Behind-the-Scenes at Our September Issue Fashion Shoot in Golden Gate Park


If you haven't had a chance to check out the luscious fashion spread in our September issue (on newsstands now), here's a gallery of some of the images. Beautiful, right? The shoot went down in Golden Gate Park and at prop stylist Rosy Friedman's Lower Haight apartment. It dabbles in both surrealism and Impressionism, a nod to the Birth of Impressionism exhibit at the de Young (on view through this weekend).

Check out the behind-the-scenes video (which features a retro stove, serious hair-styling and lots of hay) and read more about the intricacies of the shoot below from stylist Sharon Maloney and photographer Rus Anson.

Behind-the-Scenes at Our September 2010 Fashion Shoot from on Vimeo.

Impressionism in art largely deals with the study of light on its subjects, which often include natural landscapes and people engaged in ordinary life activities and settings. In staying true to this concept we decided to play with the idea of nature intruding upon typical interior spaces, and basic interior elements set amidst nature. Keeping the focus on beautiful light, we felt this reflected the Impressionist period in an amusing, unique way, perhaps even dabbling a touch in Surrealism, which is very indicative of photographer, Rus Anson's, and wardrobe stylist Sharon Maloney's collaborations as visionaries and story tellers.

With any shoot, it is one thing to plan the shots and another to execute them. Many unexpected challenges arise, so it is important to be flexible in mind and spirit, always keeping a positive attitude. Our first shot was in our Prop Stylist, Rosy Friedman's dining room, which we filled with hay. The hay was a reference to Monet, who immortalized this ordinary object in his Haystacks series.  In our nod to Monet, the dust and hay particles that were released into the air as we spread it out were a definite unforeseen challenge. There were red eyes, sneezing, and momentary escapes from the room for a breath of fresh air. In the final shot the model's composure and the harmony of warmth in the golden tones reflected in the wardrobe, propping and light created the romanticism that we all were hoping for.

Getting the antique stove into the shrubbery at Golden Gate park was a feat. Thankfully, David (hair/makeup), Yanic (prop assistant), and James (wigs/hair) were both men of talent and brawn, capable of getting this heavy behemoth out of Rus's van and heaved into the bushes. However, scrounging around for twigs and rocks to prop under the stove to create the perfect angle was in vain. Apparently, the grooming at Golden Gate park is impeccable! Luckily Cera, a photo assistant, had a 10 lb. sack of rice in her car to prop under the stove. Just the right fit!  After clipping thorn bushes back to save the silk dress from snags and finally tracking down and transporting our jewelry delivery guard to set, we were able to create this beautifully composed serene shot.

Shooting at the picturesque Stowe Lake was also not as simple as it may seem. Our tree of tee cups was itself supported by a web of fishing line, our chilly model precariously ducking and weaving amidst the strands to attain the perfect positioning, while standing on a hidden oil cloth to protect the thousand dollar gown from the muddy banks of the pond. To add to the complicated set, we had packs of tourists walking by and rowing their boats near for a glimpse of a fashion shoot in progress. While trying to keep the passersby out of the shot, our crew threw bread crumbs to lure  ducks in the pond to swim into the frame. 

Our beautiful shot in Prop Stylist Rosy Friedman's  bathroom was also not without its challenges. While vines and foliage were skillfully rigged in place, another generously loaned thousand-dollar gown was perched dangling on a hanger just fractions of an inch above a tub full of water and floating flowers, ferns and other greenery below. -Sharon Maloney & Rus Anson

Photography by Rus Anson
Styling: Sharon Maloney
Hair: James Marez
Makeup: David Tolls
Prop Styling: Rosy Strazzeri-Fridman
Photo assistance: Carmen Campos, Cera Hensley
Styling assistance: Kelly Shouey, Enkhee
Model: Tianna Peters, Ford Models

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