Behind the scenes with Sweaty Betty in Iceland
Welcome to Iceland, the land of fire and ice and the location for this season's shoot. Among secret lagoons, conquering glaciers and rocky mountains, the new collection came to life through models Raghnild Jevine and Ilse de Boer. Here Founder and Creative Director Tamara Hill-Norton shares her memories from the shoot.
Leaving the city and driving across Iceland's deserted landscape will always stay with me. The weather changes constantly and when you get the occasional glimpse of a natural wonder, it takes your breath away. In fact, on no other shoot have I encountered rainbows over waterfalls, a secret lagoon or breath-taking volcanoes. These scenes inspired our most statement prints to date, so it was amazing to see them come to life amongst stunning surroundings.
When I visited Iceland with the designers, the most awe-inspiring natural wonder we saw had to be Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier – a grand structure where lava melts on to the ice. Climbing this actually inspired a number of this seasons prints so I knew we had to shoot there.
Models Raghnild and Ilse were absolute troopers. On our last day in Iceland it was -2°C and pouring, which had to be the day our swimwear shoot was scheduled. Despite being in a bikini while sheets of rain came down (and we were wrapped up in thermals), Raghnild did not complain once.
We stayed at the Hotel Ion, which was conveniently located to offer the best of Iceland. Surrounded by a spectacular landscape, I loved the chic Scandi interiors and the steaming pool at the in-house Lava Spa for relaxing, plus the amazing fish and red wine post-shoot.
Sadly on this shoot we didn’t get a chance to visit Reykjavik, though the designers and I had lots of fun there on our visit. The locals and scene there are just so cool, we loved the bright coloured houses, Scandi style and awesome food and drink. The Pizza Place with No Name (yes it’s that hipster) and Kex, a quirky bar in an old biscuit factory were two favourites.
As much as I love visiting amazing places, our brands history is firmly rooted in London so I decided to shoot half of the collection in a studio here. Due to unreliable English weather (ahem), we love to layer, so I wanted to show easy ways to style your look to go from the gym to the everyday.