Welcome back to a new week, friends! We’re only two weeks away from the launch of the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Resort Collection (or 15 days, but who’s counting!? #me!), and I literally can not wait! January 29 can not come fast enough!! I’ve been sharing little sneak peeks on my Instagram Story, have you seen them?
Today I’m excited to share behind-the-scenes of the photoshoot in Palm Springs. It was the perfect backdrop to represent Resort for Nordstrom, and we lucked out with phenomenal weather, and the chicest hotel location. It was a whirlwind couple of days, and an experience I’ll never forget!
Of course I took #TeamSugarplum with me…you know I couldn’t do it without Mama Sugarplum and Mr. SP! They are the biggest support, and a project of this size definitely requires all hands on deck! (You can watch it all unfold on my Resort highlight video in my Instagram profile.)
But before I get into our time in Palm Springs, I have to go back several weeks to the photoshoot planning process. After months of brainstorming, designing, creating fabrics, testing colors, and adjusting fit, the photo samples arrive!! Each piece feels like my little baby…so much work and care went in to creating them!
From there, I styled each piece with shoes, bag, and accessories (all selected from Nordstrom’s huge Vacation shop!), and made notes of the possible location spots for each shot. I photographed each combination, and a master spreadsheet was created. My goal was to show how versatile each piece could be on a getaway, and really showcase the Collection as a capsule wardrobe and everything you’d need to pack!
We change a lot once on location, but considering we had over 50 shots to capture in two days, organization is key!
Then Mr. SP packed it all up (packing cubes to the rescue again!), and we were off to California! It’s always my job to get the clothes in the packing cubes, then he makes it all fit in the suitcases. He’s seriously a master at it!
Still unsure of the power of packing cubes?! I give you Exhibit A…Every single hanging piece packed neatly in two packing cubes! The third packing cube holds additional pieces for styling. Shoes, hats, and bags are packed separately (see our trick for packing hats here.)
We had an early flight, so I opted for one of my favorite comfy tops and sneakers. My travel style is usually pretty casual, but still pulled together (you never know when they might bump you for an upgrade!). #wishfulthinking
We needed additional suitcases for this project, so we grabbed this new set from CalPak (I’m a long-time fan of the brand and have had this one for years). The bags are incredibly sturdy, yet totally chic. Plus, they roll easily at both a stand-up or leaning position.
It was an exhaustive search, but we settled on Palm Springs for several reasons…1) the predictable weather (we didn’t have time for Mother Nature!), 2) the abundance of photo backdrops (50+ outfits / 2 days!), and 3) La Serena Villas!
Within an hour of arrival, we were a flurry of steaming and organizing! Mr. SP steamed all the pieces, while me, Mom, and Anne (from the Gibson Team) pulled everything together for the first day’s shoot.
The Gibson team is incredible, and this inspiring woman makes it all happen! Suzie Turner has unlimited ideas, is always thinking of ways to build-up others, and has created a brand that empowers women by helping them feel beautiful and confident in their bodies. She is not only my mentor, but my friend, and I am so honored to be part of what she’s building.
The faith and trust she and Nordstrom has in me (in us!) is beyond humbling!
The next morning, Suzie Moldovan arrived to work her hair and makeup magic. And I mean serious magic! We became fast-friends on the first Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection, and I was so happy to be working with her again. (She also did the makeup for the Gibson x Glam Collection!).
Suzie studied the colors of the collection for weeks before the shoot, and assembled a full palette and lip colors (she knows I love a bright lip!) to make it shine. Her makeup was genuinely an integral part of the Collection.
She shared several of her professional makeup tips in this post, and I’m hoping to spill a few more soon!
The effervescent Valorie Darling was our photographer extraordinaire, and it was such an honor to have her shoot the Collection…she is insanely talented and truly brought the Collection to life!
We actually met Val on one of our Princess trips four years ago…in fact, she shot some of the photos in this post…and I’ve loved watching her incredible successes over the years. She radiates more joy and kindness than anyone I’ve ever met, and has such a passion for what she does.
Val and Suzie are the total dream team, and I felt so blessed to have their talents on our project! (I honestly never even check a mirror or the camera when I’m working with them…I trust them completely!)
Between my mom and Suzie, someone was always fussing over me and making sure I looked ‘just right.’ I’m so thrilled to have Mama Sugarplum part of this again, and couldn’t do it without her help and support. (Plus, hello gorgeous! Wait until you see her in the Collection January 29!)
The sun set early in Palm Springs, so we wrapped our first day by 6p, and headed to dinner. This blazer is so flattering and comfortable, and amazing at making a basic outfit super chic. I think the cost per wear on these leopard flats is mere pennies by now, too!
Fit Tip: I’m wearing an XS petite for a shrunken fit.
Day 2 started before 5am, which meant Suzie had to work extra hard to pull me together!
It’s amazing to watch these women work, and have so much fun doing it! Someone is always either working on a shot, prepping for the next one, or tracking what’s already been done. To photograph an entire Collection in two days requires constant movement and pushing forward, and I couldn’t have done it without this team!
There were so many gorgeous spots at the hotel, we ended up shooting the entire Collection at La Serena Villas (more on this place soon!). Since we weren’t having to travel between locations, we actually wrapped a little early, so decided to venture out to some iconic Palm Springs locations.
Which meant I was back to changing in the back of a mini van again, but totally worth it!
It was the busiest, most-exhilarating two days, and I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such a kind, talented, supportive team. Everyone was an essential piece of the puzzle, and made the shoot both fun and successful. Sharing this experience with people I love so much is icing on this already delicious cake!
We wrapped Day Two well after sunset, then headed out to celebrate. All black was an easy choice after two days of mixing countless colorful outfits! Plus, this tunic is one of the softest things I own.
Fit Tip: I’m wearing an XS. It’s also reversible, wear the layer in the front or back!
The last morning was a lazy one spent enjoying the hotel for a while, and rehashing the last few days. I figured everyone would be ready for time alone, but turns out we couldn’t resist one last chance to hang out!
Then it was back to the airport, in my go-to travel uniform…joggers and jean jacket! Can you believe this is actually the Palm Spring airport?! It’s all outside!
A huge thanks to everyone on #TeamSugarplum for your patience, talents, support, and unlimited enthusiasm for this project!! My heart is so full after time with you, and I can’t wait to share the fruits of our labor.
I hope you enjoyed this look behind-the-scenes, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks of what’s to come January 29! Do you have your calendars marked?!
[Shop My Easy Travel Style]
*This post is created in collaboration with Nordstrom and Shopstyle, but all opinions, styles, and grateful heart are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors.*