Get to know Cristina - my model for the Windblown Collection

I had the most wonderful time photographing the Windblown Collection, and most of the reason why, is my wonderful friend - and model - Cristina. 

I had been racking my brains and, quite frankly, stressing about what I was going to do about my 'model shots' (not a type of photography I had ever done before). But I saw that Lulu and Boo - a fellow jeweller, who I knew from my Diploma with Jewellers Academy - had recruited her daughter as a model for her jewellery.

Which got me thinking... who do I know???

And more accurately, who do I know with the patience and good humour to put up with my (no doubt) time-consuming efforts to capture some decent photos of my shiny new jewellery collection.

Then one day, when I was crossing the bridge from the car park back to our boat, it came to me... Cristina!! (Imagine her, clouds parting and light streaking down from her beautiful long dark hair, as she floats angelically in the air of my mind!). Perfect!

Cristina in all her natural, ethereal beauty

We already know each other very well - as she explains below - so she knows (probably too much about) what I am like,  and I know (even if she doesn't) how gorgeously beautiful she is - inside and out! 

So I sent her a long rambling WhatsApp note, basically begging her to help me and - happily for us - she said yes!

We had the most amazing Sunday(s - there were two!) wading through fields and wandering up and down the river, contending with the cold and the wind and the sun.

Much of the shoot was not nearly as serene and calm as it looks. At one point an insect bit her.. above the thigh, say no more! We belly laughed our way through most of it (scroll down for proof) and I felt it was only fair to share a little bit more of this splendid human with you. So here we go: 

Can you tell us 4 things about you that will help us picture your life and what is important to you in it?
I am an absolute lover of music, collecting old things, being spontaneous and going on adventures. I am very interested in social justice issues and hate any type of inequality – so doing what I can to help people is something that has always been very important to me.

How do you know Dawn?
I met Dawn when I started working at the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust
– she was my first real manager in permanent work life, and we had the best
time. We would always go on road trips across Hertfordshire to present to
school children in assemblies, or hold Air Ambulance stalls at community
events, or to support fundraisers – and every single one of these outings
would be adventurous and chaotic. We laughed on a daily basis and that’s a
big reason why we are still friends to this day!

Have you ever been a model before?
Only a few times when I was young! This one time when I was around 22 years old, I was waiting outside of Oxford Street Topshop (when that was still a thing RIP) one evening, feeling very upset over a boy, and a very cool looking lady came up to me and asked if I would be her hair model for her Toni and Guy showcase, which was a catwalk in front of all the students and
their families. As you can imagine, 19 year old me was flattered beyond belief. So I went to the HQ a few weeks later and joined around 10 other people for this catwalk, got my hair done by this girl for hours and I looked fierce. My hair was huge and my makeup was lush. However, I was then handed my outfit…

The outfit consisted of a lovely loose fitting top and a thong.

How was the experience and did you learn anything?
The experience was actually very fun – I met some great people, I felt pretty cool at the time and it was just a new and exciting experience. Little country girl in the big bad city, with excellent hair and new found sass.

What’s your fave piece from the collection?
I love the Tailwind ring! I have a real thing about rings, and this one looks so unique and is a design I haven’t seen before. I love the movement and that it has a tiny chain to compliment the silver band. The story behind it is very sweet too!

Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery from your own collection? Can you tell us a bit about why you love it?
Hmmmm , I have so many favourite jewellery pieces! I love anything that is old, because old means that it has a long history tied to it. Last Christmas, my parents bought me a lovely 15ct gold ring (that I chose) which was made in 1868 – it’s a buckle design with a tiny pearl and
turquoise. Buckles were a popular motif in Victorian jewellery, and symbolize being bound in love or friendship – which is think is so lovely. I like to think about all the people that would have owned and wore this ring, all their stories, what they saw in their lifetime, all while
wearing this gold little ring.

If you could magically change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would eradicate poverty. Around 9% of the global population are living in extreme poverty and are struggling to fulfil basic needs like health, education, access to water, sanitation etc. Yet, in 2020 it was reported that the world’s billionaires had more wealth than the 4.6 billion people
that make up 60% of the world’s population. I find that completely wild and something that will never sit well with my spirit, so if I ever had the power to change anything, it would be that!

Where can people connect with you?
Instagram @cristina_barone

Cristina in fits of laughter, left in front of a tree and right being harassed by the branches of a willow

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