Photographed by Chloe Hughes

This project created for my level 5 unit was an opportunity for me to identify my area of specialism and aesthetic. The shoot was inspired by the 80’s nightlife fashion scene, incorporating contemporary elements alongside the era’s disco aesthetic. I wanted to produce a modern fashion editorial with the subtle, yet clear, hints of 80’s visuals communicated though the styling and makeup. I was influenced mostly by Madonna’s striking array of fashion styles and edgy, bold make-up. 

I wanted to feature iconic fashion statement pieces in order to communicate a clear visual reference of the era in my work. The concept behind the shoot was to empower women, portraying the subjects as being liberated from social expectations and sexist restraints during the 80’s era and presently.

I wanted to explore the stereotypes of the time as to how a lady ‘should’ dress, act and present themselves within society. I wanted to push these sexist boundaries and challenge the prevailing cultural idea of a women belonging in the kitchen. Instead I wanted to portray a women in nightlife garments out of a domestic environment, exuding power and style. I chose to keep a soft, elegant aesthetic throughout my editorial in order to maintain a feminine feel to the images. This project helped me discover my personal visual aesthetic and the recurring themes I want to include within my shoots. I am discovering a passion for portraying strong women in sophisticated and elegant ways by using soft tones and feminine elements.

The heavy use of glitter and gold tones throughout the styling, set, and make up, was chosen to maintain continuity with the 80’s disco scene and to create bold, powerful looks to relate back to my concept of liberation. This shoot was a collaboration with the wonderful help of my go-to make-up artist, Chloe Howman, reliable assistant Georgia Turnbull, and gorgeous model Sophie Talbot. All contributed to make this project work. It was a pleasure to work with a team who shared the same creative vision and enthusiasm for this assignment and a delight to work with an all-female crew of powerful individual women all wanting to produce a sophisticated and feminine editorial with a strong liberating message. I hope this piece of work expresses how far we’ve come since the 80’s in terms of sexism and stereotypes – and how much further we still have to go.

See more of Chloe’s portfolio here.