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SB On Location: London's Southbank

posted on Thursday, 8th May 2014 | find under Tamara, Fitness, Nutrition
Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara has her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot in the worlds of fitness and fashion in London. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook. Never afraid to speak her mind, Tamara's weekly blog will inspire, inform and sometimes spark a debate. 

This week, Tamara’s Edits were brought to life on London’s Southbank with the latest shoot for the new AW14 collection, launching later this year.

The setting…

When it came to shooting the main lines of the AW14 collection, ‘Hidden Treasures In An Urban Jungle’, there was only one place I had in mind; London’s illustrious Southbank – or more specifically, its undercroft.

The epitome of a hidden treasure in an urban jungle, the undercroft is a historical icon, known for its vibrant, statement-making graffiti inspired by the Bowery artwork of NYC, with its many rails attracting colonies of top skateboarders.

Sheltered from the tourists, its low-lit concrete surroundings capture the gritty urban nature of London, giving it the kind of edgy vibe we’d been searching for. And given the Parkour inspiration behind the new collection and the brightly-coloured, graffiti-style prints, it was the perfect shoot location.

Often full of protesters hoping to save the undercroft, we even managed to get a ‘Save Southbank’ badge into a few of the shots. And as if the iconic location needed any more validation as the coolest place to capture your collection, there was another shoot going on at the same time.

The shoots…

For the dance and yoga shots, we selected a piece of graffiti as the backdrop, and in came our inspirational models, all of whom love to find new, adventurous ways of exploring sport - from yoga teacher Emma who spent the day holding the most complex of inversions with strength and poise, to Amy; leapfrogging over railings and doing skateboard tricks with the softest of movements that only a yogini-cum-Parkour practitioner can achieve.

Circus performer Kat was super-bendy and ultra-strong, even suggesting modelling some pieces while doing aerial yoga – suspended in chains. The following day, she trekked across London carrying the 10KG chains, which she then threw with apparent ease over the scaffolding. Lifting herself into the air with confidence and easing her body into the most incredible of positions, she really pushed the boundaries when it came to the shoot. I love that she put her own urban twist on traditional aerial yoga.

As for the styling, the new collection is much edgier than anything we’ve done before, with bold prints, bodycon silhouettes and mesh cutouts providing a cool London vibe. This season is about redefining the way we wear sportswear – adding street style into the mix with an urban edge and sexiness that we’ve never seen before at Sweaty Betty.

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