Fashion Shoot

by Sarah Ann Murray

This month we take a look at men’s summer style through the lens of a photoshoot styled by our fashion writer Sarah and shot here in our very own jardim de Algarve

Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”

Roman Payne, Poet 

Golden hour, magic hour, dusk and dawn; however, you refer to it, that rose-gold light we have the pleasure of witnessing at sunrise and sunset in this part of the world is something to behold. In fact, it’s something to capture – as I did this May, with a photographer from Berlin, a wardrobe full of men’s summer threads and a lovely model from Lisbon. Our golden corner of the Algarve set the scene and formed the perfect backdrop for a menswear summer fashion photoshoot and a preview into men’s summer style to pique your interest.

When luxury British men’s shoe brand Edward Green asked whether my chosen locale might work as a suitable setting for their Spring Summer campaign, I had absolutely no doubt that we’d be spoilt for choice with stunning locations. The grassy dunes of Meia Praia, the dappled light of palm trees and blue skies, fishing boats and nets scattered across the bows of Burgau, and of all the things I hadn’t really appreciated, a textured, peeling, sun-scorched wall in the hidden corners of a classic Algarvian village.

The idea of the shoot was to have the shoes in a setting that would be reminiscent of old-world Mediterranean charm, Central American warmth, married with Made-in-England elegance. When the photographer Florian Renner arrived with his eye tuned into seeing it through his lens, it was a pleasure to see things from his different point of view, “The first thing I remembered when I got back to the Algarve, was the stunning light…

With the concept agreed, the shoes and clothes safely in my hands after navigating customs, and the chosen model ready to shine, it was time to strategically load the location van – a kind loan from a friend – and set sail down the N125.

The first stop was Meia Praia, where we made the most of a quiet, early-morning beach and empty wooden huts, drawing inspiration from classic Ralph Lauren-style black and white imagery set in the Hamptons. Breton-striped Ts paired with rolled-up linen trousers, a classic nautical look with a navy polo T-shirt and white trousers for a shot where the model stood precariously atop wooden stepladders as the ocean lapped around him. 

For the wooden hut, we went vintage and tonal – a combination I’d highly recommend for an understated summer look – simple cotton, olive-brown shorts, vintage striped ivory linen shirt and a pair of soft suede loafers were the looks for this setting. 

Heading west, next, it was Burgau village, where most of the shots were taken. With quick changes in the van, the looks, pre-styled, hanging strategically on a makeshift wardrobe so as to avoid creases, we started higher up in the village looking down over the beach, with the crisp turquoise line of the Atlantic Ocean forming the backdrop. Here we opted for simple cream slacks and an indigo-blue cotton shirt from British brand Private White – a colour of shirt I can’t recommend enough for any man’s wardrobe. 

As we weaved our way through the romantic cobbled streets of the village, we kept the colours and layers light and natural. A simple pair of light-grey trousers paired with my favourite piece of the shoot, an ivory and pale green wide-striped short-sleeve shirt with a Cuban collar, from Mango. The thicker stripe was bolder, but the fade in the colour combination made it very wearable and high on my recommendation list for the summer.

The colours and fabrics of the garments throughout the whole shoot were all completely natural, which, if you’re not sure what to wear for summer, I’d recommend as a good starting point. As to what colours are deemed to be natural, here in the Algarve, you’re blessed with an exceptional natural palette. As the photographer, Florian, reminded me, “Every beach has its own vibe and colour-world; even the sand varies from beach to beach.” That those colours and settings take on a different life with every change in light, give us yet more to play with in our wardrobes and more to appreciate with every daybreak and sundown.

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

– Jo Walton, Author

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