There’s a few different magazines around aimed at the different facets of vintage style and culture, one of which is In Retrospect. Launched at the end of last year, I attended the launch party in January with most of my British Belles lovelies, where we had a fabulous night watching a screening of a vintage style short film, meeting some new pinup lovelies, and getting our hands on a copy of the new In Retrospect issue. The next day all the Belles seemed to be reading through their issues as they each travelled home on their respective trains, sending messages to one another about how impressed they were with the quality of the content in the magazine.
Fast forward a few months and I was super excited in Spring to be asked by owner Mat Keller to be a part of their Autumn/Winter issue cover shoot. The theme was murder mystery/film noir so it took me all of maybe 5 seconds to agree to take part.
The shoot took place in July at two vintage themed railways stations in Tunbridge Wells, (for international readers, that’s a medium-sized town in the south of England.) There were four of us modelling for the shoot, pairing up to make two couples; Danielle and Ernie playing the innocents, and Tom and I the murderous duo. The clothing was provided by Chester Cordite and Revival Retro, and it was beyond gorgeous. Hair was styled beautifully by Natasha of Pretty Me Vintage, whom managed to give me incredible finger-wave style pronounced waves from the tight pincurl set I had turned up in. Consequently, I have since decided this is another style I need to learn to master.
We went first to the small Groomsbridge railway station where we shot on the platform in pairs, Mat telling me essentially “Just look evil. Look really mean in every shot. You want to kill her.” Tom and I sat together on the benches, glaring over at Danielle and Ernie as they stood ostensibly waiting for their train.
“Danielle, oh God, can you please not look at me while we do this? I can’t give you a death glare while you’re giving me that adorable little smile,” I told her as she beamed at me happily while I tried to keep a straight face for the close ups. It was a request I would make of her several times over the course of the morning as I failed to summon my meanest feelings while looking into her perfect innocent little doe eyes.
The train really did pull up, and many of the passengers on it stared out the windows at us as we modelled and lingered between shots. We could hear half comments of passengers wondering what we were doing, a teenaged girl wondering aloud to her parents whether we were involved in some sort of theatre production as they passed by me.
After Groomsbridge we headed back to Spa Valley railway, the station where we had met in central Tunbridge. We would be shooting our second looks in a vintage 1930s train carriage, and everything about it was beautiful; the spacious, upholstered passenger seats; the little vases on the tables for each two-seater passenger booth; the curtains, the fixtures. They really did travel in style back then, and it was such a treat to be allowed to shoot inside the carriage.
“Right, you get the gun,” Mat told me.
“Ahh, really? Awesome!” I was shocked by how heavy it was when he handed it to me, a gas propelled steel BB gun that, Mat assured me once he saw the terror cross my face, was not loaded. Phew. Once I was reassured that I couldn’t accidentally shoot anybody in the foot, I become, in Mat’s words, worryingly comfortable with my little gun very quickly.
This was definitely the most fun part of the shoot. Lounging in the seats with Tom with an air of menacing arrogance, pointing the gun repeatedly at poor Ernie and then Danielle when she appeared in a gorgeous satin evening gown. I was alarmingly good at playing the bitch, it was decided, and I sort of didn’t want to give my gun up at the end of the morning because it was so much fun to give everyone fake diva threats about what I would do with it if they pushed their luck.
It was such a fun morning which rushed by far too quickly, as these things always do. Everyone involved with the shoot was kind, funny, and as ready to laugh as they were to concentrate and get the shots, which is always the best kind of group of people to be apart of, whether working on a project or not.
The magazine came out on Sept 1st and it was so much fun to finally get my first glimpse at the images we had taken. The full picture story is available only in the magazine, along with a range of amazing articles so it’s more than worth the £4.50 to order yours today and have it delivered shipped free to your doorstep. In Retrospect is a quarterly magazine and you can buy past and present issues online, as well as subscribe to future issues, or pick up a copy from one of their select stockists. International readers can also buy their own copies for £9.50 per issue.