Tom Corbett and Shelly Vella's Breakfast Club
Few movies are as transportative or inspiring of another era than ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’ Whether it’s an admiration for Audrey Hepburn or a reminiscence of a certain subversive grace that existed only in the 1960s, there’s something for everyone in the classic film and it offers ripe inspiration for artists time and time again. When Tom Corbett linked up with Cosmopolitan UK for their latest editorial, they looked to the iconic movie for inspiration. “We wanted to do a modern take on the ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ idea,” explains Tom. “We shot outside Tiffany’s itself on Bond Street, we shot in Notting Hill, we shot Portobello Road. We shot all around London, all these beautiful locations, and basically came up with this cool concept.” Teaming up with Shelly Vella, Fashion Director at Cosmopolitan, once again, it was about creating something new and intimate for them. They were taking high fashion and mixing it with subtlety in a way that is becoming something of a signature.
Historically, Tom has been known for the energy that he brings to every shoot. His clients know that when they need something that’s punchy and exciting, they can rely on him. But he also loves to operate on this other level that feels closer to the every day experience. Especially when he’s working with Cosmopolitan, or Shelly Vella herself, they like to explore the beauty in quiet moments. “That’s kind of the way we work,” says Tom. “Like how we did the Underground story. Very reportagey, very loose. Very voyeuristic. That was sort of the vibe.” Not only does it allow the viewer to relax into the images, it makes the fashion and beauty feel more accessible, like the editorial pieces could fit into the lives of whoever is holding the magazine.
For a magazine like Cosmopolitan that mix is crucial for connecting with their readers, and it’s something that Tom isn’t afraid of mining and truly exploring. “It’s a very UK kind of thing and something we do come back to time, and time again,” Tom explains. To activate that, they focused on a particular situation where the mix of high fashion and common experience comes together: “The morning after the night before. The idea that someone’s gone out wearing fabulous clothes, minding themselves in an ordinary situation the next morning. The way we occupy ourselves. It’s interesting.” Life is full of moments of suspension; unexpected dichotomies and contrasts. On paper, sometimes they look different from what we remember, but even if we don’t recognize them on their face there’s something familiar there, something beautiful.
Makeup: Kenneth Soh
Hair: Jonathan Malone
Model: Florence Eugene