Blackpool has so much to offer. We are sometimes the punch line in many a popular media story. But scratch the surface and you will find talent, creativity, music, art and style. I spoke to Charlotte John the creative behind Beyond The Sea as we nattered about what they do and their place in the fashion and styling industry.
Who are Beyond The Sea Styling?
Beyond the Sea Styling are made up of Charlotte John (Stylist/Creative Direction) and Ellice Weszka (Styling Assistant). We work with photographers, models, make-up artists and hair stylists to create fashion editorial photo shoots for online and print media. We like to try and utilise some of the amazing landmarks and natural scenery in Blackpool and the local area in our shoots – I guess our ethos would be that we try to elevate the places that you perhaps wouldn’t normally associate with being beautiful into something aesthetically pleasing and interesting.
How did it all begin?
A photographer friend contacted me out of the blue one day, asking if I would be interested in styling an editorial shoot as she was looking to move into fashion photography. We’d been friends for a while, so knew that I had always had an interest in clothes. To be honest, I was a little nervous having never done something like this before but the process came very naturally, from working on the initial concept mood board and deciding on the location to actually styling and directing the models during the shoot. Ellice has been on board since day one; she is involved in sourcing items and accessories, dressing, styling and is a fabulous sounding board for ideas – I’ll text her with some obscure outfit reference from a film scene and she’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
What has been the high point so far?
I think the high point so far was probably having our first photo shoot published in the first issue of quarterly fashion and art magazine, Old Tat. It was such a buzz to have that acknowledgment that our work was considered a high enough quality to be included, especially as we were relatively clueless about how to bring it all together! That was the launch point for us to pursue other styling projects and really gave us the confidence to develop our own stylistic signature and reach out to other creatives for collaboration.
Do you think Blackpool has a quirky fashion future? What is your view on Blackpool as a cultural area?
Blackpool has lots of very stylish residents. It’s easy to go into Topshop and buy whatever is in the window, but flair and creativity come from the need to work with what you have. Whether the limitations are the availability of new brands due to the lack of independent shops in the town, or it’s the cost of buying something new every week, real style is borne of a want to look your best regardless of these things. Blackpool has always had a rich and vibrant music and nightlife scene, and this has also had a huge influence on the different fashion ‘tribes’ that populate the town.
Culturally, Blackpool is definitely moving forwards and I think LeftCoast are doing some fantastic work to engage local people in the creative arts and draw in funding and investment from various Arts organisations. I’ve been really interested to follow the progress of the new Art B&B hotel under construction on North Promenade. I think it’s a really positive and exciting time for the area.
What is in store next for Beyond The Sea?
We have a few shoots currently in the planning, as well as some potential collaborations in the pipeline. I’m taking up an internship in London over the summer months with a beauty and lifestyle brand to gain a bit more of an insight into brand management and creative direction, and will also be linking up with photographers whilst there to work on editorial shoots on an ad hoc basis. We have a new website, and will be starting a blog on there very soon so you can stay up to date with everything that we’re doing.
Show Comments (0)