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
A couple of weeks ago I teamed up with Alysander De Djinn Photography and my gorgeous friend Jordan for a little creative play day - inspired by the delectable works of Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton. The shoot was a fun way for Alysander and I to work together, for me to finally get my amazing friend to model for me before she leaves the country indefinitely and to test out some ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while now.
I commenced work on a huge backdrop painting a week before the shoot - taking inspiration from elements of Del Kathryn Barton's amazing collection of work. Utilizing an old projector screen I happily scored in the local hard rubbish week I busied myself drawing, painting, styling and cutting a wig and making props up until 2am on Saturday morning when I realized I'd lost all sensitivity in the tip of my right thumb...which no, still hasn't returned!!!
To be frank it was an AWESOME day of shooting - one of those happy occasions where picking the final photos is almost impossible as there are just far too many you're in love with.... We're hoping to have the final photos ready, edited and printed to be exhibited at the RAW Melbourne: Revolution showcase on the 23rd April :) If you fancy popping along tickets are a mere $15 and available here: http://www.rawartists.org/elvisschmoulianoff
Summer in England means one thing above all else - madness, mayhem and serious creative indulgence with the one and only Happy Slap Boutique!! We started the season at Kendall Calling - a lovely little festival near the divinely lush lake district - where we spent an absolutely beautiful weekend fully embracing the horror genre to accommodate this years movie based fancy dress theme. My fairly obvious love of circus imagery was fully indulged over the course of the weekend and culminated in an evil clown bodypainting which my fantastic model Delia fully rocked on stage on the Sunday night. A huge huge thank you to the entire Happy Slap family - especially to one Mr Michael Marks who is without a doubt the most amazingly committed photographer I've ever worked with at a festival - absolute legend!!!!!
For more photos of the weekend, including some beauties of our performers in action check out Happy Slap Boutique, and I'll have more photos from Kendall and our skeleton extravaganza at Boomtown coming your way very very sooon....
Hello all and sorry for the lack of news in what appears to have been rather a long while... I've temporarily fled the icy winds of Melbourne and exchanged them for a pleasantly roasting English summer with the one and only Happy Slap Boutique. Over the last few weeks we did makeup for performers and punters in the VIP section of Wireless Festival run by Cirque Du Soir, and have recently returned from an insane week of creative horror themed debauchery at Kendall Calling Festival near the lake district. Next we'll be taking up residency in El Barrio Loco - the newly established Latin Quarter at the one and only Boomtown Festival - something I am more than a little excited about it must be said..... And just to top things off I've just received a lovely set of samples from Arbonne which I'll be testing out and reviewing as soon as festival time is over.
I'll start posting festival photos as they come in but for now I've got a few for you from my last play session with the sumptuous Donatella Parisini showcasing the red weave wig inspired by Victorian mourning art. Thank you to our beautiful model Elle for her radiance, to Satya James for the gorgeous hand white lace corset and skirt, to the Silver Lining for the use of their clothes, props and jewelery, and of course to the marvelous Donatella herself. Enjoy!
I love plaiting and weaving hair, so when the postman bough this bundle of red lusciousness to my door it was the perfect opportunity to have a play and see what could be done! Most of the styling I've been doing recently has been quite bold and theatrical with lots of accessorize so this time around I decided to bring more focus to the hair by going more modest in size and aiming for a classical look with intricate woven detailing.
Victorian Mourning Art 'Hair Flower'
I've been very inspired recently by Victorian Mourning Art - a practice in which locks of hair were collected from the recently deceased by close friends and/or family and then woven into intricately detailed patterns to be either framed or placed in lockets. As I couldn't seem to find any instructions or tutorials for how to do this (which surprised me greatly as I thought there was a tutorial for everything on the internet) I studied a series of photographs and spent a couple of afternoons experimenting until I'd come up with some pieces I was happy with. I then had quite a lot of fun playing with variations on the base technique I'd devised and happily wove away until I had a nice selection both in red and in the dark purple which has to bee used to lowlight the wig hair.
To style the hair I started off with the section at the top of the head where I have used a very basic basket weave which feeds back into itself- this shows up rather nicely thanks to the contrast the purple undertones give. Next I plaited vertically back from each ear using 4 sections of hair and both French plait and waterfall braid techniques, joining the two braids where they met and decorating over the top with pre-woven sections of hair. Lastly to hide the hairline around the back of the head I used similar plaiting techniques as before as well as weaving in some twisted sections.
Once all the hair was styled I added in some extra sections of 'mourning art' and finished by sewing in some aged fake pearls - these haven't come up very well in the photos but in life they have a nice iridescent pearly finish.
I absolutely love the current trend of pastel hair colours and the light blonde/pink is a sure favourite of mine - I was besotted with a wig this colour over summer in England and recently decided to get my hands on some and beautify them. Today I finished the first which is now sitting happily in the window of the The Silver Lining in Mullumbimby patiently hoping someone will buy her and whisk her away on some magical adventures....
I wanted to stick with a sweet delicate look this time around so have decorated the wig with a variety of crocheted doilies and some white lace which I've embroidered using iridescent sequins, pink and white beads, faux pearls and teeny tiny clockwork cogs. To tie them in with the over look I also sewed embellishments into the hair once I had finished styling.
While the rest of Australia has been out enjoying the blazing summer sunshine I've been hiding myself away and working on this new piece for the Byron Arts Classic Exhibition in January. I was planning on being in Mexico for the Day of the Dead this year, but plans - as they often do - didn't quite turn out as expected so I decided to do a piece that celebrated this amazing day in my own way.
I started off planning to only make a wig but as I was creating pieces to go in the hair my mind turned to how it would be displayed and I decided it would be best to create a custom bust as well - to create a complete look while on show and make it more of a sculpture. The base is predominantly made from cardboard, the head from paper mache and the neck wire. I used paper pulp to sculpt her features and all the detailing on the base, and then layers of filler and plaster to get a nice smooth surface to paint on.
Despite being piled with with decorations the wig itself is actually very light - the skulls are all hollow and made from paper mache, the butterflies are made from paper and modelling clay and the hearts from cardboard and paper pulp: all arranged on a hollow cage structure which is hidden by the hair. To ensure ease in fastening the wig when wearing it I have made a door in the back of the cage which is hidden by the large heart - this can be opened so pins can be secured at strong 'anchor points'.
I stuck with a very strong colour scheme of black, white, gold and a deep fuchsia pink (which for some reason has come out much lighter in the photos) that I decided to carry through the wig onto the base so everything tied in together nicely and created a complete work. The lace, beads and roses are the only accessorize that I did not make myself - however I've painted the roses to ensure a colour match and inserted lace between some of the petals. I also painted some of the beads - again to ensure that they fitted with the colour scheme.
The photos from last weeks geisha shoot with Satya James are here & I must say I'm really very pleased with them!! I wanted a bright bold made up that corresponded to the the geometric pattern on the dress - a beautiful piece by Satya which she made out of a very striking kimono. As for the hair - our gorgeous model Steph has beautiful long dreadlocks which were great to work with - you can get so much shape and volume out them & then there's the added bonus that they hold accessorizes very well. A wonderful shoot & a big thank you to everyone involved!
Yesterday I found a very sad battered old wig in the Op-Shop & decided to rescue it and give it some life. I patched up the holes, added in extra hair, gave it a wee trim and then built it up around a cage which I attached to the base. It's going to be part of a mannequin style sculpture by Shannon Smulian used in a Water Dragon themed window display celebrating the Chinese New Year. I integrated strips of fabric that will be used in the dragons' tail and sewed in sequins, beads and a couple miniature mirror balls.