Meagan’s Corona Chronicles
With the pandemic as the world’s backdrop Meagan Wellman wanted to share some positivity.
It’s how her blog The Corona Chronicles was born.
A mix of “docu-fashion film” and photo shoots it’s a departure from M-Sew, Ms Wellman’s clothing brand that took the grand prize in the 2015 Bermuda Fashion Festival.
“I've always loved the creative direction part of the design process when it comes to photo shoots for campaigns etc,” she said. “I have a love for film and photography but never saw myself getting into it this way. I believe the main lesson that this experience has taught me is how to adapt to change and be fearless when learning new skills.”
Ms Wellman was living in London, England when the capital city went into lockdown last March. Furloughed from her job as a receptionist, and with lots of scrap fabrics on hand in her studio, she began making masks for charity.
“After that I set myself a challenge. I hadn’t been designing for a while and I decided to take a step back to re-evaluate where my brand was going. Covid was a perfect opportunity because everything had stopped anyway.”
A collection of printed T-shirts came out of that break. The question then was how to market them until her roommate came up with a solution.
“The lockdown was lifting and I obviously wanted to get out of the house to see my friends – and I had these shirts. Before I started The Chronicles I was just taking my collection and styling it in different ways and just kind of doing shoots and stuff around them. Also I do work with a selection of stylists so if they want to borrow anything I don’t know where my collection can end up. I just get the completed images. But, [because of the pandemic], to travel anywhere, that wasn’t really happening.
“I was thinking to do the usual: get a model, have a shoot, market it that way. I live with three other people and one of my housemates was like, ‘Why don’t you just do it with regular people because I think that will probably resonate, especially right now.’”
Ms Wellman took the idea on board and arranged a shoot with one of her friends.
“The first one I did was with a friend of mine at my place. It was nice, but then I [started wondering] what it would be like if it was in people’s spaces or at a place that was important to them. And that was pretty much how it started and now it’s just grown into film.
“I started to feel as if my initial 30-second clip that I was producing … they weren’t really saying anything. It felt like it was falling a bit flat. So I decided if I did a film interview with the person you can actually get to know the person a bit more and myself as well. Now the series has grown to fully-filmed interviews where I talk with friends about their experiences during the pandemic and how their lives have changed. The focus of the series is positivity and moving forward amid all odds.”
She has “received amazing feedback from Bermudians and friends abroad” who have followed The Corona Chronicles on her website and other social media channels.
In December Ms Wellman returned home and continued filming her Chronicles series here. She released her first, with Nicholas Butterfield, last week.
“Whilst I’ve been here I’ve been filming but obviously because of the [recent restrictions I was held up]. I have two, maybe three more lined up.
“I have been quite surprised. I think at first I thought maybe I’d have to do a lot of work to get people on-board, a lot of coaxing. But people have been ‘Yeah, I’d love to do that.’ So it’s been really great.
“I think people are actually quite open to talk about their experiences and how they’ve been keeping. I think the main thing that I’ve found is obviously people are just finding ways to handle [all the restrictions of the pandemic]. They have found ways to just keep it moving really. [I think we are all] trying to stay as positive as we can during everything that’s going on.”
In Bermuda until August Ms Wellman is focused on a new collection for her brand.
“I’m aiming for that to be out, if not winter then next summer because I’m still going through fabrics and final developments,” she said. “So the print development and how long the fitting process takes will determine which season I would push for. I’m working with a new team so I’m taking my time with it. I want it to be my best foot forward but I’m excited, I’m looking forward to it.”
Subscribe to M-Sew on YouTube or follow on Instagram: @msewofficial; Facebook: facebook.com/MSEWuk/; Twitter: twitter.com/m_sew