BEHIND THE CAMPAIGN: Magnolia by Auguste
Magnolia. Symbolic of Yin and the feminine side of life. We can’t think of an Auguste collection more aptly expressed in a single word! Full of sand-skimming hems, vintage florals and effortless play dresses, Magnolia embodies the dreamy nostalgia of free-living days spent playing by the sea.
Brought to life on Australian supermodel Jessica Hart and LA muse Sophia Jackson, the Magnolia campaign was shot in Malibu at the infamous Gesner Beach House on the shores of the North Pacific. As with any major campaign it was a full schedule of shooting with a cast of talented creatives on a mission. We decided to catch up with Ebony Eagles, Head Designer & Creative Director at Auguste, and Trevor King, the talented man behind the lens of every major Auguste campaign since 2012, to get exclusive insight into the Magnolia campaign shoot.
Join us as we chat with Ebony and Trevor to find out what drew them to Gesner House, what it was like working with Jessica Hart in Malibu, and the challenges they faced to bring us their latest campaign!
Thank you both for catching up! Can you tell us who you are and your roles at Auguste?
Ebony: I’m the Head Designer & Creative Director here at Auguste.
Trevor: I’m a Photographer and have worked on Auguste campaigns since the beginning!
Trevor, how did you meet Ebony and what’s your history with Auguste?
I met Ebony years ago in 2005. I was assisting a photographer in the studio she was styling in. She didn’t remember meeting me. Ha. We reconnected in 2012 when I shot for her previous label in Bali. I remember Ebony telling me her dreams about starting Auguste and about a year later she started production and we did the first shoot in Bali.
Ebony, the Magnolia collection has just dropped – can you tell us about what we’re seeing here?
You have the statement Auguste Maxi in there of course and also some exciting new Play Dress shapes – that was something I really focused on this collection. We’ve also designed a new high-waisted maxi skirt (perfect for pairing with basic tees) and easy-to-wear tops to pair with denim.
What inspired the patterns, fabric and overall vibe of this collection?
(Ebony) Magnolia is unapologetically nostalgic, with a contemporary twist. I definitely went back to Auguste’s roots – which always draw inspiration from the late sixties and early seventies. There are a lot of gorgeous vintage-inspired florals in this collection crafted from soft, easy to wear fabrics.
So we’ve heard Auguste will be adopting 90 Orangutans with the launch of Magnolia? Tell us more!
(Ebony) Orangutans and the rate of the destruction of their habitat is an issue that has always been really close to my heart. That’s why we’ve partnered with Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia The idea of 90 Days Of Change was a way for us to involve our amazing online community in the act of giving back, thereby spreading awareness about BOs Australia’s work in the process. Every day, for the next 90 days, we will be adopting an orangutan on behalf of an Auguste online customer.
What drew you to shoot the Magnolia campaign at Gesner House in Malibu, CA?
(Ebony) I wanted to shoot at a location that had the same sense of nostalgia that were in the designs. I was drawn to the Gesner House location because I’m fascinated with Harry Gesner’s work. His work was inspired by the the environment around him, and is a real celebration of coastal culture.
What it was like shooting at Gesner House in Malibu, CA?
(Trevor) It was pretty awesome. Apart from shooting with Jess, the location was amazing. Harry Gesner designed that house and the “Wave” house next to it. The story goes that Jørn Utzon, who designed the Sydney Opera House was inspired by the wave house. He and Harry actually met up to talk about it before the Opera House went into construction. If you look at them both, you can see the similarity. Apart from the architecture, that part of Malibu is beautiful… it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere on the coast.
Did you face any challenges and how were they overcome?
(Ebony) The day we were meant to shoot was completely rained out! Luckily the next day gave us pockets of sunshine and we were able to shoot the whole campaign.
What was it like working with Aussie supermodel Jessica Hart?
(Ebony) Jess was super professional and calm – being in front of the camera seems like the most natural thing in the world for her!
What kind of gear did you use for the shoot and how do you stay organized on a shoot?
(Trevor) I don’t use much gear on these shoots so that we can move freely and change up positions around the location. I used a Canon 1dx camera and a bit of a reflector. I primarily use natural light on all of my shoots and it has taken years to work out how to use it to make the models and clothes look their best. To keep organised and the shoot running smoothly, I just keep an eye on the time and make sure we’re running to schedule.
Who made up the team that worked together on the campaign shoot?
(Ebony) Our amazing muses Jessica Hart & Sophia Jackson brought each style to life with help from stylist Sheree Commerford, hair artist Nikki Providence and make up artist Natasha Severino. In addition we had videographer Tyson Lloyd, and of course myself and Trevor. Dream team!
How would you say that Magnolia stands apart from previous collections?
(Ebony) There’s a definite focus here on play dresses.. and some exciting new silhouettes that I think the Auguste girl will really love.
Trevor, what drew you to photography initially?
As far back as a small child I took photos – my mother used to have to hide the camera from me. l enjoy the solitude of taking landscape pics on my own time but am a social guy so have always loved the idea of working with teams to create beautiful images. One day I decided when I was studying photography in Melbourne that I was going to shoot fashion and just kept on working at it. I love collaborating with Ebony. Each shoot is so good. We both look at each other and ask how we are going to make the next one as good or better!
Ebony, what will catch you in from the Magnolia collection and why?
Definitely the wrap maxi dresses – they are super versatile, I can wear it from the office to dinner with friends.
What was your favourite part of the campaign shoot for Magnolia?
(Ebony) I’m torn between creatively directing the concept, the actual day on shoot and the feeling of creating something… and then there’s looking back at a finished campaign and sharing it with my team. I couldn’t pick just one, I love the whole process of bringing Auguste to life!