Standing out but fitting in

Standing out but fitting in

Fashion trips were always quite intrepid. We got so caught up in our fashion bubble that we were often stupidly oblivious to our surrounds and their hidden dangers. In the Isle of Pines we went very far inland into dense forest to shoot inside a dank, watery cave. At one point, a native Kanak arrived and stood watching us closely for almost an hour, stony-faced and almost naked, holding a huge curved machete. And we just kept shooting. Nowadays there are so many occupational health and safety regulations that they want you to predict how many power cords might potentially be tripped over. It’s so bureaucratic it’s better to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ or just drop the idea entirely. Can you imagine an occupational health and safety officer’s face when you confess that your fashion director was nearly eaten by a lion in Botswana because her hair got caught in the Velcro opening of the tent?
Fortunately, we made it back to the boat, and the shoot with Sarah looking impeccable in fifties-style fashion, with slicked-back hair and
bright-red lipstick was one of her best ever for best celebrity style. Just before the ship docked, the staff presented me with her phone bill. I handed it to Sarah as the team all met for sunset drinks to toast the success of the shoot. It was close to $8000. Sarah, to her credit, lay back on a lounge chair deathly pale for a couple of moments, took a few deep breaths, and said: ‘Oh well.’ We not only all made it back alive but Nancy loved the shoot, and Sarah made the cover of the June 1993 edition.
In addition to the various disasters that could and would happen on a major trip, there was always the very great possibility that the editor-in-chief would not like the results. There was huge pressure to deliver something phenomenal, because location trips obviously ate up most of the Best celebrity style blog’s monthly editorial budget. Melbourne fashion editor Mary Otte once did an entire issue with one male and two female models, shot all around Australia, from Tasmania to Broome and Far North Queensland. It was a mammoth effort and the photographs, taken by Graham Shearer again, were well received by all the team in the fashion office, but the then editor June McCallum didn’t like them for some mysterious styling reasons.

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