Following the success of Mimis debut beach collection we asked our Mimi model of the moment, Lulu, to take you behind the scenes in her own words...
Shooting with Mimi is always such an adventure, it’s one of the reasons I love working with Damaris. Not wanting the risk of a lost baggage debacle, resulting in nothing to shoot, we flew to France with our handbags full of Mimi swimwear – a bikini for every day of the week! Arriving in Bordeaux we proceeded to play Jenga with the bags as we tried to fit everything into the hire car. It amounts to a lot with excessive amounts camera equipment.
Cap Ferrat here we come - traveling light...
Thankfully I didn’t pack much, you don’t need an awful lot more than a toothbrush and a jumper when you’re going to be modelling – your outfits are there for you! Having said that I always bring my essentials; Alexandra Soveral Formula 1 Moisturiser which Damaris introduced me to (it’s like a little facial every time I use it), my Burts Bees Pomegranate lip balm and my Rajasthan Rose Oil which I brought back from India and smells like a dream.
I believe if you smell delicious and your skin is healthy and fresh you will look a million dollars because you feel fantastic, and will therefore ooze confidence in whatever you’re wearing.
Shooting on location in Cap-Ferrat
This is especially important when modelling lingerie and swimwear! The Rose Oil is definitely my secret weapon to feeling happy and confident to ensure when I step onto set or location I’m raring to go! It also helps working with a great team, and at Mimi they are SO supportive.
Driving around admiring the scenery in beautiful Cap-Ferrat was wonderful until, after a while, we really couldn’t find where we were meant to be staying… Having asked a few locals who didn’t speak English, a gorgeous vintage camper van came round the corner and a guy in sunglasses leaned out of the window and said in a heavy French accent,
"I was told a load of girls were looking for me?"
...Cue hysterical laughter from the team! Leading the way to our base for the next few days, it turned out he had built the log cabin we were staying in! Impressive work.
On the shoot the team is entirely women, resulting in an amazing and completely empowering atmosphere being surrounded by women in the industry who absolutely rock at their jobs.
The amazing all female team!
They also don’t miss a beat knowing you need to feel good to ‘work it’ in front of the camera. Every time I changed the whole team would compliment and coo and tell me how gorgeous I was – it was actually hilarious! The photographer Emma was wonderful chatting away and being so positive and reassuring, telling me which shapes looked good.
Shooting on location with our Photographer
It also makes for a really comfortable atmosphere, when you’re changing on location your changing room mostly consists of someone holding up a towel for you!
As is the norm for most shoots it was go, go, go from the beginning. We dropped the bags and set off on the hunt for locations to shoot, and somewhere to eat that evening – priorities!
We found the most beautiful stretch of white sandy beach two minutes from the house and at that time of day the early evening light was perfect. I was raring to go and get started, so we raced back to the house and grabbed handfuls of Mimi Swim and Beachwear - we just couldn’t miss out on this light. Talk about golden French evenings! The scenery was absolutely beautiful and the images ended up looking stunning with such gorgeous light.
Perfect golden light to shoot on the first evening
What’s hilarious is that it looks so warm and balmy in the shots but in actual fact it was pretty freezing, and there was also a fairly ferocious cold wind blowing (no wind machine needed.) So what you don’t see is me in-between shots, wrapped up in my coat, the massive Mimi Holliday towel, and a scarf around my head - so glamorous…!
Keeping warm in blankets and duvets!
We were up early the next morning and thankfully it was sea faring weather, as we were heading down to the local jetty to jump on our boat for the day! The giant Mimi Holliday Celebrate bag is all you need for a day out – you can fit EVERYTHING in there, it’s practically the Mary Poppins bag.
Beautiful scenes in Cap-Ferrat
As we motored out into the bay, it was clear there would be no need for a wind machine once again. As we turned the corner, we ended up looking pretty wind swept in the space of a few seconds.
Balancing on the back of a boat as it's moving, in the wind, in a bikini is more challenging than it looks – but having grown up messing about on boats by the sea in Cornwall I only had a couple of hairy moments when I thought I was about to end up in 'the drink'. Damaris likes to keep you on your toes!
Fun and games messing about on boats!
The sun came out, we had music playing and it was gloriously hot. I took over from the skipper to steer for some shots, Captain Lu ahoy... You can’t help but have a little boogie when you’re wearing a Polka Dot Bikini!
Captain Lu Ahoy!
Damaris’ inspiration for the Riviera Red and White Polka Dot bikinis stemmed from memories of her mother wearing one as she grew up. She told us the story of how she had always thought they were was so chic, fabulous and iconic she was always going to design a Polka-Dot bikini herself one day. I felt lucky to be modelling the finished result of one of her gorgeous and playful designs.
The iconic Polka-Dot Bikini
Shake your tail feather!
Arriving at the main location for the shoot that day, out of nowhere we arrived at the most amazing little island. Totally secluded, it was as if someone had dropped it out of the sky. With the bright white sand and the sun beating down, as we hopped off our boat it felt as thought we could have been in the Caribbean!
Our little slice of heaven - dreamy
On an island all of your own it’s easy to get a bit excited and we all went slightly mad dancing around like lunatics – we didn’t think about the fact that there was of course our lovely photographer Emma present, and there is now photographic evidence of that moment as she caught it on camera!
Dancing like nobody's watching!
After calming down we got to work, which resulted in some stunning shots. The only issue being, because the sand was white and the sun was out, it was SO bright I could barely open my eyes! Realising it was so bright and that I could only squint at the camera (not attractive) we resorted to a count down before each portrait shot, so everyone would shout “3,2,1…” and I’d open my eyes! We got the shots we needed and without burning my retinas – all in all very successful!
Back out on the boat we were just in time, the weather had turned and it was time for a few more shots before I absolutely froze! The count down came into use again, but this time I would do a few jumping jacks and then ditch the duvet I was cocooned in!
3, 2, 1... go!
It's chilly out on the high seas!
Back on land, we warmed up after the clouds had rolled in with hot cocoa and headed to the amazing smelling restaurant we had shot outside the day before. A hearty supper of delicious seafood and chips commenced, and maybe a celebratory G&T or two…
...Job done. Until next time!