A family affair
Although it's the shoes that steal the show in our photos, we are often asked about the beautiful clothing, locations and even the four legged extras! This season our canine star is Balou, whose owner Karen Foster is our talented stylist. He was accompanied by Karen's daughters Maddie, 15, and Tilly, 13, budding photographer and stylist respectively; making our photo shoot a real family affair!

"We've lived in France for five years," explained Karen, who commutes to London most weeks to work, "and I'd been on the shoot for a week when we realised we needed a British looking dog for four photos. It's not always easy to find a dog for a certain day or time, so Balou, just three hours away at our home near Toulouse, seemed the perfect candidate.

"When they arrived we were shooting the canvas shoes on a beautiful wooden boat, I had a rail of clothes on a tiny jetty and it was quite windy so I was really happy that the girls could help. Tilly helped to get the models changed and Maddie got stuck in with the photographer, helping with the reflectors and keeping his equipment dry," explained Karen, who has been a fashion editor, art director and stylist for over 25 years, including spells at Just 17, Tatler and She.
Photoshoot Crew
Dogs Splash
Above - Amour
Left - Balou with Splash
Below left - Scarlett
Bottom - Our photo shoot crew
For the Hotter shoot Karen has to buy, style and plan 400 outfits. She arrives two days before the shoot starts to get everything hung up, steamed and organised. The clothes she finds are from lots of different stores: "I snap up interesting pieces in the previous season's sales and sometimes get things altered or change buttons," she explained, "for this season I also added length to some of the dresses by sewing coloured ribbon to the hem."

After Balou's starring role he returned home with the girls; but Tilly, who didn't have half term homework to complete, was invited back to help out at a new location, which proved a particular highlight for both her and Karen: "We stayed in the Château where we were going to shoot and myself and Tilly shared the most amazing king size four poster bed, that had once been slept in by Florence Nightingale!"

And Karen's favourite shoe? "This season I really love the Amour loafer, it is such a versatile, ageless shoe and I had the challenge of styling it eight ways - it really was my chance to show off. I can honestly say I love working for Hotter, creating a timeless, effortless and ageless look and feel that is right for each shoe and for Hotter's customers."
Give someone in your family some comfort...