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In our festive December issue, ELLE Fashion Belle Nicole Newman brought a new take on summer style to the pages of our mag. Whether keeping it cool in daytime luxe or adding some glitz for a night of fun, this exquisite shoot is all the inspiration we need for the months to come. Now we take you behind the scenes at her Uptown Girl shoot, to find out how this golden idea was born and brought to your page.

U2Why Uptown Girl?

We called the shoot Uptown Girl, because the title encapsulates the styling and feel of the shoot. This girl is the embodiment of sophistication and knows how to dress up any outfit whether it’s for day or night – she always steps out looking her best. As our December issue is all about getting festive, we also wanted to suggest a ‘party’ atmosphere, which this shoot does.


Our model was Gara from Max Models. She is from Spain and was incredible to work with. She was the perfect choice for the shoot as we wanted someone who was fun, vibrant and knew how to move. This was important because we needed the shoot to create a sophisticated yet celebratory atmosphere.


We shot with Ricardo Simal for the first time – we had wanted to shoot with him for a while but were waiting for the perfect opportunity! This was definitely it, as his lighting is always impeccable and we wanted fresh crisp lighting. I’ll let you in on a secret – the entire shoot was shot using daylight…

Favourite item in shoot?

Although I would struggle to find an event to wear it to, my favourite item in the shoot is the Gavin Rajah dress – it is so beautifully made and the ombré-ed colours are so soft and feminine.

Hair and make-up?

Kevin Epstein did the hair for this editorial and, due to the fact that Gara had amazing short hair, we decided to change it slightly with every outfit to offer a different aspect to each look. Shahnaz Cola-Wrensch from Supernova CM did the make-up and we opted for a contoured cheek, bronze hue on the eyelid and soft, peach-coloured lips – feminine and chic.

Favourite shot in editorial?

My favourite shot in the editorial is the Gavin Rajah dress paired with the Sissy Boy denim jacket. I love the way the elegance of the dress is contrasted with the casualness of the denim – the colours also complement each other. I love her stance in this image and the way the jacket is around her elbows.

Tips to get the look?

When incorporating more embellished or sophisticated pieces into your outfit, be sure to balance them with something slightly more dressed down – this way you will never be over- or underdressed for any occasion.

Don't forget to buy our December issue to see the shoot on glossy pages. On shelves now!

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