I was unsure if I wanted to tell this story, but when I sat down to write about our photoshoot process last week I felt that our recent shoot needed a special dedication.
A little backstory...
Our Spring/Summer 2022 photoshoot all started with a vision for a video that I randomly had on an overnight flight to the UK earlier this year. I didn't sleep a wink because I was too excited about the possibilities. I wanted to take you through a morning in the life of our Classic Six girl. She woke up late, only to be pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get dressed. A few classic pieces, jeans and tees and she was able to create endless looks for herself. This is Classic Six in a nutshell.
I had to find the most unique space, the perfect model and the right photographer to bring this vision to life. The space needed to be super eclectic and interesting, but totally fun and light, so when I came across a Brooklyn apartment with an entire room painted the most gorgeous shade of pink, my wheels started spinning with ideas.
My vision for our model was a strikingly natural beauty with red hair. Between the pink walls of the apartment combined with our new Pink Twiggy dress, a redheaded model was all I could see in my head. After searching hundreds of portfolios, Alyssa magically fell in my lap. I DM’d her on Instagram and we had our dream Classic Six girl. She was everything we could have asked for and more.
Model booked. Space booked. Photographer still needed.
I love a sharp contrast on-camera flash when it comes to photography, and although I have been trying to shoot with this aesthetic since we started, I haven’t yet found a photographer that could nail that unique combination of edgy, bright and happy, but also modern and sophisticated.
My dream has always been to find our go-to photographer that can grow with us as a brand. You know the type of Photographer/Art Director relationship ala Diana Vreeland and Richard Avedon? I love to envision us 20 years from now looking back on this and saying, “Remember when? We started with nothing and now here we are.”
It's always an exhaustive search to find the right fit, so I emailed nearly everyone I knew and 3 of the people I reached out to all said, give Patrick Cline a call. “He can definitely create this look for you.” His specialty was shooting interiors, but he had worked with quite a few of my friends in the industry and coincidentally I had worked with him many moons ago when I designed a few issues of his magazine, Lonny.
I don’t take coincidences lightly, so I called Patrick. I told him about the pink apartment and our redheaded model. I told him about the vision for my video that I was going to shoot on my iPhone while he was capturing the still shots of each look. He was excited because he rarely shot fashion anymore. I was excited because his passion for the project came through the phone in a way that I knew we were going to create magic together. Though he didn’t have examples to show me of this specific flash photography, my intuition told me to give this a shot—To throw caution to the wind because I had a feeling the coincidence of it all meant that this could be the duo of my dreams.
A special dedication...
It is with a heavy heart that I wish I could tell you my intuition was right.
Five days before the shoot, I got a phone call from my sister telling me that Patrick had very unexpectedly passed away. I couldn’t catch my breath. It was like someone punched me in the stomach. I didn’t know Patrick well. I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, but this news hit me like a ton of bricks. The news of someone you know passing away is always devastating, but for some reason, this felt different. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I guess because life just seemed so fleeting in that moment. I was just texting him. How is he gone? I thought about his friends and his family. I thought about his plans and projects....about his young life with probably so much more in store that I knew nothing about. How could it be taken?
Regrettably, I don’t have answers for any of these questions. I just know that for whatever reason he was too special to be on this Earth anymore.
I felt so uneasy about what to do next. I wound up finding another photographer that was available to shoot with us on such short notice and I am sure that it was only with the help of Patrick from above.
Milton Arellano. It’s like he was sent from the angels, and I truly believe he was. When I say that he knocked it out of the park, that's an understatement. The photos are exactly what I have been envisioning for Classic Six since the birth of the brand and I can't imagine this was just luck.
Patrick was with us on set that day. I am certain. The day just went too perfectly for there not to have been some divine protection.
Call me crazy, but I know you were there, Patrick, helping make my vision a reality, as I am sure you have done many times before for all those lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with you.
I want to dedicate this shoot to you, my friend. I hope Heaven is filled with love and light and all things beautiful for you to add your magic touch.