A French Connection

 

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I adored shooting these images with talented Joanne King for her Australian based label Hollyoak around the backstreets and hidden courtyards of Paris.

Joanne’s creativity flourished becoming a mum. Taking a break from her ‘day job’ as a clinical neuropsychologist, what started out as a hobby soon became a small business with children’s label Little Chillies and Hollyoak.

She initially started designing Holly Oak with a ‘post-baby-body’ in mind.  “I wanted women to be able to purchase feminine and beautiful garments that would make them feel great about themselves.  Hence, a lot of the styles are versatile, they can be warn loose, or accessorised with a belt to give more shape.”   

“I like to design timeless and tailored pieces that are less likely to date.  I have a strong French and Japanese influence in both design and fabrication, in particular drawing a lot of inspiration from Tomoko Nakamichi, who designs the most extraordinary shapes. I keep the fabrication as natural as possible, predominantly using linen, cotton & silk.”

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Joanne has a curious link to France!

“My great grandmother was born from a young French couple, after some naughty hanky panky (out of wedlock – tut tut).  She was left in a shoe box on the door step of her adoptive parents (English couple).   There is a stream of us on my paternal side (myself included) that look European, which from a young age sparked my curiosity about my family history.  I’m currently exploring this family connection to see if I can trace where in France my ancestors came from.  It’s tricky given the secrecy around the adoption.   At present, an aunt who spends part of the European summer in Villefranche sur Mer, has inspired my most recent travels, exploring the Provence-alpes-Côte d’Azur region.”

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hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

 

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Joanne is about to return to her day job so she has wound back her children’s label but designs and manufactures an annual range spring/summer range for women. You can check out her beautiful work here

“Paris is always a good idea.” Audrey Hepburn
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Addicted to Greece


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All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

You may have wondered where I disappeared to lately?

I made myself a promise at the beginning of the year that I would devote this year to taking more photos. Talk about be careful what you wish for! I have turned 2015 into a photofest and my camera now officially smells of ‘burning rubber’.

This means I have spent a whole lot less time at my computer and blogging but sheesh I miss you guys.

I have been meaning to share a little of my holiday last year in beautiful Lesvos. Being the nostalgia queen that I am, Greece is Carla heaven. It has everything that triggers off an emotion deep down inside and connects me to a world I feel part of. Bring on the donkeys..

Lesvos, Molyvolos, Greek Island, Carla Coulson, fishing boats, greek port, greek holiday, sigri, On the beach at Eressos and looking to the old castle Sigri

Lesvos, Molyvolos, Greek Island, Carla Coulson, fishing boats, greek port, greek holiday,

The port of Molyvolos

Last summer I travelled to Lesvos almost on the Turkish coast to catch up with wonderful friends Claire Lloyd and Matthew Usmar Lauder to get a little snapshot on how it feels to live on a Greek Island.

Lovely Lesvos had me digging myself out of bed early to sit in the silence of the port of Molyvos early in the morning, walking along her coast to find yet another deserted beach with transparent water and embarrassing the hell out of myself by driving into the small piazza of Sikaminea and getting our car stuck in front of a full crowd of men at the local tavern.

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I love the worn, the past, the way the world use to be, traditions and I will be forever fascinated with the human condition. On Lesvos I found it all and although I was meant to be on holiday I couldn’t help but capture some snaps of this wonderful place.
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This was taken in the village of Sikaminea and I felt like I had been transported to Greek village heaven when I found this piazza (yes this is the one I drove into) with a Greek Taverna untouched, unspoiled with the most charming owner who served us ouzo with the most delicious salad I ate on the island.

Following are some snaps from around the Island, of the village people, beautiful beaches, village life and Claire showing us all how photography can connect you to people.

