Q&A with railontour
Missed flexing your fits during lockdown? That certainly didn't stop South-West London's Esther who's quite literally taken her rail on tour to showcase her style during Covid
For all of us who are unfamiliar with the woman behind railontour, who are you and where are you based?
Hi, my name is Esther, a 27-year-old woman living in south west London. I am by nature , a curious learner reflective at heart and pretty lively in reality. I've worked in the analytical world of IT within law enforcement for close to 5 years and love a great conversation over tea as well as a really good nap!
Did railontour start during lockdown and what inspired the idea?
Yes, it did. One thing I understood of lockdown was that time was never the issue, it was desire so I embarked on a journey to do the things I had a drive for. I am a lover of many expressive arts forms like fashion and photography to blogs and music. One thing that is true in all, is the running theme of storytelling. I am inspired when an outfit, picture or song takes me somewhere. Like when a somewhat simple change in pose creates the backdrop for the feeling that the product was meant to convey, in a magazine page. So, in thinking about all of this I thought of a way to incorporate my many loves with skills that come natural to me in styling and creative production. That is when the light switch came on and I thought I should take my own wardrobe with me to locations that myself and others go or would love to go to , and while there, dress for the occasion and let the viewing person catch the vibe. I mean the scope is limitless!
The production value of your shoots is super high, is it a lot of effort taking your rail around London and do you have a dedicated camera person?
Thank you and shout out to the photographers I've worked with (@lensz___ & sentrosifilm) , yes, it is a lot of effort to take around, however from the first season to the second, I've figured out a more portable ways to transfer from each location. Believe it or not it's easier not use a car, so ubering / public transport to avoid the added worry of parking. I've had my sister and friend help with assisting as it's not just the rail but of course the outfits, shoes, accessories and top-up items needed during the shoots. The end result makes it worth it though. I started out with the intention to work with a dedicated camera person, as the concept would be understood and that hopefully I could build a good working relationship. It wasn't that way, but I have enjoyed the ability to work with different creatives because it brings different elements out of me and railontour. So far, I am happy with the continued quality over the shoots.
Do you have a fashion background in terms of education or professionally?
No, I do not have a formal fashion background. My academic history is the complete opposite. However, when I knew I wanted to really engage with my hobbies as an outlet from my regular week I took up an online styling course. I have always been around textiles and fashion as my mum used to run her own fashion store in my younger years.
Your last post was a video at Baker Street which is an interesting setting. What made you choose a tube station and how do you choose locations generally?
To be honest, I first think does this place sell this outfit and do I get the picture I want to paint here. Then it's a matter of availability (during covid restrictions) as well as distance and potential props the location may already provide. I had plans to use a few tube stations because many of them have character and give a background to that area. As the tube oftentimes is known as the heart of London, I knew I had to incorporate it, so hopefully this will not be the last station I shoot at.
Fashion is a big form of expression for a lot of people. Do you think lockdown robbing people of the opportunity to dress up and go out has had a serious mental effect?
I totally agree, it's no coincidence that roaring' 20s came after Spanish flu and WW1. When people are isolated, denied autonomy and the simplest forms of expression, you can expect a serious effect on people's mental health and the need to go hard once those things are back. I know from quiet observation and personal experience, that the ability to play dress up and go out provides a healthy balance, allowing a person to develop their identity and embrace their liberties. No wonder the memes came flying through once we got our "roadmap" out , I expect to see all the fits come June (well I hope).
Follow rainontour on Instagram
Photography by @lensz___
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