGE! It goes on and on and on and on. Situated just past the main strip of Hepburn Springs, on a corner nestled amongst a thriving tangle of trees. So many hidden nooks to be found on this beautiful property! A yoga studio outside, multiple decks, a large backyard and my faaaavourite feature of all?! An outside bathroom and sauna with the most beautiful stained glass window I ever did see.
My only regret: not utilising that bath after work... kickin' myself.
There’s just something about this sleepy part of Victoria that instantly leaves me feeling calm. The streets are full of old-school charm, there’s green as far as the eyes can see and it’s just oh-so-quiet. Peaceful. So once everything was set for the week ahead, we headed to The Royal Daylesford Pub and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner together. We were off to a flying start.
Misty mornings in the backyard at The Oxford House.
By 8:00am sharp the rest of the crew had arrived and we were reunited with Armelle, Heather and David… the #ATEAM was back baby!! And the wonderful Jade had also travelled down too. Now, little did we know, that day one was going to be the *only* bitta’ sunshine we’d see for our entire stay. Shooting a spring/summer collection can be a little tricky when it rains 24/7 but looking at the photos you’d never know. Bonnie put her hand up to curl my hair and accidentally burnt my forehead… oooopsy! It was as if I’d predicted the mishap the week prior as my freshly cut bangs covered the gash no problemo! Bonnie on the other hand, was a little traumatised.
... before the rain started.
Go David, GO! Steaming master.
Design team... and the look of lurveeee.
Heather Nette King is like a real life fairy godmother…… who sprinkles her magic dust across a room and transforms it into a wonderland of colour and romance. Every day looks like a scene from The Great Gatsby or Alice In Wonderland. And then in comes the legendary Armelle Habib to capture it all. It’s a joy to watch. The first set of the week featured our sweet Cordelia print and instantly, we got the feeling that Anabelle was going to be one to remember. In the arvo we sat on the deck to eat in the sun, FYI - Cliffy’s Emporium is a musssst and they catered our lunch every day on this shoot. I highly recommend trying their brownies. The rest of day one flew by.
I wish someone had filmed our reactions upon seeing this set with our cushions. HEAVEN!
This woman can do no wrong @armellehabib.
The daily lunch pick up. Mim very excited for the vanilla slice she was about to receive.
Jadey on the tools (and eyeing off her wish-list).
Each morning started around the enormous table in the living room, with lots of coffee, scrambled eggs and discussions of a game plan for the day ahead. The rain had reaaaally set in by day two and we had to think of tactics to create summer vibes, inside. This was the first time I’d arranged to have my hair + makeup done professionally on a shoot and what a bluddy’ TREAT! Why the hell haven't I done this sooner? The lovely Ella travelled down to help for the day and we moved lotsaaaa furniture in the back quarters of this boundless place. Make no mistake, we made ourselves right at home here. Props were everywhere, cakes were being baked, funky tunes a blastin’ and rooms unrecognisable with giant bombs of colour.
Content on content on content. #ContentQueenz.
Steam, steam, steaaaam!! Featuring our Hadley Flat Sheet - wheat.
Every set being created was so different to the last and I couldn’t have been prouder of what we were creating as I stood back and took it all in. All that furniture moving, modelling and shoot chaos can make ya’ pretty hungry. Massive shoutout to Jem + Mim for cooking us wholesome AF meals every single night. I dunno’ how you do it but you nail it every time. Each day ended the same way, with some great convo’s around the lounge, yummy food and too many belly laughs to count. Oh and this particular day we snuck in a trip to the Daylesford Mill Markets - which by the way, I highly recommend. Half an hour was most certainly not enough time.
Just like that… it was already #humpday and the week was slipping away!! Now, I got a little irked at the weather by Wednesday…. howww the hell was it STILL raining? It’s all good and well having perfectly-curled-bouncy-hair but this weather had other plans for my glorious locks. But the good news was, that we had a really good pace going and were on track to get everything shot! #wahoo. And we really were just having a swell time together. AND the beautiful Katy came down to join us for the day.
Anabelle apparel... I love you!
On Wednesday afternoon we set off the fire alarm. Ohhh-em-geee it was loud. And I won’t lie, it was pretty scary too. I mean this house was *gigantic* and as we ran around like madmen checking that everything was safe, there was absolutely no sign of smoke but it would not stahhp. Turns out the alarm was playing up and with a quick visit from a local electrician… we could hear ourselves think again. Phewwwww. Perhaps I should have taken the alarm as a sign of disruption to come…
Wednesday evening marked my *favourite* memory of the entire week, 500 metres down the road was the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa. You beaaauty! Minutes after concluding shooting that afternoon, we were en route for a night of bliss. And blissssss it was. Luckily for us there was an issue with the standard springs we’d paid for. Hellooo free VIP upgrade. Lemme’ tell ya, these springs did wonders for my poor hips (and mind). I reckon I had the best sleep I’d had in years that night.
On the home stretchhhh! Pippa + Vy ventured down to lend a hand and we were all feeling pretty zen after our long night at the hot springs. And yes btw it was still raining. The team and shoot overall was running like a well-oiled machine. Nelly, Jude, Heidi, Chris and Macca were due to come down for the night and I couldn’t wait to see them. I also had cheeky plans to go to the hot springs for the second night in a row.
Now this is where things turned a little haywire. Someone yelled out the four words we’ve now come to dread, “they’re making an announcement”. Sometime after lunch we all gathered around an iPhone and watched closely as Dan told us we were to go into lockdown at midnight. Faaaar out. How were we going to get the million props back to our suppliers? How were we going to collect the moving truck? How could we get this house back in order in a couple of hours? Gahhhhh. Panic mode. But to cut to the chase...somehow we did it.
Mim & Jem wishing they'd slowed down on the beers the night prior...and also wondering if Air Tasker would be frowned upon. :P
Despite Dan dropping a bomb and us not being able to shoot the entire collection, I look back now after months in LD and couldn’t be more grateful that we squeezed this shoot in. It truly was one of the highlights of my year and I’m so lucky I got to share it with such an amazing group of people. Anabelle, we did you proud at The Oxford House and you might just be our greatest achievement yet. X