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Radley Stories

Craft & Design

Behind the scenes of our September shoot with Stylist Michelle Duguid

13 May 2022

Long, crisp autumn walks are calling. One look at our September shoot and you'll be excited for the changing of the leaves. And wearing the colours to match too.  

We were lucky enough to chat to the Stylist who put together the timeless-chic looks you’ll see throughout the month, Michelle Duguid. Previously at British and Russian Vogue, and British Elle, Michelle’s eye for detail and celebration of our craftsmanship helped to create the perfect start to our Storybook of Autumn collection.

How did our September shoot theme inspire your styling choices?  

“I enjoyed playing with the concept of ‘Storybook of Autumn’. It’s very important to tell a clear story in a shoot, and I wanted a modern day eclectic character at the centre of this one. The Radley London woman. With lots of little touches, to show that she’s more than one thing. You’ll notice layering of different fabrics. And I chose colours very carefully to complement the rich shades of the handbags.”

“When I’m buying a bag it needs to work in lots of different ways. Longevity is key.”

Why did you want to work with us?

“I like the fact that Radley London is a British brand. And also the quality of the bags. There’s real craftsmanship in them and a real honesty. I personally love a clean-cut bag without too much hardware, which most of the bags in the shoot are. They’re easy to wear. 

“When I’m buying a bag it needs to work in lots of different ways. Longevity is key.”

 

Can you tell us what it was like behind the scenes at the shoot?  

“We had a very busy schedule. It was a great day. From set design to hair and make-up, we all worked really well together as a team. 

“The house we shot in was amazing. A huge Victorian house in London with that perfect autumnal aesthetic.

“I enjoyed working with Monty the Scottie. I’ve never seen a dog have so many treats! It’s a behind-the-scenes secret of how they get him to look into the camera. He lives a good life.”

If you had to choose your top three styles from our new collection, what would they be and why?  

Tulip Street – the Merlot colour is perfect for September. And the shape feels new.

“Lattice Remastered is a really great shape. I love how squishy it is, and the quality of the leather.”

“I really enjoy the texture of Tudor Close. I can imagine it with a great trench coat. The Thunder colour is incredibly versatile.”

A great pair of boots – like our Chelsea boots – are an investment buy for the season. What are some other ways of styling these? 

“I styled the Chelsea boots with trousers on this shoot, but they would also look fantastic with an oversized knitted dress.”

“Fashion shouldn’t be scripted. So if you like something, just try it.”

We've introduced some beautiful autumnal colours in this collection. Like Wood Street in Laurel (above) and Lattice Remastered in Merlot (below). How would you suggest our readers style their new season colours to transition their wardrobe? 

“Don’t be afraid of them. It’s just about repositioning things in your head. By introducing one more layer or one darker tone, you can transform a summer dress. Autumn greys look great with creams and pale pinks. Burgundy is wonderful with camel tones. And then add more and more texture to make an outfit look more autumnal.

“Fashion shouldn’t be scripted. So if you like something, just try it. The worst that’s going to happen is that you don’t wear it again.”

 

How do you approach styling a shoot?  

“I think about the woman, the character we’ll be bringing to life. It’s so important to consider the model, for this shoot we had the wonderful Natasha, and what will make her look her best.

“It’s a fact that if a woman looks happy and confident in herself, you tend not to notice the clothes. So you don’t want someone to notice the clothes too quickly. Because that means they they’re wearing her, rather than the other way around.”

What do you look for in a handbag? 

“In a word: timeless. It needs to go with everything and be big enough to fit all of my stuff. That usually includes lipstick, keys, phone, earphones, book, and a water bottle. 

“I look for a good design, good quality, and I have to really love the bag. It’s not about fashion, but about my style”

What is one trend you’re predicting will be a must-have for autumn? 

“Everyone needs colour this season. I think we’ve all had enough of sitting in our grey tracksuit bottoms and we want positivity in our colours. Think highly saturated tones. The perfect colour can really help our mood so we all need to find the colour that makes us feel happy. 

“Clashing colours or different shades of a colour family will be a huge trend.”

 

Spoiler alert: some of the clothing Michelle used throughout the shoot is from our very own capsule collection. Stay tuned for more on this later in the month.  

If you love what you’ve seen here, make sure to take a look at the full September edit.

Also don't miss Fashion Editor Polly Sayer's picks of new season trends over on Radley Stories