Models Ella-May Blanche @ellamayblanche and Ben Loader @benloader.circus represented by Linden Staub Talent Agency @lindenstaub, photographed by El Wood @elwoodphotography, assisted by Rio Aso, Rebecca Durden, and Perry Davidson, designer and concept creator Robin Simnett @_robinsimnett, exclusive for Vanity Teen online!
The editorial was inspired by the chaos our world has found itself in in regards to climate change, political turmoil and the pandemic. It responds to the climate youth protest movement by calling the youth to action to be the fighters to change this trajectory. It’s a powerful re-imagination of firemen’s uniforms of the past to create a uniform for the optimistic future we are fighting for.
The editorial began with imagery of old firefighter uniforms from around the world and throughout history. This was then combined with a bright, colorful narrative of the bolder future that the youth are fighting for; imagery of nature, flora, colorful sunsets and landscapes were used for this visualization. “I didn’t want the focus to be on the pessimistic setting we find ourselves in, but the brighter future of tomorrow we are fighting for. This was very important, to not let the darkness linger over the narrative but to let the positivity shine through – building a new world. This saw itself realized in the editorial through the clothing and the setting,” says the designer and concept creator Robin.
“I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.”Greta Thunberg
“I used my Canon 5D Mark III, and relied on natural lighting which I think worked well for this location in showing all the intricate shadows. The natural lighting also reflected the concept of the collection and reiterated this idea of a bright future and a new world,” states the photographer El.
The editorial was shot in the Hill Garden and Pergola in Hampstead Heath. After researching many different locations that would fit in with the peaceful narrative of the brighter future, we chose this location as it had the ability to transport the viewer into this different world while complimenting the architectural shapes and nature of the clothing in order to build a visually cohesive narrative for the images. The emptiness of the space and the abandoned feeling of the architecture embodies the nostalgic feeling that something was once there, bringing in the concept of a new world being built in the space of the old one.
‘The editorial reflects the androgynous, stoic and yet elegant theme that I try to incorporate into all of my work. It brings in different aesthetics and sources of inspiration to become a cohesive melting pot of ideas, something that is representative of my goals as a designer and concept creator moving forward. I think it’s important to not have such linear sources of inspiration but to borrow from varying resources and disciplines. The editorial reflects that.’ – Robin
‘The outcome of the final images was definitely a reflection of a collaborative effort between myself and Robin. As a photographer, my style is definitely color orientated and so working with such vibrant garments reflected my current style, especially as I felt they translated so well onto camera when paired with the more subtle grey tones of the location.’ – El
We wanted to transmit a powerful and stoic vibe, one of engagement and focus, but optimism and hope. The cool tones of the setting paired with the bright colours of the collection build this vision and emit a vibe of potential and aspiration. Strength and power also have a part to play in the design of the garments and how they translate onto the body and through the images, where through acceptance of individuality, true strength is found.
“The models are wearing entirely Robin Simnett in all images, my own designs come to life, with the exception of some of the accessories which are vintage pieces reworked and reimagined as part of our vision, and the shoes which are sourced from vintage and charity shops,” says Robin.
“The relationship with the models on set is so important, the aim was to make the models feel confident and powerful in these images, to make them feel emboldened to be able to achieve anything. We were successful in that.”