As our current situation in England May 2020 the country is in a state of Lockdown to prevent the spread of one hell of a Virus called Covid 19.
Throwback to June 2019 and I was jetting off to Venice, Italy to provide the Hair and Make up look for a shoot for Luxury Wedding Magazine Unveiled.
This shoot was to convey a dreamy, romantic bride. Relaxed, radiant and carefree against the majestic architecture and waterways of the City.
I began working before Dawn with model Cristina who flew in from her agency Nevs Models, London hours before the shoot. The previous night I met for dinner with Romina Fochessato. Romina is a stunning Argentinan-Italian dress designer and we talked over traditional pasta and wine al fresco about our excitement for the next day. Jane Beadnell from Jane Beadnell Photography who was on holiday with her family had arrived to photograph the shoot in the early hours along with Romina, armed with enough satin and lace to sink a ship.
I prepped Christina’s skin with the RE9 Brightening Skincare range. Lightweight in formula but packing a hefty punch of active ingredients to get post flight thirsty skin gleaming.
I chose Perfecting Liquid foundation in Buff with The Real Conceal liquid concealer in Medium Neutral to even out her skin tone.
Bronzer, Blush in Dusty Rose and a glossed lip in Sahara completed the complexion.
For eyes I used Its All In The Eyes Volume I Palette and a gentle cat eye with liquid eyeliner in Arbor. Speak Volumes Mascara is always the finishing touch to eye make up.
No look would ever be complete without a final spritz of cooling Let It Set Refreshing Finishing Spray. This ensures that make up does not slide no matter the temperature. It minimises shine and oil breakthrough while skin loving botanicals Rose, Red Algae continue to provide all important hydration, resulting in flawless skin.
I simply tonged Christina’s hair. With the searing heat and humidity I wanted a relaxed, romantic look to showcase the exquisite handmade gowns.
We had around 8 dresses to shoot so off we set to avoid the unbearable swathes of tourists that descend upon the city at around 11am. You really cannot move, let alone capture any kind of Bridal Image.
We began in St Marks Square, a short walk from my hotel. There were only two other street cleaners in the whole square. I really saw Venice. I remember the views out across the canals and imagined times gone by. I considered how precious this all is and agreed with the general feeling that large Cruise Liners propellers are damaging to creating wakes in the water. I couldn’t believe the City had recovered so well from severe flooding only in the Winter of 2018. What a timeless, resilient place.
I remember these stunning pink glassed street lamps that Cristina stood by to capture the blush hue of the stunning veil cape.
So, when we are able to fly to destinations new and old my suggestion for Venice is to see it at Midnight to 4am but beware the Mosquitos or you will look like a victim of a terrible skin complaint like I did. You see my friend had flown out with me so it was her I went to meet and enjoy the beach with. When we got back to Venice we showered, changed and went out for a late dinner. Everything closes around midnight so you can just wander quietly through the streets and Piazzas. Its really safe! Take Insect repellant if your going to do that!!
Alternatively get up super early and go explore, then you can head for your breakfast and retreat to the Lido Beach which was absolutely gorgeous and immaculate. There is a whole boulevard to take lunch or pick something out to eat at the beach. The food is fabulous!!
Trust me, when the sun is up and you cannot move for people, in my opinion it then becomes the worst place on Earth. You will be packed onto water taxis, You wont be able to see anything, unless you 6 feet tall, sit anywhere or get to meander down the side streets and alleyways to find the exact same food and drinks at less than half the price. It becomes a mission, not fun, not my kind of fun.
I share this, my first blog feature on my website, to evoke memories of happier times and adventure. The first time also my Artistry took me out of the UK. I did my Friends bridal party make up in The Bahamas, I used to go to school there and have close friends on the Island. However, it was more a helping hand as I too was a bridesmaid. They do say when you love what you do you never work a day in your life and I love what I do. Its such a a privilege to empower someone to feel their most beautiful, confident, best self.
The Basilica was incredible with the light bouncing off the gold leaf and a sleepy city beginning to wake. The pavement and all the buildings around it, one I especially adored was covered with signs of the zodiac in a magnificent deep blue. Huge Marble lions, all smooth and shiny from centuries of people stroking their heads. The day I arrived the square was so busy I didn’t see half what I saw that Venice Dawn.
To and from the hotel we went as a team, with Shoot co-ordination Julia in the UK we kept in touch sharing all the fun with her over What’s App. Holding shoes, trains of dresses, laughing together and planning the next part of the shoot. We headed to a small bridge Jane had discovered with The Bridge of Sighs as a backdrop. Completely empty of another soul, except the odd few immaculately dressed Venetian off to get their morning espresso and daily paper.
The Gondoliers were busy on the boats cleaning and polishing with meticulous detail anticipating a busy day ahead on the waterways.
I love boating and I think to myself, what a fabulous way to make a living. In August 2010 Gloria Boscolo became Venice’s first fully licensed female gondolier, six months in Venice training sounds sounds pretty good to me.
We went to cool off over breakfast and changed, freshened up the look and back out we went. Next to my hotel I asked a Gondolier if Cristina could sit in the Gondola. He kindly obliged and funny enough Jane and her family were in the very same mans Gondola cruising down the Grand Canal later that evening.
We were loosing that light as it was becoming too bright, too hot also so we utilised the stunning buildings right between our hotels.
What an amazing memory, what a beautiful City. It was wonderful to work with an all female team. On closing out the shoot and a quick Bellini, the girls made their way to the airport, Jane continued her holiday and I took a water taxi to Lido to escape the heat, the now masses of people at every turn and enjoy the beach and a swim in the Adriatic.
I hope you enjoyed this memory of Once Upon A Venice Dawn. Issue 12 Unveiled Magazine.