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Lesvos Greece, greek island, cats in greece, fishing port, fishing nets, red, fishing boats, greece,

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The barber of Matamados greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village, octopus drying, by the sea Greece, Skala Sikaminea

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Claire sharing her pics with the local ladies

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Francesco and Nellie getting up close and personal

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Sunset at the Tavern at Kalo Limani

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Our gorgeous friends Claire and Matthew generously shared their love for the island with us and all their favourite places (and even their gorgeous rescue dogs see pictured above on Francesco’s knee).

Some lovely links:

My Greek Island Home Guesthouse

Seahorse Hotel

My favourite Greek posts

“In many ways we are all sons and daughters of ancient Greece.” Nia Vardalos

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Parisian Urban Bride

personal branding paris, carla coulson cest ma robe, fashion shoot paris, wedding dress, rent a couture gown, portrait paris, carla coulson

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

The idea for this shoot actually came from my wedding!!

I loved getting married in Paris, it was the most fuss free event of my life. I was dressed at home, did my own make-up (hadn’t met my fab make-up artist at this point) walked with a couple of friends to our local cafe, dropped into the boulangerie to say hello and was shot on the street with my darling, dogs and Paris in the background. Our wedding was in the middle of market day in the 4th and I loved coming out with a simple bouquet of flowers to be welcomed by friends amongst the fishmonger, the butcher and my favourite florist. It felt so Parisian!

When the gorgeous Helene from Cest Ma Robe told me she wanted to shoot a range of designer wedding gowns I thought it would be fun for our gorgeous ‘bride’ to be an Urban bride.

Now gals not only can you get married in Paris but you can be married in Matthew Williamson, Azzaro, Rachel Zoe and vintage Dior.

Sounds like a dream?  Helene had the genius idea to gather together a  collection of designer bridal gowns for the chic, the boho, the hippy, the romantic and the funky bride and here’s the great news..drum roll..  you can rent them. Yes you no longer need to get a mortgage to get married. Ain’t that the best news.

So if you are soon to be married in Paris (shout out to gorgeous friend Louisa) check out Cest Ma Robe.

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cest ma robe, designer wedding dresses for rent paris, carla coulson, white wedding, paris couture gowns, personal branding shoot All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Huge thanks to beautiful Monika from WM Models, to the talented stylist Joy Dreyfus and Veronique Marot for the hair and make-up.

If you would like to know more about a Personal Branding shoot click here.

“I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.” Lord Byron

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Paris in Blossom

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Is there any season as marvellous as Spring?

The re-awakening of the senses after the slumber of winter, the colours, the light and the trees. Bulbs burst in bright colours from the ground and plants miraculously come alive and along with it that feeling of hope and positivity that you can’t wait to start all over again.

In the depths of winter I often doubt whether I ‘have it in me’ or whether I ‘do it all over again’. Then those magical rays of sunshine breathe life into wooden sticks and branches and deep down in my soul I too come to life and know ‘yes I can do it again and I can hardly wait’.

Ideas start buzzing, colours fill your head and inner songs beg to become photos and you wonder why you ever doubted life and creativity in the first place. Instead you are awake and inhaling deep breaths saying ‘bring it on’!!

This is how Paris looked last week when she awoke from the slumber..

Wishing you wonderful creative energy and all the beauty that Spring brings with it. Oh and of course a little romance never goes astray..

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paris in bloom, blossoms paris, spring paris, white, flowers, magnolia blooms

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Sending you oodles of positive energy, sunshine and creativity..

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” Robert  H Schuller

And much light and love

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Personal Branding Shoot – Joy Dreyfus

Carla Coulson, flowers, atelier roses by claire, flowers paris, joy dreyfus, carla coulson, florist paris, roses by claire

Joy Dreyfus with bouquet by Roses by Claire

Who’s the girl behind the flowers I can here you asking?

It’s the clever Joy Dreyfus  and I was so proud and honoured to do this personal branding shoot for her new business.

Joy is born and bred in Paris (yes they do exist), is the ex-fashion editor for Officiel magazine and has a black book that all of us would kill to get our hands on. The great news she has put it to good use.

