Behind the Scenes: The Fall Fashion Shoot

Our summer intern experiences her first fashion shoot.

BY August 25, 2016


I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the beautiful estate of Peter and Daun Dessak in Fort Myers for the fall fashion shoot, and my only point of reference was The Devil Wears Prada. Luckily though, it was nothing like that.

Cheetah print carpeting livened up the opulent, gothic mansion, which served as the backdrop to photographer Jeff Herron, Gulfshore Life creative director Tessa Tilden-Smith, fashion director Pamela Jean, hair and makeup artist Marinella Infante, fashion assistant Matt Kritis, and model Anna Lidia-Coca. My first task was to steam a 5-figure ball gown made by my favorite designer, Marchesa. No pressure, right? After being trusted with a steam-blowing, dragon-like contraption, I unwrinkled every fabric from Kors to Klein.

One hour in and the room looked like a scene out of a movie. Any woman’s dream fulfilled: designer shoes, clothes, and purses filled every square inch of the room. Anna jumped into hair and makeup and went from girl-next-door natural beauty to red carpet glamour in under an hour. After slipping into the black-tulle and gold-beaded Marchesa ball gown, the shoot began. It was a carefully choreographed dance of in and out of Chanel, Ferragamo, Givenchy and various other garments with quick hair and makeup adjustments.

By lunchtime, we had three outfits shot and eight empty stomachs. Most people ordered lunch from Jason’s Deli, and it was nice to see everyone eating, dispelling the typical fashion industry stereotypes of celery and Starbucks. We talked about our travel plans over the summer, where we were from and, of course, how beautiful the home we were dining in was. It all went by in a blur after that, shooting five more outfits in a 4-hour span. One moment we were arranging flowers the next finding shoe boxes until finally it felt like no time had passed when we began wrapping up the jewelry and re-bagging the garments. Once the house held no trace of anyone having stepped in 8 hours earlier, the owners graciously offered all of us a celebratory glass of wine, and, though I personally did not take one, it was surely well-deserved.


Fashion Director Pamela Jean zipping a dress on model Anna Lidia Coca for the cover shot.


Hair and Makeup artist Marinella Infante touching up Anna’s sultry smoky eye shadow.


You know what they say: Brushes are an artist’s best friends. A few of the makeup brushes Marinella brings to every shoot.


From Fendi to Manolos, all the shoes were set out for easy outfit matching.


Pamela buckling Anna’s Ferragamo fur heels.


The jewelry spread across the pool table for quick accessorizing.


Pamela arranging flowers to add brightness to the set.


Photographer Jeff Herron sneaking his lens through columns to get the perfect angle on Anna.



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