Posted in The Look

Oh Angie!

She raised Ziggy. You can say what you want about her behaviour, which was probably fueled by drugs. She was a fiercely protective mother of Ziggy and contributed much of her wardrobe and of herself into the creation of David’s most celebrated character.

This version is an ode to her avant garde look of the early 70s. When I did my research, I realized that she rarely overshadows David in pictures. I decided to revisit these early looks with curly hair, at the begining of the 70s. What if she was part of the band? What if she got a makover from David’s famed makeup artist, Pierre Laroche? I used a fluorescent eyeshadow as an avant-garde kabuki-esque blush. The eyes and the lips are true blue 70s. And if the lips were red, we’d have famed 70s model Donna Jordan. Earrings are vintage, dress is by Valerie Dumaine

In this interview you can see her energy

Posted in The Look

Veruschka Baby Blue

Veruschka Von Lehndorff is made of golden skin, big lashes, bold blue hues. The original self-portrait muse, although she did work with a photographer, she did all the rest: styling, makeup, wigs and hair pieces. We all owe her so much.Self portrait was edited to remove scars.

I experimented with orange tones to build up the skintone to that Ektachrome golden beige of the 60s 70–that Swedish looking tan. It was built up using an airbrush gun and a mix of cream foundations (diluted with the Make Up For Ever airbrush thinner) and Skin Illustrator (alcohol based). It came out a touch too saturated and I readjusted the colours in photoshop.

Veruschka never bleached her brows, however many makeup artist quoted Veruschkas ideas onto Kate Moss. So you have a sort mish mash of 70s, revisted by the 90s makeup approach. I did a subtle blush and kept the hair simple so it wouldn’t fall into full nostalgia.

the inimitable Veruschka
Posted in The Look

Life, Love & Theatre

Probably an obscure reference, but this post is dedicated to one of the Grande Dames of Theatre, Lynn Fontanne. She emigrated from London to New York. She met the love of her life, Alfred Lunt, and they were inseparable. I refiltered her character through the 70s prism.

This image made into my inspiration a while back. Recently I was researching different decades and was struck by the magical power it contained. The man behind, Alfred Lunt, is her husband and stage partner.

Posted in The Look

Twiggy (still) Rules the World

Out of all the images of the past, hers still endures as fashion and youth culture gravitas. It was a bit of a challenge to recreate it on someone more ahem… mature, but I’m really happy with the results. The use of airbrush and Premiere Skin llustrator colours are really amazing in creating subtle washes of colour that enhance the sixties colour vibe I was going for. Self-portrait was retouched to remove brow coverup, and acne scarring.

I bought the earrings from Canadian Designer Warren Steven Scott and they are still available in different colours.

Posted in The Look

Regal Deneuve

If one could crown a queen of cinema, then there is one cadidate that is surely on the short list and the A-list, of anyone who watches movies. The Queen Catherine Deneuve. All hail the Queen in Belle de Jour, where is she is at her most aristocratic. Perharps youth’s arrogance quickens in front of the lens. Image is a self portrait

It’s not Deneuve’s favorite. She talks about Tristana, another movie made with Buñuel. But If the public’s collective imagination was struck by Belle; it’s fair game to keep on looking into women’s desires, nearly 55 years later. Revisiting a monumental character of Western Cinema.   

Although the last time I had seen it, was a decade or so, I could still recall the pastel colour palette, in cool tones. Ditto for Deneuve’s brilliant wardrobe, makeup and hair, that capture the essence of the 60s, in the most perfect way. Catherine’s perfectly constructed facade as an actress playing a double life, and her breathtaking beauty.

While watching attentively this trailer I marveled at how the makeup is quite simple, all in tones of pink. They even changed the highlights to a pink tinge with makeup, which makes her look like a painted porcelain doll. No doubt, the reason why she was cast. I tried to recreate this pink/teal balance as all the whites shift in the movie. The wardrobe is white, baby blue, beige or black so you won’t notice this teal tinge. I shifted the digital image with a pale teal filter same as the film stock was treated, and the result is still magnificent 55 years later, on digital.

This is also the first makeup where I’ve used my airbrush not only to apply foundation, but also Skin Illustrator colours to modulate the pink tones. I’m not regretting the splurge as it’s taken my work to a new colour level!

Posted in The Look

Christa on the Velvet Throne

Better know as the enigmatic, yet always smilling Nico, from the Warholian creation known as The Velvet Underground. Christa invents the Rock Chick. Like many Wharholian women, she was discarded. But she kept–and keeps fighting for music. If you haven’t seen the movie about her life you should. Self-portrait was edited to remove acne scars.

The Trailer about the critically acclaimed movie about Christa

I chose a look from the mid 60s, when she was at her most iconic image of herself as “Nico”. With the use of an airbrush, it was really easy to change the skin tone to something that looked sixties-sunkissed. Her actual eye makeup was softer, but I wanted to reproduce that darkness that loomed over her eyes, by how she kept her fringe long. By examining a lot of black & white pictures, one could think her eye color was brown, but due to the shadows cast (creating a smoky effect), darkening her eye colour which was a pale blue. This character design echoes the 70s and 80s, where she rimmed her eyes more liberally. The shape I chose is also reminiscent of the mid-60s obessions with Egyptian eye makeup. I held back on the lashes deliberately, to make it more modern.

