Black models in the early 70s were hard to find in the pages of Vogue. The fashionable faces of the time were big-eyed faerie-like girls. Pat Cleveland arrived in Paris, famous for its love of diverse women, and made a name for herself. On the catwalk she was an entranced Egyptian Goddess. Resorting to white face to make herself more appealing. Her happy and go lucky attitude was a breath of fresh air! Self-portrait was edited for acne scars.
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.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying being in total control of this blog. From doing the casting, the hair and the makeup, the styling, and photographing it all. This time around, three women put their creative talents to showcase our vision of beauty.
All of the images in this blog post came from Cristal’s vision of Bibi. I’ve been working with Cristal when I need more complicated hair, as I don’t have her experience.
As we were talking about the details of this shoot over Ceviche, in a Mexican restaurant. She was showing me images of big, wild, curly hair with a rose in the mouth.
As artists we do this Freudian mise-en-scène; we project ourselves onto other people to play out our fantasies. For me, it’s the greatest pleasures of photography. This realization, that the images I make are about myself more than my subjects, has been very present in my mind. And the more I shoot, the more I’m confronted with projections of my own beauty standards, my points of view on different faces, and understanding of ethnicity. You can only create things you project, and things that you allow to happen.
NEW KIND OF VOODOO
There is a chair I got as a present for working on a design project for friends. They were called Samare. You can see more of their work here www.design-milk.com/samare. Their beautiful chairs are inspired by Canadian and Aboriginal elements. She brought a lot of plastic flowers to decorate the chair, so we could use it as a prop.
Bibi has been modeling for a long time and she’s really good, it was wonderful working with her fast-paced posing.
When I met Shani, I fell in love with her. She has the most natural, calm yet focus vibe. With some clothes from a friends vintage shop I put together looks to play up her amazing beauty. I’m sad that she dropped out from being a model. She was just wonderful!
Photos by Cesar Ochoa