Ah, the September issue. Even as a midwestern mom, I find myself drawn to Vogue’s September issue, lured in by the pouty models, impractical clothing and the heft of 200 pages of style that will someday trickle down to my local boutique. While my style is much more classic than trendy, I do like incorporating new pieces each season to keep me in step. 

And, after repeated viewings of The Devil Wears Prada and eight years of avoidance, I screwed up my courage and staged my first fashion shoot for Northland Lifestyle. I can’t thank all the people that collaborated with me enough–Catfish and Tater, Sundance KC, our fabulous models, Debbie, Charlee, and Courtney, and our intrepid photographer, Ashley. It was quite an adventure as we posed and preened in the lush woods in Excelsior Springs, so much so that we had to be towed out of it!

The treehouse where most of our photoshoot took place was nestled back in the trees on the more than 200-acre lot owned by Melissa and Beau Claridge. Wildflowers proliferate and the landscape is hilly but passable in one of the couple’s Polaris all-terrain vehicles. My minivan full of models was a little less prepared for the ups and downs (literally) of getting back to the treehouse. We got out to the site well but on the way back, a steep hill and fresh gravel proved to be too much for my not-so-little Town and Country. Even with a running start and low gear, we only made it up 75% of the way up the final hill. 

Luckily, Beau was there in the clinch. He hooked my minivan up to his Polaris with a tow line and together, as the light faded from the sky of our ‘golden hour’ shoot, we slowly made our way up the hill. At the top, we discovered that we couldn’t get the tow line off our frame, so he towed us all the way back to his shop, where we continued shooting by the water and he not only unhooked the van but also popped an existing dent out of my bumper! I have a feeling that Beau might be the most interesting man in the world, despite what Dos Equis might have you believe!

Glamorous, huh? Stuck in the woods in a minivan? Luckily, we captured the last fleeting moments of twilight in some of Catfish and Tater’s easy but stylish options. I hope you enjoy this issue. It was a lot of fun to create!

Stay stylish!

Rachel