You’re walking along the canal enjoying the silence and the iconic blue waters and domed cathedrals of the island and the soft cotton fabric of the beautiful petite dress made just for you billows in the breeze. And right there, in the middle of one of the most beautiful islands in the mediterranean, your gorgeous self sinks a thousand ships, turns a thousand heads, or maybe just gets a thousand likes on instagram because that dress you’re rocking makes you look like Aphrodite. Nice picture, right?
Well this is the image Shell Nguyen had in mind when designing her Pre-fall collection which was debuted at her most recent photoshoot. While we couldn’t all go all the way to Greece or Spain for a photoshoot (no matter how much we may have wanted to) Shell did, however, scout some amazing locations until finally settling on the Mandalay Canal in Las Colinas.
Setting up for the Shoot
Now, the Mandalay Canal is no Greece but it’s definitely reminiscent of the beautiful European architecture and was PERFECT for the theme of Shell’s shoot- vacation wear.
I know it sounds fun (and it is!) but scouting locations, gathering a crew, and conducting a photoshoot- is not a cakewalk. Luckily, Shell had an awesome crew. Two great photographers, a make-up artist with the magic touch, jeweler Adore Bijoux, knockout model Sunny, and one hell of a support team. When I say these guys were on it, they were on it. Just how on it? Ever wondered how models change from outfit to outfit during an outdoor shoot?
Sometimes you get lucky and pay a few bucks to use a restroom. Sometimes you have to change in front of some rando’s apartment (really uber quickly) while the photographer has her back to you and you hope no one comes out or walks by.
NOT that I’m speaking from experience.
Regardless, this is NOT how it was with Shell’s shoot. The team arrived prepared for every circumstance. The usual photoshoot gear: photography equipment, clothes, pins, makeup, snacks, drinks etc and a CHANGING ROOM.
In my short time as a novice model, never had any photographer ever hauled a changing room with them. Any of my model friends ever have this happen? All in all, Shell and her team were prepared.
Shell had not only scouted the locations beforehand, but she had planned out exactly how much time they would spend at each shooting location for which dresses. The shoot went off without a hitch to say the least.
Making the Dresses
I know what you all are waiting for! Of course, you’re curious about the dresses.
The thing that most people don’t know when they’re purchasing clothing, is just who is behind the piece and how much time goes into making it. Typically, when you’re buying from the famous brands like HM, Zara and Forever 21, you’ll find factory workers and shady conditions (see slow fashion post).
Shell’s case is different. She hand makes all her dresses. I’m not going to go into detail explaining the process because truthfully I can’t even begin to pretend I understand but for this collection she designed over 10 dresses before narrowing it down to 4.
I’ll explain this in numbers because, well, this I get.
When was the last time you spent 2 months doing something? I think I spent 2 months binge watching Korean dramas once (FYI I now speak Korean).
The designs showcased in this shoot are all from her Pre-fall collection. In other words, this is basically your last chance to look cute, and show some skin before it starts getting nippy.
Shell’s designs, all varying shades of blue were designed intentionally to reflect a Mediterranean backdrop and instantly transports you to the opulence of Italy or Spain. The cinched waists and open backs also add cohesion to her collection.
In addition to the addressing overall theme, designing for petites require a lot of time and consideration as well (see #shortgirlproblems). Shell’s dresses all cinch at the waist to help give the wearers a figure (Can you just give me a figure? Period?) and break up the bodice and the legs. Her dresses show just enough skin for summer while remaining tasteful.
I know, I know, it’s summer. Who wants to be tasteful. You do. From one chick who’s been attacked with purses for showing too much shoulder to another. Or maybe this is just me. (It was ONE TIME.) Anywho, don’t let me tell you. Shell’s designs will speak for themselves!
The designs are divided into daywear, all day wear and evening wear. Her day outfits are comfortable, easy to match with comfortable shoes (oh so important!) and most importantly still cute while maintaining a casual feel.
The Knot Back Dress
SASSY model Sunny shows off her sun-kissed skin in this FLIRTY blue embroidery dress she’s rocking. This high neck mini falls above the knees in a way that’s both tasteful and feminine. Pair these with some comfy shoes and a woven earth toned handbag and you’re good to spend the entire day wandering around and taking cute selfies abroad (OKAY, or actual pictures of the city) or even just spending the day exploring local venues.
The Open Back Tini Tiny Bow Dress
Wow that’s a mouthful, isn’t it!
This striped v-neck dress is a midi for those of you petites who’ve been told you can’t wear them. TAKE THAT tall people (Sorry Shell)! The v-neck serves to elongate the neck and the linen fabric is light, breathable and perfect for summer! A flounce skirt adds a feminine touch while adding just the right amount of movement. Pair those with some tan backstrap sandals or a pair of wedges and you’re all set for a day of exploring.
While we all love the easy, comfortable feel of daywear, who doesn’t want to get that perfect instagram photo? What better way to do that than throwing on some heels, a nice dress, and painting the town red?
The Panel Dress with Lace Trims
This light blue broadcloth dress is both SENSUAL and CHARMING. This number is a panel dress (and one of my favorites!) that mixes a solid colored fabric with a lace trim. The pleated bottom adds just enough flare and pizzaz. Pick up a pair of fancy heels (nice shoes take you to nice places) and prepare to wow.
Who says that just because we are short, we have to look short.
The Sheer Organza Dress
The final piece in Shell’s collection leaves us both BREATHLESS and WANTING. This one is a cocktail dress with flutter sleeves. The soft colors makes it SOFT and FEMININE while the shape and open back gives you a MATURE look.
Grab those clutches and touch up your make-up ladies because you’re about to melt some hearts.
Be Slow. Be Fashionable.