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.

Posted in The Journey, The Look

Vogue Showgirls

To celebrate 6 months of self-portraits, and to make it to Xmas, I’m working on my Showgirls! A tribute to two of my favourite inspirations: Fashion Magazines and Music Hall entertainers. If you want to find out more about what I learned. Self-portraits are edited to remove my acne scars. All clothes are vintage and were bought from a local thrift organization.

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Posted in The Look

Uma Has The umami

It’s sort of ironic that Uma’s most striking image is that of a coke-ed up 90’s poster child, Mia Wallace. But to me, the more inspiring Kill Bill character, was what I really wanted to channel in this iteration. So I decided to combine both into this single shoot. I started out mimicking the famous film poster, and it sort of felt flat. That’s usually the issue when you try to copy something,.. you can’t always get the same flavour. It’s always better to put your own twist. So I put on “fake blood” (lipstick, actually ) and tried not to look so pretty. Who knew that not trying to look pretty is quite fierce! Images are self-portraits, editing was done to hide my acne scarring.

The pretty Uma. Shirt by Arch The, Necklace by Harakiri, vintage coat.

More than once people I meet tell me I look like Uma Thurman. It’s always annoying that you look like someone else, and not yourself. But for these series of self-portraits I’m going to confess: I’m not mad. I’ve been going through some personal issues, and it felt good to exorcise it in these images. When I was selecting the images, I felt that maybe the head on shot was too much, but I’m liking it more and more. There is something to be said about giving yourself permission to feel wounded and angry, yet triumphant!

Products used: RCMA 11 palette, K V D Contour palette on face and eyes. MAC brow Duos in Red Head and Brunette. Kevyn Aucoin lip pencil in Medium. Sephora Lip Stories in Yum Yum.

Posted in The Look

Queen of Hearts

The fascination with Diana Spencer was always an instant affair for the public. As I was trying to figure out what she could be thinking of, while “posing” (there is no better term). I realized that Diana never posed. She couldn’t help but to be as transparent as water, as natural as a wild doe. The golden prison has always fascinated people. How could one be unhappy when one has all the things in the world? The truth is Diana wanted the most precious thing in the world, to find herself. She wanted to be free to help out people who were in need. In honour of her, I made a donation to the Crisis in Yemen. If you’re comfortable enough, you can also make a contribution to a charity of your own.
Pictures are self-Portraits

Posted in The Look

Wrap It in Love

I’ve been wanting to do a sixties makeup, but I’m bored of directly quoting decades. I’ve decided to mix the 60s and 80s. My inspo is my favorite cover idea of the 60s: wrapping outlandish fabric around a face. It seems to always work wonders!
Pictures are self-portraits edited by me to remove acne scarring.

The inspiration Vogue US March 1965
Posted in The Magic

Mr. Lutens & Me

One of my teen idols was Monsieur Lutens. In an age where there was no digital retouching, only airbrushing, and no screen to see how it’s turning out to be. Waiting for the proofs to arrive! You have no idea! The quality and level of his images for Shiseido are still unparalleled, even in our digital age. Reflecting the Sarah Moons and BIBA of the seventies, he took that language into the 80s and reinvented it with Japanese beauty in mind. Add some art deco aesthetics that were trendy in the 80s, and some of his own inspiration (Dovima, I suspect). His women are enigmatic, like sphinxes, or modern Geishas. Perhaps even silent movie stars. I took a spin at the aesthetic language and as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery! Thank you for your wonderful Legacy Monsieur Lutens.
Images are self-portrait, the skin was edited to remove my acne scarring.

I added my own inspirations to the mix, Russian film posters, Japanese Kabuki makeup and some tuxedo realness, with a touch of boyishness…is that you Marlena?
Ring is Vintage Saint Laurent. Suit and bow tie are vintage finds.
Posted in The Look

I See Your Halo

The baddest, coolest women I know sport a big halo of tight, curly hair. These pictures are an homage to their big hair, and big personalities. Pictures are self portraits, edited by me.

There is something about a big mass of curly hair, that forces their owners to own it. You won’t go unnoticed. You’re the crowned queen with your curls. And you might have to defend your aura, without even knowing it.

I love the golden effect of this synthetic wig! It did need to work to loosen the curl to a believable tightness for my features. I’ve been toying with this look for a few months. With the blue lenses and the freckles, I become unrecognizable.

Eye shadows from the Blueberry Muffin palette. Blush from the Truffle Blush collection in Chocolate Marshmallow.