• Glorious by Heidi

Empress Butterfly - Let Your Imagination Take Flight

These amazing images, showcasing one of the most experimental and challenging headpieces I've created to date, is what happens when three women at the top of their game, unleash the full force of their creativity on one project!

'I'm captivated by this collection of vintage, Staffordshire brooches. What do you think I should create with them?' I asked in a Facebook post.

'A headpiece, and I'll photograph it!' Came the speedy reply from award winning photographer Alison McMath.

Alison just happens to be one of the most exciting photographers around, and as I'd often cooed over her work it took me all of 5 seconds to private message her to say I'd be over the moon and then some to have the chance to collaborate with her on a high-end shoot.

Things move pretty fast when you've got a creative rush, and within days Alison and I had met up with hair and make up artist Anna Pogodzinska and fuelled by good coffee and excitement, we had a plan in place.

For me, the most important thing about the accessory that I wanted to create for this shoot was that the finished piece, true to the tradition of tiaras worn by ladies of note throughout history, would be a transferable accessory - one that could be worn as a headpiece, and as a necklace, depending on the occasion, or the needs of the wearer.

I also wanted to create a piece that looked as though the beautiful butterfly brooches woven through it, were fluttering their brightly coloured wings, and taking flight.

And finally, it had to be a piece that did justice to the skill and creativity of the women who worked within the Staffordshire Pottery factories, hand-painting the exquisite ceramic brooches that make up the main part of the finished accessory.

Once we'd secured the enchanting face of Nemesis Model Janette Cheng for our shoot, I was inspired to research the shapes and styles of traditional Chinese wedding hair accessories, the height and drama of which further encouraged me to use those elements in the final design of the accessory.

To tell you that I'm 'proud' of the final images captured by Alison, would be the biggest of understatements. These images quite literally make me feel like I have butterflies fluttering around my insides, and I'm clearly not alone, as publication on the front cover of the February edition of Femme Rebelle Magazine and a 'Highly Commended' from the Societies of Photographers attests to.

But probably the best thing about working alongside Alison and Anya was the push to match their huge creativity with my own, meaning that we now have a set of totally inspiring images; I have a breath taking butterfly headpiece on display in my Cheshire studio, and you, my lovely friends, can see the magic that happens when this accessory designer gets to spread her wings and fly!

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Glorious by Heidi. The Old Sunday School, Roe Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire. SK11 6UT

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