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Behind the scenes on the QE2

David Nieper
Behind The Scenes

David Nieper has partnered with the QE2 for an exclusive photoshoot and documentary. Climb aboard, and learn how these two historic British brands came together.

Many of you will have fond memories of voyages aboard the QE2, one of the last legendary ocean liners, marking special birthdays, milestones and anniversaries in the most luxurious setting. It’s a ship that’s had many lives, styles, and personalities, having been redesigned and repainted time and time again to fit the latest tastes and trends. Now, the QE2 has taken on its final guise as an opulent floating hotel and maritime museum, docked permanently in Dubai’s Mina Rashid.

We’ve been in discussions about a partnership with QE2 for some time, and not only because we knew it’d make a glamorous location for our photoshoots. We love to forge partnerships with brands that share our values, and the ship has much in common with David Nieper.

The QE2 Collection

“Just like us, the QE2 is a child of the 60s,” says Lauraine Jordan, PR Manager at David Nieper. “Both brands were born in the golden age of British fashion and manufacturing, a time of big, exciting ideas and revolutionary styling.

“It’s also quintessentially British with royal ties. Similarly, we’re proudly, thoroughly British, and have a few royal links of our own. Over the years we’ve been visited by HRH The Countess of Wessex and HRH The Princess Royal.

“Add to that our shared passion for quality, sophistication, and classic customer service, and it seemed like the perfect match. Together, we represent all that makes British industry brilliant.”

A partnership with QE2 just felt right. And after months of discussions, in February 2020 an exciting opportunity arose to shoot our latest campaign – and star in an exciting new documentary.

Past and present aboard the QE2

The QE2 has a long and illustrious history. Built in Scotland in the 1960s as a transatlantic liner, the QE2 began decades of service with a maiden voyage to New York in 1969. Over the following years the ship sailed 5.6million miles and carried 2.5million passengers. It even transported 3,000 troops and 650 volunteer crew members during the Falklands war, having been requisitioned by the British government in 1982.

Today, the sensitively restored Dubai hotel is steeped in that history – and as we stepped aboard, we knew it would make a magnificent photography set.

Striped Jersey Tops
Luxury Cotton and Silk Kaftan

Planning our summer photoshoot

Guided by Katie King, Marketing Director at the QE2, and watched by a documentary film crew, the team spent the first day of the shoot exploring every inch of the ship to find the most iconic spots.

“We were utterly spoilt for choice, with gorgeous bedrooms, stylish bars, the newly opened Queen’s Grill, a traditional English pub, and even exclusive access to the bow of the ship, which gave us all kinds of different stories to tell,” says Lauraine.

Capturing the elegance of each dress, top, and swimming costume isn’t as simple as choosing a location, striking a pose and clicking a camera, however. Organising, styling, and directing our shoots falls to our marketing department, led by Lorna Kavanagh. Each shot was carefully planned to fit the surroundings and natural light and accentuate the garments, she explains, with the production team and makeup artist on-hand to adjust the looks at a moment’s notice.

“When you’re working with natural light, you’re shooting against the clock,” says Lorna. “We always have to race to catch the sunset, or that gorgeous just-dawned morning light. It all has to come together in a moment – but it’s worth it for the perfect photograph.”

Choosing our luxury clothing

Matching the right garment with the right setting is also key to capturing the most beautiful – and believable – moments. Lorna told us more about how they selected the outfits for the shoot: “Our collection is filled with gorgeous spring and summer pieces that are made for adventures, at home and abroad,” she says. “In fact, we’ve been well known for our travel wear for decades. From light, gauzy kaftans and perfect-fit swimwear to lightweight everyday linens, these pieces are musts for your suitcase or just for basking in the garden – so they were top of our list while planning our trip.

Versatile Tankini
Luxury Cotton and Silk Kaftan

“But holidays aren’t just about swimming costumes and cover-ups. When the sun goes down, they’re an opportunity to dress up in luxurious, lightweight layers and relaxed yet glamorous dresses. So, our effortless evening pieces are just as essential when it comes to creating a summer capsule wardrobe – and we knew they’d look amazing in such a plush setting.”

Elegant Jersey Dress
Stretch Jersey Belted Dress

Coming soon to TV

But our photoshoot wasn’t the only reason we headed on-deck. What about that documentary we mentioned?

“The details are still very much under wraps, so I can’t tell you much yet,” says Lauraine, “But it should be airing on terrestrial TV soon. It’ll give you an exclusive peek behind the scenes of what we do, as well as an in-depth look at life aboard the QE2. Follow us on Facebook to be the first to hear more!”

Whether for afternoon tea, lounging by the pool, or sipping a cool glass of wine as the sun goes down, our collection looks right at home on the QE2 – and we bet it’d look just as glorious wherever you spend the summer. Browse our summer styles for relaxed, floaty dresses, breathable cotton casuals and silky kaftans that are as wonderful at home as they are on exotic adventures.

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