The Story of a Synergistic Shoot in Paris, the City of Lights
A few months ago, a beautiful project unfolded in and around Paris. It happened in the month of May, a time synonymous with pleasant weather – more specifically, from the 23rd to the 25th of May. What follows here is an ode to all the collaborators.
‘It is about fellowship and the unity of brands which share a common vision and mission to contribute their strengths and create something grander than one brand could do alone. It’s like fitting all of the pieces of a puzzle together to make something larger than the sum of its parts.’ – Stephen Van Eeden
Every photoshoot, as we all know, requires a specific subject – a muse if you will –– typically clad in designer attire dreamt up by an artist. Tasked with capturing them is a photographer with the skills and eye to illuminate both. But that is merely the final step.
What transpires before these final moments are a sequence of events that are essential for the culmination of the final product. Each event is orchestrated by a handpicked individual or team of individuals without whom the masterpiece would be incomplete.
Our story begins with a Creative Team: Stephen Van Eeden, Christine Le Roux, Paula Zapata and Katerina Meyvial, responsible for the Creative Direction and Apparel along with MMXMS (@stephen_van_eeden & @mmxms_clothing), Photography Direction (@christinelrphotography), Cinematography Direction (@pz_visualcontent) and Coordination and Planning (@katerinameyvial), respectively.
Setting the scene, while honouring the talent and brands involved, required an enchanting location… The chosen destinations were the scenic streets of Paris and the captivating Chateau de la Houssière – an elegant, exquisitely restored countryside estate located in the heart of Brie region, just an hour’s drive east of Paris.
The muse of this photoshoot was Namibian beauty, Chanique Rabe (@chani.rabe) -– Miss Supranational 2021 (@misssupranational) and the first woman to bring this international crown to Africa, the Motherland. Her hair and make-up were in the talented hands of Paris-based stylist Alesia Solo (@alesiasolo_muah). Cosmetics used were from the French luxury house, Dior via Dior Beauty South Africa (@diorbeauty, @diorbeautylovers @armine_a.sa & @anina_schalekamp).
Adorning Chanique was sensational jewellery from Stonz Diamonds (@stonz.diamonds) and Viljoen Jewellers (@viljoenjuweliers) while Christine’s Atelier Millinery (@christinesatelier), based in Lekki, Nigeria, produced the most exquisite avant-garde inspired hats – the art of millinery at its finest. Bejewelled headpieces were also envisioned and brought to life by Reliér design (@relier.design) – one-of-a-kind accessories handmade by Chantel Wirth.
Handbags, resortwear and eyewear were splendidly sorted by Xyza Savanna (@xyzasavanna) and OZBOB EyeART (@ozbob_za) – the former, a design studio focused on slow fashion (apparel & accessories) and interior design, the latter renowned for embellished sunglasses and eyewear accessories.
Elevating the entire experience were proudly South African delicacies and Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) – by Marnella Macaron Artistry (@marnella_macarons) and Simonsig Wine Estate (@simonsigwines), respectively. Another destination connection, of course, the macaron, originated in France and MCC is produced using the same classic process as Champagne which entails creating a second fermentation in the bottle.
On the coordination front, organiser extraordinaire -Katerina Meyvial was assisted by fabulous fashion designer Amberlea Van Vianen (@amberlea_0), currently based in Toulouse, as well as the Stephen Van Eeden Atelier studio assistants Aqueelah Mohammed and Annette Grobler. Taking care of all the journey logistics was Lyndill Cilliers (headquartered in Somerset Wes) from Travel Counsellors (@travelcounsellors) – an indispensable part of our travels.
Helping us share our story is Publication Partner ASA MAGAZINE (@asa_magazine_) – Fashion, Luxury, Entertainment with an African Edge – led by none other than Founder Reynold Agge, an enigmatic entrepreneur that hails from Edo State, Nigeria.
About Stephen Van Eeden Atelier: Stephen studied at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion, graduating at the top of his class. After gaining invaluable industry experience, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of establishing and launching his own brand – one that specialises in luxurious resort wear, red carpet glamour and bespoke bridal couture. His design aesthetic is described as feminine, modern and glamorous. In 2018, Stephen was one of the 12 Project Runway South Africa finalists. While he grew up in a small town in the heart of the Northern Cape, he has matured into a citizen of the world who continues to cherish his African heritage.
*written by Stephen van Eeden