Twitter went crazy when ELLE broke the news that Solange Knowles landed in Cape Town for an exclusive cover shoot with us. We dish on the team’s highlights from her shoot plus behind-the-scenes snaps.
In keeping with Solange’s personal style, the fashion team created a wardrobe of beautiful clashing prints.
Araffa Mpungwe, fashion intern
I got to make Solange rooibos tea – one teaspoon of sugar and no milk. I thought I would be immune to being starstruck, but I made sure to remember her order like I do my ID number. Fantastic two days on set. All in all, it was an exhilarating experience.
Asanda Sizani, fashion editor
Solange is a true ELLE Belle. Her eclectic, vibrant style inspires so many people. Not only is she a style icon, she juggles motherhood and her career seamlessly too. I was with the ELLE team to meet Solange the day before the shoot at Roodebloem Studios. The day was set aside for Solange to try on all the outfits the fashion department had sourced.
She walked in dressed in a tangerine blazer, fuchsia wide-leg pants and bright lips. She was warm, open and friendly. After a meeting with Jackie, she quickly selected the pieces she loved the most. My highlight was Solange picking out and putting on the Loin Cloth & Ashes shorts, Tart top and Pichulik rope bracelets. As soon as she emerged from the changing room, I thought: ‘That’s the cover outfit.’
She teamed brights, prints and different textures, and wore clothes by South African designers. I love the cover – it’s my favourite one of the year. The yellow background is perfect for her sunny personality. This was a big fashion coup for us, and I am proud to be part of the ELLE team.
Fashion intern Araffa and editorial assistant Maybe hard at work!
The talented Justin Polkey gets the lighting and set ready before we start shooting.
Lynette Botha, beauty editor
It was amazing to see Solange in person; her bubbly personality shines through and she is such a natural beauty. I love that she embraces her natural hair and she has flawless skin, but I must say, she was even more striking after she stepped out of the hair and make-up room. Hairstylist Kevin Epstein worked his magic and make-up artist Algria Ferreira used Rimmel’s Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation on her skin (she is the face of this amazing new foundation range), as well as adding bright, matte orange lips. I felt so lucky to be on set and see the whole thing come together.
Make-up artist Algria Ferreira and hairstylist Kevin Epstein had very strict instructions as Solange is very specific when it comes to her hair and make-up.
We flew in Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth & Ashes from Jo’burg for shoot day. Anisa makes sure the fit and final touches are perfect before we start shooting.
Jackie Burger, editor
There are moments in an editor’s world that go beyond our wildest dreams, but then again, some of them come true precisely because we have the power to imagine – and because we are constantly entertaining ideas that will whet your appetite for the unexpected and delight you with the style and substance ELLE stands for.
Solange wears a satin top by Tart and waxed cotton shorts by Loin Cloth & Ashes. Bracelts by Pichulik.
Poppy Evans, fashion director
Shooting Solange Knowles was an amazing experience, but not one without challenges. When styling models, it’s great if they like the clothes, but they never get a say in the wardrobe choices. Shooting celebrities, especially those of Solange’s status, is another story altogether. Solange didn’t want to wear everything that I suggested to her, but, thanks to her amazing personal style, this wasn’t a sartorial issue. It was really encouraging to see how much she appreciated our local designers and in today’s market we need the kind of exposure that people like Solange can provide for South African talent. She was completely natural in front of the camera and it was amazing to see her perform and sing.
Performing in front of the camera comes naturally to Solange.
Jackie chats to make-up artist Algria, making sure that the make-up is how it should be – flawless.
The final edit was a team effort, but ELLE editor Jackie Burger knew exactly what she was looking for right from the start.
Jenna Robbertse, deputy editor
The last shot of the day was my best moment. The shoot was a huge success. She looked fantastic and the team worked exceptionally hard on the project. It was a ‘phew, we did it’ moment.
Sarah Koopman, features writer
The drive to the airport seemed to take forever and I had to constantly remind myself to breathe – I am a huge fan of the Knowles family. Even after a long flight, Solange still looked fresh and beautiful and greeted us all so warmly.
My interview with her was an incredible experience. We sat in her penthouse at 15 on Orange on the Thursday night and chatted while she had her nails done. It didn’t feel like a formal interview at all, and we chatted our way through the points I wanted to cover. The sense I got throughout the interview was that she is a real person; a young mom who is doing what she loves.
Online editor Jenna McArthur was wowed by the interaction on Twitter – yes, #elleovessolange was trending!
Tarryn Oppel, fashion editor
A highlight for me, besides meeting her of course, was seeing her work her magic in the studio. At one stage there was a total of 15 minutes where I just stood and watched her – it was such a ‘pinch me, I must be dreaming’ moment. Being able to witness all the pre-production work come together is something I’ll never forget, and I felt so proud to be part of the ELLE team.
Poppy says: ‘Don’t underestimate shooting in heels!’
It’s a wrap!
Photographs: Justin Polkey
Behind-the-scenes photographs: Alice Buckley
Make-up: Algria Ferreira
Hair: Kevin Epstein using Naturalmente
Fashion director: Poppy Evans
Stay tuned to ELLE TV – we’re releasing our behind-the-scenes video of Solange on shoot day this Friday.