• Extended-post
    British Vogue shoot, Photo courtesy Tim Walker
  • Ice-sculpture

    Ice sculpture: US Vogue, photo courtesy Tim Walker

  • Tw_scarlett_r55f03

    Scarlett Johansson props. Photo courtesy Tim Walker

  • Wasps

    Wasps: Selfridges Window

  • Tw_flower_r1f9

    Constance Spry Flower Project: Italian Vogue, photo courtesy Tim Walker

  • Tw_flower_r45f15

    Constance Spry Flower Project: Italian Vogue, photo courtesy Tim Walker

  • Pompidou

    Blow Up set design: photo courtesy Tim Walker

  • Dmb-mulberrydinner-01_opt-e1297709637611

    Rouleur: photo courtesy Taz Darling

Events

Rhea Thierstein

Posted by Maya Davies,

Rhea Thierstein’s job looks like a lot of fun. As an art director, set designer and stylist, she has done shoots for British, American and Italian Vogue, often collaborating with the famed photographer Tim Walker. She recently worked on his first short film, The Lost Explorer, and designed the Claridge’s launch event, with diners like Helena Bonham Carter crawling through a tent to their seats. Thierstein’s design leans towards the romantic and the theatrical and there’s a childlike, fantastical feel to it – candied colours, ice-sculpture ships and flowers trapped in jelly. We caught up with her to find out more.

The ice sculpture ship is stunning but must have been a challenging material to manipulate. What materials do you most enjoy working with to create sets/props?

The great thing about this job is that each project is very different, therefore I am constantly exploring new materials. Its a great learning process and I try to use different materials as much as possible, but also keep it simple. In the studio it could be we’re using anything from papier-mâché to doing plaster life casting.

How do you start a project and build up a narrative for shoots?

I don’t really do storyboards, it’s usually just sketches that I use to develop and plan the ideas. I draw inspiration mainly from the environments around me. Nature is a big influence, so exploring in the rainforest has been a recent expedition, but I’m just as much inspired by the forms of the cranes I can see from my studio window.

You’ve obviously collaborated with Tim Walker a great deal. What’s the dynamic like and how much communication do you have prior to a shoot?

Mine and Tim’s relationship is a relaxed one. We have an understanding of each others’ style, so even though we do communicate a lot before a shoot, he trusts me to bring unexpected design elements to the projects.

What is your favourite of all the projects you’ve worked on and why?

I’d say the Constance Spry, Flower project was one of my favourites. It came together so beautifully and was such an enjoyable project. I now know a lot about flowers! The wasp window was also really great. It was completely me and a real joy to make and put together.

What advice would you give to people starting out in the industry?

Be true to your style, be willing to give a lot of your time and energy. Be persistent and aim high.

Posted by Maya Davies

Maya joined It’s Nice That in 2011 as our first ever events manager as well as writing for the site, in particular about architecture. She left in the summer of 2013.

Most Recent: Events View Archive

  1. List

    When we post work on It’s Nice That we don’t really know what that can lead to, but it’s always terrific to hear that creative collaborations have sprung from an article on the site. It’s even more terrific to hear of a coming together like this between Wild Beasts and animator and illustrator Mattis Dovier as part of The Jameson Works.

  2. List

    Last month we held an evening of talks at Mother London to showcase some of our favourite creative projects made possible through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Since it launched in 2009, it’s no exaggeration to say the organisation has changed the way the creative world works and it was great to hear from some of those who had made the most of the new opportunities Kickstarter offers.

  3. Main1

    Just over a week ago It’s Nice That’s Jamie McIntyre and I took a train from London to Glasgow to the much-antiticipated Graphic Design Festival Scotland. We had been invited by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist, two students who had recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. During their degree the two had found themselves working best when together, and decided to form Warriors Studio as a duo. They began thinking about the climate of graphic design in Scotland, the need for something new and exciting and – most importantly – what the hell they were going to do when term ends and they were turfed out to fend for themselves.

  4. List

    The House of Peroni is back and as bold as ever, this time celebrating the dizzying cultural diversity of Rome, the birth place of Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Combining the worlds of food, drink, design and film, contemporary Rome has been brought to London for one month only via a transformed townhouse; a four-storey exploration of how Rome’s rich heritage is being interpreted by a new wave of creative talent in Italy.

  5. Kickstarter_list_image

    Few things fundamentally change the way the creative world works, which makes the rise and rise of crowdfunding site Kickstarter all the more remarkable. Now five years in, it’s one of those brands that’s become a verb and “to Kickstarter” is an increasingly common way of launching a project.

  6. List

    Back in the spring, The House of Peroni took over a central London townhouse with a celebration of the retro 1960s inspired creativity which so influenced Peroni’s founders. Next month it’s back and this time around it will be a feast of food, drink, art, design and fashion that reflects the cultural diversity of Rome.

  7. List

    As one of the most fundamental visual tools, creatives use colour in a multitude of ways. It’s Nice That is excited to be partnering with G . F Smith for three evenings exploring how an eclectic mix of visual practitioners think about colour and harness its power. They will take place across the UK and each evening will also feature an exclusive screening of the Colorplan film Bright Red. The exciting line-ups we have helped curate for the events are:

  8. List

    An elegant townhouse in central London has been transformed into a multi-storey, multi-sensory celebration of Italian style and culture. The House of Peroni, which opened last night, boasts a host of retro-inspired creativity – inspired by 1963, the year Peroni Nastro Azzurro was launched – and it brings to life a stylised version of la dolce vita.

  9. Main

    I love Pick Me Up, especially the private view. Fine cheese, meats, booze and the best illustration and graphic arts you can hope for under one roof. In its fifth year the festival seems to have graduated from being a trade fair at which members of the public could by prints and knick knacks they wanted to hang in their kitchen, to being a place that celebrates the true craft of the world’s youngest and most talented artists.

  10. List

    We’ve featured Brinkworth’s beautifully designed skate parks on the site before when they launched Nike’s BaySixty6, a community project under London’s Westway that invited people of all ages to pick up a deck and try their hand on the ramps. The initiative was such a success that Brinkworth have become something of an authority on skate park construction and have since been invited to create a temporary set-up at the Old Selfridges Hotel, located inside Selfridges department store.

  11. Main

    A lot of websites and magazines have technology and creative digital media as the forefront of their coverage. I never really got it before, until visiting Resonate festival in Belgrade last week when suddenly it dawned on me: turns out technology really is the future. Whoops!

  12. List

    It’s that time of the year – the YCN Professional Awards are now open for entries and once again competition is sure to be fierce as the freshest creative talent at work around the world battle it out for the prestigious prizes.

  13. Virginatlantic1

    Somewhere in the financial district of Manhattan, Virgin Atlantic are quite literally flying the flag for Britain with Fabergé’s second Big Egg Hunt, which follows the resounding success of the inaugural event in London two years ago. Over 250 eggs have taken residency across New York for the month of April, with familiar creative names such as Tracey Emin, Oliver Jeffers and Shantell Martin have all transformed the blank canvas of a shell provided.