Joy has created Events Joy and has combined her unique talents honed in the fashion world with her fabulous contacts and mixed them with the world of love, weddings and events to become a wedding/events planner with an edge! Bringing together a list of fashion photographers, fashion make-up artists, stylists and decorators Joy’s aim is to create a wedding far away from the cliche.

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Joy Dreyfus with bouquet by Roses by Claire and flowers in the beautiful Claire’s boutique

Joy and I wanted to create images that would fit with her quirky but beautiful style and that she could use for editorial magazine and blog stories on her new business, across all her social media and on her brand spanking new website. So we headed to some of her favourite ateliers and boutiques in Paris and first stop was the beautiful Roses by Claire. Claire, the sweetest girl on the block,  is based in the 9th arrondissement and has a shop full of roses that would make any gals heart sing.

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 Joy putting her personal touch on things out the front of Roses By Claire

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Joy at Roses by Claire 

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 Joy looking at the latest collection of wedding dresses at Delphine Manivet

A visit to Delphine Manivet is one of those moments on any girls Parisian bucket list. Imagine the most beautiful wedding dresses of gossamer dreams in a setting of moulded walls and wall to ceiling windows. Well, this too was in Joy’s little black book and has since become my favourite!!

Atelier Delphine Manivet, joy dreyfus, carla coulson, wedding planner, wedding dresses, paris wedding designer, personal branding shoot,

The beautiful atelier and wedding dresses at Delphine Manivet

Atelier Delphine Manivet, joy dreyfus, carla coulson, wedding planner, wedding dresses, paris wedding designer, personal branding shoot,

 Joy in the atelier of  Delphine Manivet
Atelier Delphine Manivet, joy dreyfus, carla coulson, wedding planner, wedding dresses, paris wedding designer, personal branding shoot,

Beautiful details and wedding dresses at Delphine Manivet

Joy Dreyfus Photo copyright Carla Coulson0013

Joy in Delphine Manivet couture on the streets of the Rive Gauche

We crossed Paris to a favourite location on the Rive Gauche. Delphine Manivet not only makes exquisite wedding dresses but she has an evening wear and couture line and of course Joy always knows the perfect one to pick. Ouch love this dress.. so good it hurts!!

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Joy in Delphine Manivet couture on the streets of the Rive Gauche

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 Joy in Delphine Manivet couture in front of Serge Gainsbourg’s house on the streets of the Rive Gauche

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 Joy stops for tea at the beautiful Carette in Place des Vosges

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 Green tea and croissant at  Carette in Place des Vosges

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 Tough decisions at the beautiful Carette in Place des Vosges

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Joy in the fabulous Place Des Vosges

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 Joy in the fabulous Place Des Vosges

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In Place du Marche in Neuilly

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Joy organises weddings on private yachts like the chic Le Cachemire by Yachts de Paris

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Joy in one of the chic wedding dresses of  Delphine Manivet

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Joy in one of the chic wedding dresses of  Delphine Manivet

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Joy on the balcony of the Le Meurice Hotel Paris

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Joy on the balcony of the Le Meurice Hotel Paris with Le Tuileries garden in the background.

When you have a name like Joy it is kind of given that you would end up creating events full of joy for others. So if you are planning on getting married in Paris and want a wedding with a twist you might like to get in touch with Joy here.

Here are some of Joy’s go to addresses in Paris:

Lunch at Colette or Bread and Roses

Japanese tea and pastries at Toraya

Lunch for drinks at Cafe de Flore

Shopping at Isabel Marant and Carven

Stationary at Bookbinders Design

Decor at Flamant

Cute kids stuff at Bonton 

Body and hair products at Aesop

Perfumes and Candles at Annick Goutal

Yoga at Le Tigre

If you would like more information about creating editorial style images for your brand you might like to check out my Personal Branding package.

Sending Good Vibes and love

“Getting married, for me, was the best thing I ever did. I was suddenly beset with an immense sense of release, that we have something more important than our separate selves, and that is the marriage. There’s immense happiness that can come from working towards that.” Nick Cave

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