There is no denying that Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland and her subsequent ambles Through the Looking the Looking Glass have had an enormous impact on my life. The love I had for the books as a child has grown exponentially over the years and to this day are my choice retreat when the world insists on being too serious.
This work is an homage to the magic of Lewis Carroll and the iconic illustrations of John Tenniel that have been shaping the way we see Alice and her Wonderland for the last 150 years.
Every project needs a good team and for this one I was blessed with the very best. A huge thank to photographer Donatella Parisini for your undeniable skill and magic at capturing Alice and to Lilu Stella for embodying the character perfectly (and being an incredibly patient model!) :)
On February 14th while many were drowning in kitch love cards, heart shaped chocolates and poems cheesy enough to make your eyes bleed, people gathered in over 200 countries to stand together and speak out against domestic violence.
V-Day has been gathering momentum over the last decade - encouraging the use of creativity to speak out against violence towards women. Photographer Donatella Parisini instigated this project with the aim to create a series of three strong visual art pieces communicating that violence effects women from all walks of life and causes a lasting imprint of both physical and emotional pain on its victims. A huge thank you to our beautiful model Jessie James for her skill, time and patience in helping us bring this project to life.
The final photos were donated to V-Day in the hope the message they communicate might help raise further awareness about this important issue.
For more information on V-day and how you can help and join the 1 Million Rising visit www.V-Day.org
A cheeky little afternoon shoot from my last trip to Melbourne - inspired by my beautiful friend Naz and a rather funky pair of Frothlyfe sunglasses.
Very happy to announce that my work can now be found in the month's issue of Elegant Magazine!
This shoot was coordinated to showcase the wonderful handmade creations of Amanda Dudley Millinery and features the beautiful sisters Teilia and Elle May Smith. All photography and styling by my amazing friend Donatella Parisini, with big thanks to Louise Lassay & Byron Amaya for their invaluable assistance.
Eye of Horus are a lovely, family owned company currently based in Byron Bay. The team who make up this rising cult brand have absolute hearts of gold - they have formulated beautiful, award winning makeup for sensitive eyes, are wholly against animal testing and have recently set up their own charity to help support and empower women all over the world.
These photos are from a recent shoot showcasing their beautiful Teal Malachite pencil alongside Brow Define in Dynasty, Goddess Mascara & their soon to be re-released Isis Palette. Please note that Eye of Horus pencils & Goddess Mascara contain beeswax & as such are not vegan. However as I know the company well and appreciate their ethics I was, and am, happy to collaborate with them.
Model: Cait Provan
Jewellery: Meeska & EOH
Photography: Donatella Parisini.
When I was asked to create a look for this years Salon Melbourne the lovely folk at Kryolan Australia asked that I do something more geared towards the avant garde than beauty - a request I was more than happy to accommodate :) I decided on a tribute to Alice in Wonderland and having recently done a recreation of one of Tenniel's classic Alice illustrations (photos coming soon!) I wanted to try a different angle and create a modern & abstract interpretation of the text. Finding a model with the right look was particularly important to ensure that there was a grounded connection with the Alice we all know and love so I was incredibly fortunate to find the lovely (not to mention talented) Yana Martens whose bright blue eyes and long blond hair - not to mention amazing bone structure - provided a perfect base for my designs :)
"Avant Garde" denotes experimentation - so in designing the look I took inspiration from elements of Alice's adventures that sparked my imagination and used to project to experiment with a few things I hadn't done before;
The Text Itself...
The first time Alice's Adventures were put to paper it was handwritten by Carroll in a beautiful book (Alice's Adventures Underground) later presented to Alice Liddell as a gift and which is now a feature piece of the British Library's collection in London. I personally love Carroll's handwriting and thought it would be nice to incorporate something from Alice's beginnings so set to work photographing the pages and extracting snippets of text in Photoshop. Using blank tattoo paper I was able to transfer Carroll's handwriting directly onto my model and integrate it into the makeup.
