It’s 6:30 am when I head to meet Chantal Arora, in the heart of Rome, Piazza Venezia. Only few delivery trucks hover in the usually-too-crowded street that is Via Condotti, as they leave behind a trace of freshly-baked pastry smell as they unload their goods to the opening cafés. The sky is a light blue (a good sign since the meteo had predicted rain) and the air is crisp despite it being late April in Italy. I look down at my phone again, Via Condotti 91 next to Prada entrance read the instructions, this must be it I think. Towering in front of me is an elevated dark green portone whose doors are gently drawn open, beckoning me inside a quiet entrance. Making my way to the elevator I can hear my heels clinking on the hard marble floors and the echo is so loud and so disruptive to the morning quiet that by the last few steps I was walking on my tip-toes to avoid making any sound. The carpet outside the red door on the 3rd floor read Le Reve de Naim, inside those doors where the headquarters for today’s photoshoot. The day was just like that, as the French call, a reve or rather a Fairytale, if you will.
Assisting Chantal Arora on set was one of the most eye-opening experiences that I had the pleasure of participating in. Watching her in her full creative process revealed to me that planning, directing and carrying out a photoshoot is just like conducting an orchestra. Each player from make-up artist to photographer, is just like a different instrument in a band. Co-ordinated properly and the show will be a triumph of harmonies, get distracted and the entire show falls apart in seconds. It takes, concentration, motivation and patience, in order to get the standing ovation.
In a fashion photoshoot one pivotal elements and traits that any directeur should possess is the art of storytelling. Any successful campaign will not be the product of something created purely under a consumerist point of view, rather it will be triggered by an urge to tell a story.
This is exactly what the Glam Confidential JetSet 2018 photoshoot was able to achieve. The team worked well, laughs where shared and soon after just a couple of hours everyone was acting like old friends. This was all because of Chantal, her energy was transmitted across the room and her passion motivated each and every single one of us. It wasn’t just about stiff images; it was about capturing her accessories on the streets. The rawness of the pictures, made the necklaces, earing’s and clutches, come to life.
Every outfit, every accessory pairing was chosen by Chantal with surgical precision. Her prior experience, allowed her to scrutinize every look, and put together styles with a genuine fluidity and professional calmness. Through the bustle of hair stylists, make up artists and photographers,