The Making of The Magic Flute

This adventure began when event organiser Vanessa Horca (Pacha London, I Love Fashion) recognised that mjfstudio  and designer Carlotta Actis Barone were a match made in heaven and arranged a meeting.  Then, in March 2012, Marco Fazio, photographer, and Strawberry Love, art director, met Carlotta and indeed, there was chemistry in the coupling.

The newly formed team threw themselves into the organisation and planning of the "perfect" photoshoot. The initial client brief was very interesting and challenging at the same time.  The Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 collection is inspired by the famous opera, The Magic Flute, composed by Mozart in 1791 to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder.

Carlotta has taken the main concept, the eternal fight between good and evil force.  Eventually the good triumphs in a celebration of happiness, protection, sisterhood and love. The opera was famous for a number of reasons, mostly because Mozart was constantly challenging the status quo. He was well known for breaking conventions and combining unexpected and clashing elements, dovetailing them together to create a masterpiece. This opera was riddled with Masonic symbolism and the original cast was made up of common musicians performing rudimentary and comical sounds alongside some of the most sophisticated scores performed by extremely talented musicians of the day.  Laced with controversy, it attracted huge crowds over a long period of time.

Carlotta’s collection is based on the original opera’s characters and costumes and then translated into her fashion design. The Queen of the Night, Sarastro, Papageno and Papagena became inspiration for Carlotta’s pieces resulting in colours, shapes and materials that are an elaboration of ribbed-shape garments such as bird cages, feathers patterns and fluid marble drawings on light cotton and silk.

With these concepts in mind, art director Strawberry Love scoured London and surrounds until she found the perfect location that was worthy of housing the shoot,  a set that would be magically transformed into the backstage of a baroque theatre.   And as if it had been staged by Mozart himself,  there in the heart of London's theatreland she found the Sarastro Restaurant, named after one of the  characters in The Magic Flute.