The Distortion of Proportion
The asymmetrical triangle that makes up a large part of the makeup design was as much a nod to Carroll's history with mathematics and the chess game in Through the Looking Glass as it was to the rules of perception. Our eyes will immediately go to the darkest park of an image - be it consciously or not - and black also has the ability to make things look smaller than they actually are. My aim was to use the asymmetry of the triangle to balance out the slight asymmetry of the face - and also to provide a stark contrast to Yana's incredible blue eyes.
Throughout Alice's adventures in Wonderland she frequently undergoes dramatic changes in size - at one point she shares height with a caterpillar at another she is swaying above the tree tops musing on if she'll ever see her feet again... how do her clothes stay in one piece I ask you??! Well in this case - they don't.... I stained a wonderful piece of woven net fabric (a treasured find from a garage sale) blue with a pot of ink as a reference to Alice's traditional blue dress. The loose weave allowed me to easily fit the piece to Yana on the day of the expo - over a black boob tube and high waited pants which I chose to balance the makeup design and provide a continuation of block black areas.
Through The Looking Glass
The second of Alice's Adventures is equally as dear to me as the first and I became very set on somehow integrating pieces of mirror into the makeup. After debating a couple of ideas I started daydreaming about mirror eyebrows and with the help of the lovely Craig from Sunrise Glass followed by an intense 4 hour session with an amazing grinding wheel the dream became a reality. This was actually a lot of fun as I LOVE learning to work with new materials and equipment and am incredibly fortunate to have an amazing father who is always happy to teach me how to use the plethora of crazy tools in the shed :D
As Alice's adventure's come to an end in through the looking glass she is crowned a Queen so what else was there to do but to give my Alice a crown all of her own? Following on with the play on proportion I decided it should be a rather tiny one which I crafted using an old IPA bottle with the help of some scissors, a heat gun and a tidy pile of acrylic paint. Salon Melbourne is of course a celebration of hair as well as makeup so I set myself the challenge of creating a style that incorporated and element of symmetry as well as creating a softness around the face to contrast the makeup design.
I played around for an afternoon with a styling head I had lying around from my Uni days taking inspiration from a massive old book of period hairstyles I was lucky enough to find in a charity shop. After finally settling on a design I set to work practicing the style so as not to loose preparation time on the day of the event... and also to work on making it as neat as possible.... goddamn those flyaway hairs!
Painting the Roses Red
This was one of my favourite elements of the makeup and one I left to complete while giving my talk on stage. When Alice finally makes it to the beautiful gardens she comes across a few cards haphazardly painting accidentally planted white roses red - in the hope that the tyrannous Queen of Hearts won't notice.... well we all know how that goes. To translate this into the makeup I laid down a base of white on the lips - using a pencil and cream eyeliner to ensure it wasn't so moist as to to allow the colours to run into each other. I then roughly applied a coating of red over the top with the lips pursed, picking up texture and allowing you to see the white coming though. This technique is particularly effective when using liquid lipsticks as they dry matte and do not bleed into the undercoat - very handy indeed! However if that's not a product you have handy red cake eyeliner will do the trick!
Last but not least came the idea of the little white gloves which the White Rabbit so incongruously demands Alice fetch from his house. These allowed for a continuation of white through the design - starting at her crown, moving down through eyelashes and lips and ending up wherever her hands happened to be. Rather than literally painting gloves I opted for asymmetrical geometric designs, keeping in the style of the face, and topped of with black and red nail polish .
And to think I that once upon a time I thought people were being ridiculous and over analytical when they droned on about the imbued significance of minor details in art works..... These days I know better: it's those little details that are all the fun! :)
The 1st of March saw creatives flocking to Melbourne convention centre for this years Salon Melbourne - an annual trade show event showcasing work and products for the salon, beauty and media industry. This year I had the great surprise and honour of being asked to give a demo on the Launchpad Stage by Kryolan Australia - not an opportunity I could pass up on any account! Upon request I endeavored to create an Avant Garde look and considering this year is Alice in Wonderland's 150th birthday I thought a tribute to my favourite storybook heroine would be a interesting project to embark upon.
Kryolan is a great professional makeup brand that launched in Berlin in 1945. They have a massive selection of products and colours and most importantly of all they are - and always have been - completely cruelty free :) I have written to their various head offices around the globe asking about vegan friendly products as as things stand there are no guarantees that any of their products are free from animal derived ingredients. Prior to the demo I spent an evening researching the ingredients that they use as as so many of could be either plant or animal derived it's very difficult to know .
