woman wearing a mustard scarf at wind battered yesnaby, the UKs oldest cliffs

Winter in Yesnaby | Lookbook

I love nothing more than nosing at other brands lookbooks. I always think that they add a story to a collection. We toyed with the idea of shooting the products in the studio, but in all honesty the light just wasn’t good enough! I based the collection on winter light, so we took the products to a place best known for its light- dried grasses which seem golden, and water that can either be Mediterranean in colour, or blackish blue.

Yesnaby is on the West mainland, and has some of the most spectacular cliffs in Orkney. They almost seem to roll towards the sea, so it’s quite difficult to see the edge (a good reason to stay well away!) They’ve been etched away by the growling tide, and most of them have formed unnatural looking curves, which project the sea up and over the headlands. The cliffs here are so old, it feels like your walking on ancient land with its red tinted soil and loose rocks scattering the surface. It’s quite an eerie place to me, which is why it felt like such a good place to shot the collection. I didn’t want to photos to be too romantic, so a rugged and raw landscape suited the aesthetic we were aiming for. It’s such a delight to put our products out in the world, and seeing what they look like in their surroundings. I find it fascinating that the colours from around us end up in the products themselves. Even the yellow, which I was worried would be too bright, settles in to the dried out, wind battered grasses.

I ventured out early on a Saturday morning, along with Akmal and Jack who had been roped in to take photos and model scarves. The wind direction was good, and although it was blowing softly, it looked like a good day out towards Yesnaby. The sun hadn’t come up yet either, which we wanted to avoid for as long as possible. Somehow having the rising sun amongst the cliffs just didn’t seem right.

When we got to Yesnaby, all loaded in Akmal’s car, the wind was blowing a gale. The water was an inky blue, and was thrashing the cliffs. We were all surprised. There were a few other brave walkers out on the cliffs, but most were hunkered down in their cars. We braved the weather and ventured down the paths leading to a sheltered bay. The sea was so rough, it had foamed up and turned white at the base of the cliffs, creating a foam that came in gusts like snow. It was all so surreal.

Every time I go to Yesnaby, I am acutely aware of how dangerous the cliffs are. They always make me feel so dizzy even going near the edge, so we avoided it all together. As we got down to the bay, we were a little more sheltered, and the beach was covered in heaps of red seaweed. A perfect photo opportunity. We enjoyed putting this look book together as it was a chance to merge pictures of the landscape within the products shots to tie it all together.

In the future, we’re hoping to use a film camera for our look books. Jack is an analogue photographer, so next time, when the weather isn’t so rough, we’ll be using film. I love the graininess of these photo’s, it’s like you can almost sense the force of the weather in them. So take a look below, and let us know what you think!

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