Taking inspiration from the famous Flower Fairies of the 1920s, our magical woodland fashion shoot takes us finally into winter, and Christmas
This is more than just a fashion shoot – this is a fairy story. Looking for inspiration for a fashion shoot, I found myself in a forest, observing the changing seasons. And I remembered the beautiful Flower Fairies and how they held me spellbound as a child. So I talked to the amazing creatives here, and we set out to create a beautiful shoot inspired by the original fairies.
The Cicely Mary Barker Estate kindly gave us permission to use the original fairy images, and also reproduce the poems that Cicely wrote with them. Below you’ll see the looks we created, and then the fairies that inspired the looks. This was absolutely magical to create, I hope you love it too.
Mountain Ash / Rowan Tree Fairy
The Mountain Ash Fairy
They thought me, once, a magic tree
Of wondrous lucky charm,
And at the door they planted me
To keep the house from harm.
They have no fear of witchcraft now,
Yet here am I today;
I’ve hung my berries from the bough,
And merrily I say:
“Come, all you blackbirds, bring your wives,
Your sons and daughters too;
The finest banquet of your lives
Is here prepared for you.”
(The Mountain Ash’s other name is Rowan; and it used to be called Witchentree and Witch-wood too)
The Yew Tree Fairy
Yew Tree Fairy
Here, on the dark and solemn Yew,
A marvel may be seen,
Where waxen berries, pink and new,
Appear amid the green.
I sit a-dreaming in the tree,
So old and yet so new;
One hundred years, or two, or three
Are little to the Yew.
I think of bygone centuries,
And seem to see anew
The archers face their enemies
With bended bows of Yew.
I was a warrior,
When, long ago,
Arrows of Dogwood
Flew from the bow.
Go up and down,
Not one remembering
My old renown.
Yet when the Autumn sun
Colours the trees,
Should you come seeking me,
Know me by these:
Bronze leaves and crimson leaves,
Soon to be shed;
Dark little berries,
On stalks turning red.
The green wheat’s a-growing,
The lark sings on high;
In scarlet silk a-glowing,
Here stand I.
The wheat’s turning yellow,
Ripening for sheaves;
I hear the little fellow
Who scares the bird-thieves.
Now the harvest’s ended,
The wheat-field is bare;
But still, red and splendid,
I am there.
O people, hush!
—For don’t you see
A spotted thrush,
One thrush or two,
Or even three,
In every laden elder-tree?
They pull and lug,
They flap and push,
They peck and tug
To strip the bush;
They have forsaken
Snail and slug;
Unseen I watch them, safe and snug!
Christmas Tree Fairy
The Christmas Tree Fairy
The little Christmas Tree was born
And dwelt in open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Some day its boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.
O little Fir! Your forest home
Is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright,
For this is Christmas Day!
A dolly-fairy stands on top,
Till children sleep; then she
(A live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes gliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!
An enormous thanks to everyone involved in making this shoot a reality. All Flower Fairy images and poetry reproduced with kind permission from The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker © 2022 (Penguin RandomHouse)
Shot on location at Stanmer Park, Brighton, UK with kind permission from The One Garden
Photographer: Erika Szostak @erikaszostak
Photographer’s assistant: Matt Ryan
Hair: Gary Forde @garyforde_starhaircare
Makeup: Annelie Bystrom-Turner @annelie_bystrom
Shoot assistant: Lana Hall @larliie
Shoot producer: Sam Harrington-Lowe @samhl
Location manager: Deborah Collcutt @deborah_collcutt
Videographer: Cameron Antony @ǫᴄᴏʟʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇʟᴏɴᴅᴏɴ
Silver Magazine Instagram: @SilverMagUK
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