Behind the scenes with Disley

We go behind the scenes of Disley’s recent photo shoot with Lucy Woodward, marketing and development manager. Here she spills all about the new direction and look of Disley in 2020.

Our main aim with the 2020 Look Book was to take the brand redevelopment and restructure work started in the previous brochure and move it on to the next level.

Keeping the now established range structure, there were three key objectives that we wanted to achieve. Firstly, to really bring the garments to life, secondly to continue to develop the identity of each range and finally to further highlight the depth of experience in the company’s roots, marrying history and innovation into one compelling brochure.

Bringing the garments to life meant moving away from straight studio photography to show the garments in different locations, different contexts, from different angles, close-up and far away.

We set out to increase the variety of types of shots, to include model and still life shots, studio and location, full garment and specific detail shots, mannequin and flat lays too. Meeting that level of complexity of photography, with budgetary constraints was only going to be possible with thorough planning. There would be no spare time, no spare shots, so we needed to be very specific about which garments we were going to feature where, which would be used on location and which in the studio, what combination of locations could be used to create the required shots and still be achievable during one day. What would we do in the event of bad weather? An element of the planning that would be put to good use during the shoot!

We wanted real life settings with a relaxed, urban feel, not just sleek, polished corporate offices. We sought out backdrops and settings that added texture and a touch of natural life to the shots. Shots that would reflect elements of Disley’s industrial past, while also give reference to everyday working life. Aside from the locations, we planned to use subtle props and to build outfits to show how the garments could be worn, sometimes challenging the norm and introducing unexpected elements – like checked trousers and chinos or jeans.

In among all of this though, the core requirement was still to show the garment in its truest sense. To convey to our customers the information that they need to know about the garments. Does it come in long and short sleeve? What colours are available? What does the pattern or stripe really look like? Etc. The Look Book needs to work as an informative reference document as well as a brochure that inspires.

The shoot days were busy and challenging, the weather in particular did not make our location work easy, but the tight knit team worked wonders, each pooling their expertise for the collective good – it was a very satisfying sound when on the last day the project manager finally called ‘that’s a wrap’.

And now, as we work towards going to print, we are excited to share the results, to bring a new, refreshed perspective to old favourites and to showcase new additions.


First shot of the day, first day of the shoot. Hair and make-up complete, first outfit on and we’re ready to go! The weather forecast is not looking great so we rejig the schedule and head outside to try to get ahead before the rain descends.

Setting up for the Williams lead-in shot (which can be seen on p74). The Williams range is all about garments for practical, functional job roles, often carried out in fairly Industrial settings, so the location needs to reflect that. The backdrop of the bridge and former mill give context. The mill building is very reminiscent of Disley’s first factory building in Belfast. The brickwork adds texture and the water of the canal brings a touch of natural life to the shot.

These are going to prove very useful!



And the shot is in the bag, but the rain’s started so we rejig again and head back inside for the next shot.



Onto the Edition range and a feature shot of a crisp white shirt coupled with the rich, warm tones of an aubergine tie (p30). The Edition range is the home of our corporate, business orientated styles, but we wanted to retain the earthy, urban feel of the textured brickwork, this time within a sleek, office setting.

Flexing the angle of the shot enables the shirt and tie to be the hero elements and the natural light to be used to maximum effect.


After completing two more shots, we’re back outside and sheltering under a conveniently placed walkway. From here it looks like a bright, sunny day, but don’t be fooled!

Another tie shot, Heritage this time (p73). The brickwork texture theme gives continuity between the shots, but here we are taking a step away from the expected, standard suiting trouser and pairing a slim fit shirt and tie with light checked trousers to show how traditional items can be brought right up to date.




It’s nearly lunchtime and the feature scarf shot (p28) conveys that ‘break-out’ aspect of the working day. Paired with one of our print blouses, it shows just how garments can be combined within the range.




The weather might be doing its best to put us off, but we’re prepared for it. The umbrellas are needed even when sheltering under the bridge!

This will be the closing shot to the Look Book (p102), it has a relaxed feel for the end of the working day, showing two co-workers strolling home in co-ordinating, yet not necessarily matching, outfits. Stone chinos are combined to great effect with a cool navy shirt, which sits alongside a new checked navy blouse.


The clouds part just in time for us to head out into the open again. It’s the Heritage range and a new lead-in shot this time (p32).

Heritage is the home of many wardrobe essentials, fundamental items crafted with precision and styled with care. The shot features a fresh new addition to the range – a tailored fit checked Oxford shirt that is as at home with formal trousers, or as featured here, dark indigo jeans.




Some still life tie and scarf shots to complete the day’s shoot. (p29 and p31). Lining them up takes time, but the precision pays off and when shown together, it’s clear to see how the full range of colours and designs can be combined within a co-ordinated wardrobe.



Jump to day three and the team is in the studio this time. In contrast to the location shots, the backdrop is a neutral soft grey, which shows the garments to great effect.

We continue to portray a different feel within each range, by varying the trousers and skirts used to complete the outfits.

Here new blouse Erin (p14) is paired with contemporary houndstooth check trousers to lift the look.




And finally, we take overall garment shots and also focus in on key garment details for some close-up shots.

This enables us to show fabric texture, styling touches and garment quality by really homing in on the details.


And that’s a wrap!  

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