When finding pieces for Jasmin’s new look, we took much inspiration from the 50s; it was a natural development to what she was already drawn to and tied in perfectly with the sort of music she was serenaded by.
Initially picking a location for the shoot was almost as easy as making that Gretsch guitar look good between two legs - a small, unique, 50/60’s American style diner, tucked away on Tidy Street, in the Brighton lanes called Rock Ola, complete with genuine memorabilia on the walls and free jukebox, fitted the bill perfectly.
However - as we find is nearly always the case with these creative expeditions - it didn’t go to plan, but it couldn’t have come together more suitably. We were greeted by a sign on the door that read something like ‘CLOSED - we are very sad to announce we have gone out of business, record store next door still open’. There we were, with our first ever Flamingo model, photographer, a suitcase of outfits & that tasty (but heavy) guitar… just like that, our (in hindsight rather unorganised & assumptive) plans had fallen flat on their face. Peering in like a sad puppy through the glass, I spotted a lady moving around some stuff, right at the back of the cafe, I knocked - she looked over but no response.
After several attempts, the lady (who was probably both frustrated & puzzled as to why we were not taking any notice of the sign) came over to the door, looking as if her tired eyes were whispering “What could you possible want..can’t you see we are closed” ..I made simple hand gestures through the window, suggesting i wanted to talk to her (yep, that one where you open & shut your hand like a tiny baby crocodile…). As she fumbled around for her keys to open the door, I fumbled around in my head for reasons why she should keep it open.
Before I really had time to articulate myself properly, Pat confirmed she was the owner but sent us off in the direction of her husband, who was working next door at The Wax Factor (record store) - she had heard enough to empathise with us, but decided it was a decision for her Husband, Al, to make.
Al & Pat shared with us their story and their shop, allowing us to move things around as we pleased and use Rock Ola as our very first flamingo ‘studio’ (they even made us one of their famous strawberry milkshakes!). These proud owners have a genuine passion for the style of this 50s/60s era in which they met and fell in love - as we did with them and their unique coffee bar.
The Wax Factor record store is open and still going strong, but Rock Ola with its yummy decor and vegan menu is still out of use until further notice… we hope that this special space can be used in the near future for photoshoots, music videos and other creative projects that could help keep it a float…
Please do not hesitate to contact us with ideas for Al & Pat if you agree!