Last summer we had THE most amazing trip to the gorgeous Côte d’Azur for what can only be described as four action packed days of pure glamour and fun! The French Riviera is famed for being one of the most glittering of all Mediterranean playgrounds with beach resorts such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes and the independent microstate of Monaco attracting the jet-set crowd of the rich and famous from around the world. Medieval stone villages stand virtually untouched in its rocky hillside and over the centuries artists such as Picasso, Renoir, Chagall and Matisse have called Côte d’Azur home. With a near tropical climate, palm trees galore, sandy beaches and super yachts anchored in the azure waters at every turn, this strip of coastline is notorious for its hedonistic lifestyle, glamorous Cannes Film Festival, Formula 1 Grand Prix and celebrity spotting.
While in the South of France, we had the pleasure of putting together a number of fashion shoots on location both in Nice and Monaco where I got to wear some stunning gowns from online dress hire company Chic by Choice. Chic by Choice provides an inspired concept by giving women access to a large range of amazing designer gowns straight from the catwalk which you can hire at an incredibly reasonable price and 85% less than the retail price. They work with more than 40 designers, ensuring there is something to suit every woman’s shape, size and style.
After arriving in Nice and unpacking the beautiful dresses that had been sent directly to our hotel, we went for lunch at a beachside cafe and took a stroll through the streets close to our hotel before heading back to change for the first shoot. The gown we chose for the Nice shoot was the fabulous floaty white dress by designer Catherine Deane which featured capped sleeves, a wonderfully embellished waistline and sensational pleated detail that swept from the waistline to the floor in soft feminine sweeps. We worked with the soft early evening light to create some fresh, fun images in and around Place Messena using a Phase One medium format digital camera courtesy of The Flash Centre which produced amazing high quality results.
After a few days off to relax we took the train to Monaco armed with all our gear for the next photoshoot. We arrived at Hotel de Paris where I changed into the first of two gowns, a beautiful designer dress rental from Nicole Miller. The dress was made up of black lace with a nude lining and featured a feminine yet comfortable halter top with open back detail.
My favourite of the three dresses was undoubtedly the Roberto Cavalli black v-neck embellished gown. Roberto Cavalli produces the most incredible dresses, perfect for turning heads at any formal event. The dress really had the wow factor with its cross over v shaped neckline, sweeping skirt that wrapped into a waistband and a gorgeous statement train. The tonal beads of the dress created eye catching detail. It really was elegance personified and made me feel like a Bond girl while I was wearing it!
Although I love a shorter dress too, there is something about a full length dress that is the epitome of glamour for a special night out. Most of us have at least one special dress for a formal event but sadly they spend most of their lives hung in our wardrobes or boxed away waiting for daylight so they can shine again. However, with fashion ever changing and that desire to feel special on our big night out means many of our gorgeous dresses only get a few outings in the first place!
I thought the concept of hiring a stunning designer gown for a fraction of the price an inspired solution therefore. The dresses arrive straight to your doorstep and you can even ask for an additional size just in case the one you have ordered is too big or too small. I will definitely be using them myself in the future when it’s time to get my Vogue on! Chic by Choice is a company we should all shout about but at the same time is a best kept secret!