If you have lived in Darwin for a few years and attended Cup week chances are you will have heard of Maria Koko Designs. I first started following Maria when we moved to Darwin last year. I had never met a milliner before or even met someone who made head pieces. The day I met Maria I knew that I had met a fellow creative soul and her head pieces….oh my…. they are stunning. Lovingly crafted with skill and as a reflection of what inspires her. I nervously asked Maria if she would be interested in collaborating on a styled shoot I had in mind and from that short conversation developed a mutual relationship of creative expression.
The 2018 Darwin Street Art Festival had recently concluded and I wanted to capture some of the spectacular artwork created on the walls of various buildings around our city. My beautiful friend Maddie was our model and was an absolute dream to work with. What ever crazy request we asked of her she willingly followed and had just as much fun as we did! We woke at dawn and met in Austin Lane in front of a wall painted by Carla Russo from The Artful Room.
Right next door we stumbled across the Air Raid Arcade. A quirky and vibrant place full of shops, cafe’s and Rosie’s Ironing Shop which has just opened. True to our creative beings we wasted no time asking if we could take a few pictures in Rosie’s Ironing Shop. Maria set to work styling the shop will I adjusted my settings for the lighting. We had so much fun in here. Thank you Rosie for letting us take over your shop for a little while!
We finished off at the Arcade with a few pictures in front of some of the shops found here. One of my favorite details from the arcade were these big eye ball lights!
Before we left we utilised all the props sitting in the arcade and the fusion between the backdrop and Maria’s headpieces was incredible. All throughout the morning each headpiece complemented the artwork Maddie stood in front of.
The Salty Mermaid Cafe was still under construction when we took the next photos but it has since opened. I took my children to the shop and it was buzzing with activity. If you are in Darwin city and looking for a quiet, comfortable place to enjoy your coffee with a book – this is the place to be. Sitting in the Salty Mermaid, you quickly forget you’re in Darwin because of the vibe, music and decor. There are free books to read inside or along the walls of the Arcade are stories about Darwin during World War II.
We were on a roll in the Air Raid Arcade but there were murals from the Darwin Street Art Festival that we wanted to capture so we finished up and headed to our next destination. Stay tuned for part two of our Underground Street Art styled shoot and more of Maria’s beautiful headpieces.