Down the Road of Portobello…
In the world of Brexit and global segregation, it’s incredibly fulfilling to see true representation of diversity in a fashion campaign. And what better place to find that diversity than between the corners of Portobello Road, West London. For the making of her latest campaign, Penelope Chilvers, interior-designer gone shoe-magnate, found her latest inspiration on the street she knows the best. “I grew up in West London, 5 minutes away from Portobello Road Market,” the designer said while explaining the thought process behind this season’s images. Inspired by late Mama Casset’s famous black & white studio portraits, photographer Lily Bertrand Webb took 16 West Londoners (and a dog) and captured them in all their eclectic glory, wearing the shoes from Penelope Chilverns' core collection, chosen by themselves.
Singer & Portobello Market stall holder Natalie May photographed by Lily Bertrand Webb
The models were streetcast around the market with the idea of representing the true spirit of acceptance and individuality that’s been nurtured in the area for decades. Everyone from a Brazilian vintage-selling duo through to a musician and stall holder also known as “the queen of tweed”, all the way to a vintage trader and part-time learning support assistant for adults with special needs and autism (she was also a Vivienne Westwood muse in the 1970s). Chilvers and Bertrand Webb celebrated the individuality in the best way possible - letting the beauty of personality shine through and proving how versatile her collection of heritage shoes exactly is. We have an instant need to go and roam the sidewalks of Portobello in order to join the universe of happiness and great shoes.
Designer Penelope Chilvers with her daughter Gemma photographed Lily Bertrand Webb who also produced the shoot
Find out more about the Penelope Chilvers collection at www.penelopechilvers.com.
Text by Dino Bonacic