Belle’s room is without doubt one of Bangkok’s finest mixology bars. The interior is an ornate and eloquent blend of eras from the French Renaissance to Victorian England with a few twists in between. It oozes casual elegance.
Belle’s Room has two distinct personalities, by day a place for tea, coffee, girly chit-chats and light heartedness. By night things get darker allowing for something a little more mischievous and devilish. Strong cocktails that inspire passion, love and lust are served up by the bars main protagonist and award winning mixologist “Chacha”.
To create Belle’s room website, we faced a more complicated task than usual – we needed to ground the content and visual style in a clearly defined concept. Our challenge was to choose one particular visual style to feature in a conceptual photo-shoot whilst reflecting Belle’s room’s two distinct day/night personalities in a digital environment.
OUR CONCEPT: THE 7 DEADLY SINS
We first decided upon the decade and location: 2nd half of the 18th Century, France – with the number one European fashion and style icon, Marie Antoinette. Her extravagant outfits, profligate robes, make-up, and outstanding wigs that she often used to make political statements. The reaction of every women we spoke to, from colleagues, clients even the models during casting reassured us that this era and visual style will evoke excitement in the target market.
In order to reflect the ambience of the venue, we decided to combine a Marie Antoinette visual style with a 7 deadly sins concept. The seven deadly sins is a concept has been used many times throughout European history, they have inspired architecture, paintings and even popular movies. It was our strong belief that it would resonate with our target audience in Thailand also. Pride, greed, lust, wrath, envy, gluttony, and sloth are, by many cultures, believed to destroy the life of grace and charity within a person.
Having defined the concept we then set about the extensive preparation phase. Having studied the lighting and the tonal colours used in Marie Antoinette’s contemporary paintings; we learned the poses, hand and head positions and spread of figures within the space. Our goal was to transform the usually deity-like representations of sins into situations you might find within a bar: overconsumption, envious couples, seductions… Detailed storyboards were drawn to establish the scenes, the poses and the dynamics of each act during a daytime and nighttime setting.
We managed to source amazing period costumes in Chiang Mai and secure them, and sourced a variety of props from numerous locations within Bangkok. To our utmost delight, Hilde Marie Johanessen and her Scandinavian Make-up Studio, one of the best make-up artist in the region, was convinced enough by our presentation that she agreed to fit our photo-shoot into her busy schedule.
Models were carefully casted. Their characters had to reflect sin, and they had to demonstrate the ability to act out the personality transformation from light to dark.
The last stage of the project was creating the actual website itself. We needed to find a way to maximize the beauty of the images without compromising the main purpose of the website.
To portray the bars two polar characters in a digital form we implemented a script that changes the images on the website from day to night depending on your time zone. When viewing the website between 6am – 6pm will see the daytime “light” images, when viewing the website between 6pm and 6am you will find the nighttime “sinister” images.