Fiona Harrison – Soprano and Costume Artist

A popular face on the vintage scene, Fiona has become a regular writer for Best of British magazine, the UK’s top nostalgia monthly.  So I was excited when Fiona telephoned to discuss a forthcoming feature for early 2016.  Always happy to travel, Fiona ventured east to Norfolk where I sourced the perfect location to showcase the fashion she required photographing – The Control Tower Bed & Breakfast in Walsingham.    Owners Ni and Claire (and the Control Tower cats Window and Mandrel) greeted us with warmth and hospitality, even though the building was buzzing, as a film crew from London were on site too.

Sadly I can’t share the images we shot for the feature as they won’t be published until early next year, however, I can share pictures of some of the other outfits we photographed over the course of the day.  These will shortly be featured in an article about Fiona in Norfolk on my Mind, Norfolk’s premier free lifestyle magazine, and will be archived by Fiona to document her ever-expanding wardrobe of costumes… personally I think she should have her own museum!


After we’d finished pictures for the feature, we continued by photographing this beautiful day dress which Fiona accessorized with green jewellery, gloves and a hat she crafted herself – in one of The Control Tower bedrooms.


This apron and matching headband were sewn especially for a hang out your washing picture which we achieved in the garden complete with vintage dolly pegs (remember them?).  However, they looked so fitting in The Control Tower kitchen neither of us could resist a few shots there too.


It’s not often I can get Fiona to look pensive in a picture, as she’s an inveterate performer, but the wistful glance out of the window in The Control Tower sitting room shows another side to our smiling songstress.


The Control Tower hallway played host to this knitwear shot, reminiscent of a post-war knitting pattern cover – the sweater also has a matching beret!


More knitwear, this time in the Tower garden, which Fiona effortlessly teamed with a headscarf to complement the autumnal hues of the hand-knitted garment.


Up on the roof we return to more formal attire, and a 1940s uniform, fitting perfectly with The Control Tower’s history.


A little more about Fiona: ‘My speciality is recreating historical periods through music and fashion,’ soprano and costume artist, Fiona tells me.  With over a thousand songs in Fiona’s repertoire, she covers many genres from Opera to Rock ‘n’ Roll, but is best know for her 1940s performances across not only the UK, but internationally too.  With Remembrance Day just passed, Fiona has been busy paying tribute at Montgomery Hall in Yorkshire and is now preparing for the launch of her new vintage magazine next week.

by Angela Adams

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