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The Alternative Blog

Susie Clegg, Interior Stylist & Creative Director

Susie Clegg is the interior stylist and creative consultant behind the fabulous Alternative photoshoots. Susie’s style has seen her produce beautiful inspiring shoots for magazines. Her projects take her between London, Milan, Los Angeles, Dubai and beyond.

Her passion for interiors has a strong basis in design. Susie studied both furniture and interior design before working as a buyer, trends forecaster and stylist.

Go behind the scenes with Susie and Alternative….

Alternative Plush Velvet White Jasper rug with Whipped border

How did you get into styling and what is the role of a stylist?

I studied Furniture Design at university and had always loved interiors. When I graduated, a friend, who worked in TV, and I met a stylist who told me that he thought this would be the perfect job for me and I have never looked back.

Today, my role is to take the brand values of my client and make it into reality, creating inspiration room sets that showcase their products – in this case it is Alternative’s lovely carpets, rugs and runners. I will concept the ideas for the look and feel of the shoot; source and collate all the furniture and accessories; and bring it all together on the shoot.

I am simplifying the process, as the majority of my job is logistics and planning. The final part is the styling, there is a lot of hard work that goes into a shoot before we even get on set.

 

When did you begin styling shoots for Alternative?

I started shooting for Alternative around six years ago. I work closely with 7:am Creative and they got me involved with the Alternative photo shoots, which I love.

From the archives… The limited-edition Flowers of Thorpe carpet from the Liberty Fabric for Alternative Flooring collection.

Most memorable photoshoot with them.

We did a shoot in a country house in the Somerset for the Liberty Fabrics collection with Alternative. We laid the carpet outside on the front lawn, it made such a beautiful shot. The house with the garden in full bloom and then this glorious, patterned carpet running all the way around. We were lucky with the weather. A perfect day where you do have to tell yourself that this is your job and I am lucky enough to do it every day!

Alternative Plush Sheer Tourmaline

Plush, a new collection of luxurious faux carpet that look as beautiful as they feel. We wanted to capture that in the images. These hand-woven carpets are made in three indulgent underfoot textures – smooth velvet, luxe sheer, and chic stripe.

Talk us through the process of the recent shoot – the brief.

It’s a collaborative process that start with Alternative’s creative and marketing director Lorna Haigh. 7:am Creative worked on the brief, planning how the new collection can be shot, and looking for right location to choose to shoot the products in.

I source the props that enhance the Alternative brand and fit into the overall look of the shoot. All components need to complement each other effortlessly and hence creating the final imagery.

A photo-shoot moodboard with different products and props

I am trusted to bring Alternative’s concept mood boards to life and include products and key pieces from current/leading designers.

On location with Susie Clegg and Ben from 7:am Creative

What happens on the day – is there a typical day?

It seems like all the days are very different, as the locations are varied – where we go, what we need etc. But the principals of the job are the same for each shoot.

We arrive at the location with the whole crew – myself, the photographer, carpet fitter, couriers bringing the products and also the props. We will unload and lay the carpets, then I will style the room using a mix of existing pieces from the location and also the pieces that I have loaned or hired for the shoot.

It is a lot of moving of furniture, unpacking and then packing back up again at the end of the day. It does feel like we are moving house most days. We capture all the photographs and then make sure the location is back how we found it. Load the couriers and head home!

 

Alternative Woosie Check Wonderful with ‘Raindrop 100’ coffee table by Fred Rigby

How do you source the props? Favourite brands?

Sourcing props for shoots is a balance of hire pieces and loaned pieces from key designers whose work fits well with the over scheme/trend of the shoot.

Over the years you build good relationships with suppliers and designers, so you can collaborate with them on shoots. Some of my favourite brands are, Fred Rigby and the Galvin Brothers.

Do you work closely with photographers?

Yes, the relationship has to be close, as we work together on the shoot day to bring the concepts to life and that is always a process and we work together to get the best shots.

Alternative’s Woosie Bouclé Winsome Carpet

Your favourite shot from this project.

I love how serene this image of the new Woosie collection is and how paired back the interior is. The flooring gives a real warmth to the space. Woosie is a first from Alternative, a wonderful new wool and sisal mix carpet that brings out the best qualities of two natural sustainable fibres which are firm favourites in interiors.

Where do you find inspiration?

Not to be a cliché but everywhere! I think that is when you know you are in the right job, I can walk down the street, go to the beach on a winters day and see a colour combination that inspires a shoot or forms and shapes I might use in my next shoot.

Especially with how readily available a camera is now with our phones; I capture so many pictures of interesting things and ideas.

Susie’s trendspotting finds at Maison et Objet’s last edition

Trends spotted at Maison et Objet latest edition…

The colours used in design are so beautiful at the moment, such a considered palette really inspiring, hopefully this will come across in some of the images.

Real artisan materials and processes were also really prominent this year, the softness of the handmade sitting alongside the sleek design of more modern design. I think the two worlds work really well together and a lot more companies are looking to the artisan for inspiration and keeping the past alive in new and fresh way.

Alternative Wool Iconic Herringbone Newman and Anywhere Panama Ice styled by Susie Clegg using fun and eye-catching props.

Describe your style in three words.

Simple, modern and graphic.

Describe Alternative in three words.

Innovative, fun and environmentally conscious.

Follow us on Instagram for inspiration.

See more of Alternative designs and explore our collections here

Find more flooring and interior design inspiration on our Alternative blog.

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The Edit - home style by Alternative