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Patterns, textiles, fabrics—these are among our favorite things at MILIEU—and for the photo shoot with the young Houston designer, Sarah Sharp Leatherwood, we were able to indulge in these.  As the focus of our Fashion to Furnishings feature, Sarah is all about vibrantly-hued Peruvian textiles that she acquires and fashions into a variety of accessories. She and Shannon Bowers, our style director, decided to hold the photo shoot in what was then our on-site studio space we had at the magazine (we’ve since settled into our new house/office, which Pamela Pierce, our founder and editor in chief, writes about in her current Editor’s Say).

On the morning of the shoot, bags of textiles, throw pillows, and clutch bags that Sarah makes and sells in her Houston showroom arrived at our offices. Then it was up to Shannon and our photographer, Megan Lovoi, to position a sofa in the studio space that Sarah had chosen and had upholstered with a textile she’d purchased on a trip to Peru.

It was Shannon’s novel idea to make a sundress for Sarah from one of her textiles, a pattern that Shannon and our team had chosen weeks earlier. After our expert couture seamstress, Anne Khuong, had made the dress, it was up to Shannon to do a final bit of styling, notably securing the strap in back. One of the things we genuinely pride on ourselves on at the magazine is how everyone on staff wears many hats. Some of us, such as Shannon, may have the title of an editor, but that can just as easily mean working with the publishing team or marketing teams when needed or, in this case, being a model dresser.

The natural light in our former studio space proved ideal for the shoot, with the light sufficient to illuminate the colors in the textiles. By day’s end that long sofa and comfortable pillows beckoned…