Due to Kryolan's longstanding policy against animal testing I was more than happy to create a look for them and use their makeup for the demo. However in life and work I prefer to use cosmetics that I know are vegan friendly. The following is a list of the products I used to create this look and their available vegan alternatives :)
Kryolan Ultra Foundation (Face Atelier Ultra Foundation)
Aquacolour in Black & White (Cameleon Baseline)
Faceliner Pencils in black (OCC Cosmetic Colour Pencils)
Cream Liner - potentially vegan except for colours containing carmine.
*I used white & red cream liner to create the layering on the lips. Usually to
create this effect I would use Velour Liquid Lipstick
Mascara (Blinc Mascara)
DUO eyelash glue - Vegan Friendly
Nail Colour (OCC Nail Laquer)
Satin Powder (OCC Loose Colour Concentrate)
The demo was a nerve-wracking but amazing experience, a huge thank you to Kryolan, Salon Melbourne, my amazing model Yana Martens and to everyone who came to watch the demo - especially the lovely lady who was sitting front centre :)
When my time was up Yana and I headed outside to the Convention Centre's amazing modern exterior to take some photos. I cannot recommend her highly enough as a model - she was a dream to work with, made the day so easy and was fabulous in front of the camera. The girl seriously knows how to pull a pose!
During a recent trip to Melbourne I had the good fortune of working on a sumptuous conceptual shoot coordinated by fabulous Melbourne based photographer Ellen Duffy and one of Australia's most revered Burlesque performers: the sumpteous Miss Sina King.
The shoot spanned across 3 different looks within an amazing dusty attic set constructed by Ryan Hodge and packed with a fantastic array of aged bric-a-brac sourced and dressed by Ellen with help from her lovely assistants. It was by far the most elaborate set I've ever worked on for a photoshoot - the team did a truly amazing job in putting it together the vision, much love and respect to you all xxx I teamed up once again with the lovely Jess of Gorejess Designs who worked on Sina's hair while I handled the makeup side of things.
Sina was an absolute dream of a model and the absolute embodiment of cheeky glamour, it was a real treat doing her makeup, the lady seriously knows how to work it!!
Thanks to you all for a gorgeous day - I'm very excited about the photos!! xxx
Last month I collaborated with two of my favourite Melbourne ladies in the creation of a new video short showcasing the work of Melbourne designer Daniel Cumbo's amazing label IDOL.
Clare Nica filmed, directed and edited the piece and Jasmina Mili once again demonstrated her amazing presence in front of the camera as well as assisting me with hair/makeup and styling throughout the day. I can't even begin to describe how much I loved working with these ladies - it's such a treat collaborating creatively with your friends and I can't wait until we have the opportunity to do it again xxx
RAW is an amazing organization which functions as a fantastic platform for new and emerging artists to showcase their work locally and around the globe. On the 31st of May RAW Melbourne presented Revolution - an evening of art, fashion, music, film and performance at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemmington starring an eclectic mix of amazing talent in all disciplines.
I was kindly granted a fabulous space to exhibit where I showcased a selection of old & new work, my stop motion animation Painted and some new body art which I created live throughout the evening with the assistance of my amazing friend: makeup artist Shannon McKean on the divine Miss Jasmina Mili. Shannon's help was absolutely invaluble (the woman is beyond brilliant) and Jasmina absolutely rocked it - the girl was born to model!!
The marvelous creative team of Alysander De Djinn Photography & Olivia Duval were absolute life savers - a huge thank you to the both of them for their beautiful help and generosity. Not only did these superstars lend me all I needed to make my space presentable but they practically set up & decorated everything as well as organizing space to capture some GORGEOUS images of the finished body painting. I am sooooooo happy with the photos and can't wait until they're finished so I can share them with you!!
Huge thanks also go out to my irreplaceable friends Dave & Benito for getting me to and from the event, to Daniel Cumbo for his company and encouragement, to the fantastic organizers of RAW - especially Yolanda - for their help and amazing efforts in putting together the night and to everyone who came to show their love and support throughout the evening :)