Behind the Scenes: LDW16 Creative Shoot

Behind the scenes: Going Geometric...

An exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s seasonal trends shoot
With more than 600 brands to choose from, how do you distil the new season’s launches into a handful of images? At Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, that job falls to creative director Wendy Harrop, who is charged with masterminding a styled shoot for each season. Weeks of preparation – and a collaborative effort that is as fun as it is demanding – result in the beautifully curated images that are used across London Design Week 2016.

The big story for Spring/Summer 2016 is geometry – whether that translates as a pattern on a fabric or wallpaper, or in the faceted form of a lamp base. To complement and emphasise the geometric outlines and patterns, the shoot featured open-sided asymmetrical boxes that act as surfaces for paint and wallpaper. “I spent so long making models of those boxes and getting the proportions right, making sure they would be able to work across a double-page spread in The Guide, the Design Centre’s magazine,” says Wendy. Translated into mighty real-life structures – one around three metres tall – they, alongside Wendy’s drawings and many moodboards, formed the basis for the week-long shoot. Photographer Bill Batten, Wendy’s long-term collaborator, was integral to the whole process. He made sure the balance and the lighting were just right before the final image was captured.

The palette chosen is one of soft grey-blues with a hint of coppery pink. “As well as going to the press preview for London Design Week 2016 and visiting the showrooms to see the new collections, colour ideas might come from anywhere,” says Wendy. “The grey-blue we used was something I picked up from the catwalks, while the pinks, which were slightly tropical and used just as hints every now and again, picked up on the metallics that we were seeing in furniture, in particular a lovely copper.”

After many hours of preparation, Wendy, together with marketing manager Charlotte Wellband, Bill Batten and the talented team of set builders, spent a week on set, building, styling and photographing the new design directions to bring them to life.

Wendy cites Design Centre newcomers Arte as a favourite – “they do fantastic wallcoverings, lots of them based on tiles, so it was a great boon that they’d just arrived” – as well as the quieter charms of Rubelli/Donghia’s new collection by Dominique Kieffer. “One of them was a padded cotton with just a stitch every now and again. It was very simple, and I just love simple things.”


Geometric patterns of all persuasions are Spring-Summer’s running theme


Wendy and Charlotte pore over the moodboards to work out how the fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and lighting will translate into three-dimensions

The latest textile launches show a new design direction for geometrics

Wendy’s annotated photographs of her hand-made scale models, along with shortlisted swatches


Wendy’s moodboards are invaluable on set for making sense of how the finished shot will work


Carefully unrolling wallpaper on set ahead of installing it on the inside of one of the huge faceted structures on set


The team includes talented set designers – the people who bring the creative vision to life


After weeks of preparation, photographer Bill Batten frames the final image

‘Vico’ sofa (399), Cassina. Fabrics lengths on sofa: ‘Micato’ (34042.811), Kate Spade at Kravet  and ‘Orwell’ (L9050-01), Manuel  Canovas at Colefax and Fowler. ‘Silver Skull’, Nicholas Haslam Ltd. ‘Haumea’ tables, both Gallotti&Radice. Wallcoverings in large shape: ‘Carabao’ (14005) and (14008), both Arte. Fabrics on hanger: ‘Jupiter’ (2731-03), Sahco and ‘Eliza’ (6091-01), Pollack at Altfield. ‘Palm Beach’ wall light (WL277), Bella Figura. Paint in large shape: top ‘Double Quartz Grey’, face ‘Frost’, floor ‘Quarter Silver’, all Zoffany. ‘Reve’ occasional chair (RV0-OCC), Holly Hunt at Fox Linton. Wallcovering in small shape: ‘Valinor’ (DEWP2142), Holland & Sherry at Lelievre. Hanging fabrics in small shape: ‘Fauna’ (817), Kate Spade at Kravet and ‘Sojown’ (6090/01), Pollack at Altfield. Paint in small shape: top and right ‘Frost’, floor ‘Double Quartz Grey’, Zoffany