Posted in The Look

Sophia & Morricone

What can be said about Sophia Loren? She’s the Italian Monroe, but more … Italian. I was listening to a lot of movie soundtracks and I fell on this lovely playlist of Ennio Morricone’s best. I was inspired by the cowboy attitude, as she shoots straight from the hip and takes no bull. Sorry guys, but this woman can take the world on. Self-portrait was edited to remove acne scars.

I was inspired by every frame of this lovely montage. I tried to reproduce her beautiful complexion that was accentuated by technicolor. Thanks to my airbrush, changing my pasty winter skintone was a breeze.

Posted in The Look, The Magic

Rita The Goddess

Rita! Or Gilda, or Margarita Carmen Hayworth. Really, it’s hard to tell them all apart. Rita was was an invention, an actress, a dancer and a Goddess! Image is a self-portrait and was edited to remove acne scars.

There were femme fatales, girls next door, tough girls, country girls, good wives, up until Gilda.  After Gilda, appeared the Hollywood Goddess. With her million-dollar smile, twinkling eyes, vaporous hair, sensuous dancing, she breathed life into celluloid divinity! Pushing away the European Femme Fatale, and creating the All-American Glamour Goddess.

She famously said: “All men fall in love with Gilda, but wake up with me”. A poignant statement and warning about the curse that glamour places on those who weave the spell: is that it carries on in real life.

I went for bare shoulders, like in Gilda‘s iconic closeups. A Technicolour flush, from whatever makes the heart race, and the skin glow. Bless you Rita, wherever you are, for making sexy, classy. We can only wish to live up to the grace you gave!

Rita as Terpsichore, a Greek Goddess that comes to Earth for a Musical Show.
I used this rendering as the inspiration for a more modern version of the look.
Posted in The Magic

Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara is a painter, but since she is a self-made woman, I let her join my little pantheon of Vogue Showgirls. If anything, she obviously used her own face for many of the paintings. And if she was around today, I’m pretty sure she would be doing self-portraits. After all, instagram is the new miniature painting gallery. I decided to work the characters that appear in the works, as well as on the artist. Her Love of contrasting colours, bold shapes and renaissance colours made her 1930-1940 paintings on par with the great Dali. Notice how intimidated he is by this worldly woman! Editing was to remove some of my scars, but I left behind some eyebags, they look good with this style.

My Character Study for Tamara de Lempicka, set in 1939. I adapted the makeup to my face. To represent the in-between of 30s and 40s I used 40s hair with 30s brows.
Posted in The Look

Joan Crawford

She’s officially part of the Showgirls, but she has a special place in my heart as the extravagantly dramatic Dame, with undeniable glamour. Although, there were plenty of ballsy women in Golden Hollywood, Joan had her own unique brand of quirky abrasiveness, mixed in with her iconic looks. Self-portraits were edited to remove acne scars.

I love this clip where Joan does a self-parody of herself in a now forgotten Hollywood fluff film for flavour-of-the-day Hollywood stars. One wonders, if like they did for Marilyn, did the audience become addicted to a personality trait, that she then had to keep marketing: that of the easily angered woman. Was she, or wasn’t she? It doesn’t matter, she took it to the next level; a sort of burlesque of anger. These kinds of emotional turn-arounds would later inspire drag queens and theatre actors alike. Is it camp? Perhaps, it’s really good acting! Good ole entertainment! That’s why she’s delicious… You can’t tell!

The Joan tantrum, making femme anger glamorous.

Her career as JOAN (insert drag queen sneer), a packaged version of her own self, would start in the 1940s at the then, ripe age, of 35. Crawford embodied the fashions of the 40s and 50s with her looks and her personality. The famous Hollywood designer, Adrian, did make all those outfits with shoulder pads just for Joan. To suit her square shoulders, and then, it just happened to become popular! Her looks even inspired Blade Runner’s Rachel. One of the few actresses who’s body of work spans all of her adult life, and who has many cult films under her belt. Joan always gave her fans what they wanted, she knew JOAN existed for them. But through her filmography you can see her work as a great actress in Baby Jane, or playing a desperate woman in Strange Cargo, opposite Clark Gable.

For the top picture, I decided to set this character in 1944. Joan doesn’t have any colour movies or promos at this time in her career. Technicolor did exist but it was reserved for Musical Movies, not Dramatic Films. I wanted to imagine a colour palette for a movie where she would dance and sing. For the makeup, I used two amazing pink lipsticks from Lisa Eldridge, Skyscraper Rose and Velvet Carnival. She did seem to have auburn hair at the time, so I kept the eye makeup in line with the hair colour. With the photography, I worked on the idea of Technicolor movies and colorized images, a sort of acid, but bubble gum aesthetic.

The picture below, was pure luck, as the sun came in briefly as a ray of light during this winter solstice period. I took the opportunity to snap this picture. I wasn’t sure if I could render the caracter of Rachel from Blade Runner, but the Hollywood spirit was on my side.

All clothes are vintage finds.