Everyone said it was impossible to get through the Italian border during the initial pandemic lockdown, especially to Como, which was in the Lombardy red zone in November of 2020. Nobody thought it was possible to gather a team of models and stylists from Paris, New York, and Milan while the borders remained firmly closed. But, luckily for us all it happened and the results were exceptional, even in such difficult circumstances.
TOP15WEDDING community photographer Mariana Shafro, together with an international team, shot the new Sophie Couture collection inside the two most famous villas on the shores of Lake Como. We wanted to share how it happened, and show you the results.
When creating this collection, Sophie Couture knew that the lookbook needed to be shot on the shores of Lake Como. Two of the most popular villas among brides from all over the world, Balbiano and Balbianello, were chosen as the locations for what promised to be a beautiful shoot. But due to the pandemic, they were both closed, and all travel in the Lombardy region of Italy was strictly prohibited. To make the shoot possible, Sophie Couture brand representatives needed to write a request to the municipality and eventually received special permits from the city hall. The shoot was going ahead!
Hand-embroidered, luxurious Sophie Couture dresses require special care and conditions for transport. Because of the pandemic, everything had become infinitely more complicated. Only a few days before the shoot, the dresses that had already arrived in Italy were stuck at the airport. Due to quarantine, there were not enough custom workers who could process this type of luggage. Fortunately, at the last moment, the dresses were given customs clearance and delivered to the shoot in Como.
The dedication of the entire team and the unwavering determination to achieve the best result were not in vain. People who started as strangers before the shoot soon worked together like a well-oiled machine, helping each other as if they had been friends for years. Make-up artists who knew Italian conversed with the locals and the models skipped their lunch breaks in order to get as much shooting done as possible.
Photographer Mariana Shafro:
“Everyone in our team cried at some point during the process. And at the end we hugged and cried all together. This project will remain in my memory for the rest of my life. We were entrusted with incredible shooting in uncertian conditions. It was 50/50 that the shoot would even go ahead. When we had everything we needed, it felt like we won the lottery."
Photographer: Mariana Shafro
Models: @sofiaresing, @takonats, @_katyagay_
Location: @villadelbalbianello, @villa_balbiano