Gwendolynne: Behind the Scenes

Recently the very talented, Harmsworth and Collins, who are an extension of Australia’s leading wedding photographers, Love Katie and Sarah, visited the Gwendolynne studio to capture behind the scenes in Gwendolynne’s iconic atelier in Fitzroy.

“When I hear a client has booked Love Katie & Sarah, I know their wedding photos will be superb” Says designer Gwendolynne Burkin. “So when the opportunity arose to work with the photographer’s new business division, Harmsworth and Collins, which specialize in business photography, I jumped the at the chance.”

“I find more and more customers are keen to keep their spend ethical and want know where their garments are produced. As someone that has been brought up within an ethically conscious family, I respect the awareness of the contemporary consumer and I am always happy to show and share our process”

The atelier is situated above the boutique in the backstreets of Fitzroy and the beautiful Victorian terrace is amongst a buzzing hub of independent businesses including Industry Beans, Grace Café & Rose Street Artists Markets just around the corner. “I just love all the backstreet businesses in Fitzroy. They are usually a bit more independent and interesting and you’ll find the owner is working right there in it unlike the big chain businesses where there isn’t a real sense of pride for the product” says Burkin “In fact my partner also has a mid century furniture business just four back streets away! As a couple we have reflected upon the concept of the “back street business” and we believe it has a sense of confidence and uniqueness to be off the beaten track. Plus it provides a peaceful environment where you get real clientele who have actively sought you out because they like what you do. It is a more authentic way to present your product”.

Showcasing the many processes of design at the Gwendolynne studio, the shoot includes glimpses into the designer’s sketches, beading layouts, pattern making, machining and exclusive hand sewing details. Many clients are interested in how long things take to make and this collection of images perfectly show the lengthy process of crafting a couture gown as Gwendolynne spends her days pattern making, fitting and developing new beading arrangements.

The imagery captures the sumptuous moody vibe of the boutique to perfection. “I wanted my retail space to be cozy and relaxing like visiting a bygone era. It’s filled with furniture passed down from family heirlooms including a vintage sideboard, writing desk crafted in the late 1800s for my Great Grandfather plus a mirror and chinois clock that all came to Australia by boat in 1972 from England. “For me, it’s not just a shop, it’s a reflection of my life and heritage. I have also practiced Fung Shu principles throughout the space. I don’t do it overtly but I see value in considering aspects of ones life within a space.”

“I wanted the location for my store to be peaceful and a hidden secret. I also wanted to create a homely environment for my staff and as I spend so much time at work it needs to be nice. We have windows all around the workspace and get the most magical sunsets!”

The collection of images show a snapshot of the carefully considered details including the beautiful hand crafted wooden sign welcoming clients, the beautiful vintage glass doors used as fittings rooms, handmade shoes designed by Gwendolynne in collaboration with Preston Sly, and then of course showcasing a few images of the designer Gwendolynne Burkin herself and her team of ten makers in the space. Gwendolynne’s team of makers are always proud to show you behind the scenes and into the workspace…“It’s usually a creative mess but we are immensely proud that we construct our gowns on site and in Australia.”

Harmsworth and Collins said “We loved making these images at Gwendolynne. Shooting Gwendolynne Burkin and what she creates is one of THE most inspiring things our cameras could capture, business in the very truest sense… hard work in the realist sense and beautiful in the best ever sense.”

Photography | Harmsworth + Collins

Fashion Designer | Gwendolynne Burkin @gwendolynne

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