Yes, we really did put TV presenter, Charlie Webster into a couture dress and strap her in a heli so she could dangle out of the door for the latest issue of Epicurean Life! There were a few issues though, not least, how do we stop her falling out? (The answer is a very tight waist harness). And, how do we prevent the full ruffled skirt of the Ian Stuart couture gown from flying over her head in the updraft? Well, that's now a styling secret but let's just say there's a lot to be said for having a couple of heavy duty clamps in a prop kit which, fortunately, Darren Paul, the photographer, was able to provide.
A big thank you to Simon Oliphant-Hope of Eastern Atlantic Helicopters at Shoreham who didn't blink an eye when we said we wanted to shoot Charlie in a moving heli and piloted it to keep it hovering in one place without hardly a wobble.
Charlie is not only a TV presenter but also a runner of marathons and her boyfriend is Allen Leech, who plays Tom Branson in Downton Abbey's So she's used to the high life and a social whirl, arriving in style. We shot the whole the story at night at the gorgeous venue of Stoke Park (left) with a fabulous Rolls Royce Wraith (right) providing high octane though slightly less adrenelin-fueled transport than the heli. Tom Branson, the chauffeur, would have appreciated it! Charlie's couture dress, left, is Elizabeth Emanuel and, right, Catherine Walker.
Photographer: Darren Paul www.darrenpaul.com
Make-Up and Hair: Tricia Woolston using Hourglass & Paul Mitchell products www.triciawoolston.com
Make-Up and Hair for helicopter pics: Rosie Brice using Mac make-up www.rosiebricelondon.com
With thanks to Mandy Beadnell for arranging our helicopter shot and Simon Oliphant-Hope of Eastern Atlantic Helicopters www.easternatlantic.co.uk