We have had a number of fashion shoots in the past. The first was with Kutchinsky with the famous Norman Parkinson, followed by one for Tatler and then a German lingerie company (which required extra heating). Luckily, the Miss Selfridge team came to Eastnor during a warm week and were able to shoot inside and out, without any special arrangements having to be made.
One image shows Katie Pearson and Nicola St Louis sorting out some of the 8 rails of clothes, referred to generically as “garments”, before taking them back to London for the official launch of the latest catalogue. Over sixty images were saved by Jackie Dixon, the photographer and a selection will eventually be offered in catalogue form and on line. They were able to use quite a number of areas in the house and grounds, but I do not expect it will be obvious that we are the location.
The other image shows the Octagon saloon converted into garment warehouse for the shoot. It is the ideal room for it as it is sparsely furnished and used for breakfasts, lunches, dancing and drinking and corporate off-site meetings. Until 1939, it was used by my grandparents as their drawing room as my grandmother did not like the Pugin Gothic Drawing room next door. It has a carpet which was re-made new in China, a copy of the Indian original made in Amritsar for the room in the 19th century, and a bust of my father, who used to receive Land Rover guests there before they set up their main centre in the old kitchen gardens: / he would have enjoyed the latest spectacle.
We have loved having Miss Selfridge here, and I am only sorry my wife and daughters have been away this week, though there were no cast-offs for them to pick over. Perhaps they will buy from the catalogue instead.
JH-B 5th July 2013
My mother used to allow a local supplier to photograph his outdoor products on the lawns in the castle grounds, our first business of this kind. Then we progressed to fashion shoots for Kutchinsky, with Norman Parkinson taking the photographs, and Tatler magazine, where one of the models was Sienna Miller.
Now, we have just had a fashion shoot for ladies’ underwear, which was booked at short notice at a time when we are not yet open most of the week for visitors, although some might perhaps have enjoyed watching. We cannot give a preview of the products, which have yet to be launched, so the photograph just shows the design and photography team, with one of the models (for the avoidance of doubt, in the middle of the group!).
The crew have enjoyed working here as they are generally free to use our furniture if they want, and to move it about as necessary. It is an advantage not being a museum and having more flexible guidelines as to what we do with the contents. The models seemed to be happy too, and one said she would like to come back and be married here. The house was warm, which seemed to help in the circumstances. We also enjoyed having the shoot here and hope they will return. JH-B 11th June 2010.