Gypset Dreaming

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Photography SYBIL STEELE
Film by JOHNNY ABEGG Produced By VBY.TV
Vintage treasures by BELLE

Last year (my goodness how time flies!!) our dear friend Sybil approached us about a shoot idea. She was shooting submissions for the next Gypset installment, GYPSET TRAVEL, and wanted to know if we’d be involved – BUT that there was a catch. Let me just say when someone tells you they’re shooting anything Gypset you bloody well say YES! Catch or no catch.

Basically she asked if we’d be interested in throwing together a totally over the top shoot… the catch? We had to be in FRONT of the camera instead of behind it. It was pretty daunting, and to be honest I felt sick to my stomach. When you’re behind the scenes you have total control over how everything looks but when you’re in front of the camera – well you feel so vulnerable! I never for a moment dreamed that we’d make the cover?!!! What the EFF??
I roped Sybil in for a long breakfast before she headed off to NYC for the launch of GYPSET TRAVEL and asked her some Qs about how it all came about:

Tell us about how this project came about and what the term Gypset means to you?

Well, I bought Gypset Style when I was living in Bali. I absolutely loved it on so many levels – but mainly because I related to the bohemian traveling lifestyle.  My husband and I had made a plan when our first child was born to leave the USA and live in Bali, Byron and Biarritz. We wanted to show our children a different world to the Southern Californian lifestyle that he and I had lived for so long already.

When I moved to Byron I was emailing with author Julia Chaplin and she asked me to contribute some photos to her blog, which I did, and a few months later she asked if I would photograph the Byron chapter of her follow up book, Gypset Travel.  I was so excited to contribute to a project that had grabbed my heart so many years ago.

Byron is so diverse – how on earth did you choose what images to submit?
The project was fun for me because it forced me to hit the road and explore.  I sent in 250 photographs of which they picked 25.  Ironically, the photo editor ended up selecting, without knowing much about me or the photos, ones that were close to my heart.  My daughter, and friends that I hang out with, the first fashion shoot I did in Byron called Enfant Sauvage.  I’m sure that they probably saw the difference between the photos that were close to my heart and the ones that were taken as a spectator or a tourist.

Tell us about your vision for this particular shoot?
There was no doubt that I wanted to photograph The Spell Sisters who represent the free spirited bohemian aesthetic of Byron.  When I was talking to one half of Spell, Lizzy, I said “I’d just love to shoot an amazing iconic photo of you ladies in all your glory.  Let’s make it over the top!”

So we found a beautiful property and dragged in all sorts of styling, rugs, flowers, instruments and sipped champagne by the teepee and just ran wild in the fields.   We had such a great time – the Spell sisters and our other muses did so wonderful considering they’re usually behind the scenes at photo shoots.  I personally hate being in front of the camera, it’s awkward!  It was great having the 3rd Spell sister (Luciana Rose) doing hair and makeup with Julia Hauer, Lizzy’s partner Johnny Abegg filming video, and good friends Tal, Shayna and Mandy from Oracle Fox join us. Plenty of lovely energies.

First Gypset Style and now Gypset Travel – tell us about this new installment?

I think the first book was such a success for Assouline and Julia Chaplin, and she travels as a NY Times writer exploring all these amazing enclaves and meeting people along the way.  It was only natural she would shed light on 10 incredible places to visit in the world.