Temperature Tantrums

Because of the radical differences between the seasons, the spring fashion issue presents some unique challenges.

When we start planning the shoot, it’s the dead of winter. The days are short. There are icicles longer than swords hanging from the eaves of the Odvod offices.

It takes months to plan and then execute a fashion shoot. We have to source clothes. We need to find the right models and the right photographers. And, maybe the toughest chore of all, we have to find the right location.

You see, the spring fashion spread you’ll find in this issue was shot in the winter. And that means that we have to meet the challenge of making our set look vibrant and warm, when it’s -25C outside. Fashion shoots are some of the biggest cheats in our business. If we do exterior shots, we have to find a spot that’s cleared of snow. The reader can’t see leaf-less trees, or pine boughs dressed in white fluff. Our models have to hide the fact that they’re freezing, even though they’re spending a winter day posing in light spring clothes.

And, likewise, when the fall shoot rolls around, we’ll have models wearing wool coats when it’s 28C out, as they try to hide the makeup that’s dripping off their faces along with the sweat. We have to try and disguise the fact that flowers are blooming, that the trees are lush and that the mosquitoes are as big as blackbirds.

It’s a challenge in terms of sourcing material, as well. We often do our rounds in February, so our stylists are looking for spring clothes when the local shops are still doing a brisk business in winter coats.

It’s the challenge of being a glossy magazine. Just so you can read this in April, it has to be at the printers by mid-March. It takes a couple of weeks worth of fact-checking and proofing to ensure we have all of our sources correct. That means the spreads have to be laid out by early March. And, before layout, we have to give the photographer time to sift through the images and send us the selects. 

The reason I write this is that I often hear people ask me how long it takes for a magazine to go from a brainstorming session in our conference room to being written and photographed and edited and laid out and proofed and proofed again.

Months, is the answer. 

Planning for the spring issue in the dead of winter at least gives me some warm thoughts when it’s -25C outside. It allows the staff and I a bit of an escape. We can think about spring while we also worry if our cars are going to start or not after our shifts are over. 

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