Friday, October 26, 2007

Heaven, Hell and Making Up Noelle

To paraphrase the cliché one photographer's hell is another's heaven. As the TTC trundled me along to Kevin's studio gray clouds scudded across the sky and it was unseasonably warm and humid. Heaven or hell? Will a downpour spoil the shoot, will my makeup melt and fall? I was a makeup artist at the mercy of the elements and, at the moment, a slow transit system.

The mood in the studio bordered on exuberant. Kevin felt the weather, hence the lighting and mood, was perfect. It was his shoot so his opinion was paramount. Tara's two designs, a futuristic geometric print dress and a skirt, top, and vest ensemble, all made from cast off fabrics and rubber, looked wonderful on Noelle's small lithe frame. "Every woman should own at least one corset," she proclaimed as Tara laced her into a fetishist's dream. I had to agree.

But the makeup? Thankfully Noelle arrived with a fresh clean face, unlike so many models who come to photo sessions wearing their own foundation, a touch of blush, or more. Why wear makeup when you know you're going to be made up by a pro? Primer, a bit of concealer, foundation...on like silk. Eyes...gray-green gradient shadow, red liner, colours inspired by the clothes, setting and purpose. Bronzer and blush brought out the contours of Noelle's face and lip colour sans liner -- I hate unnecessary lip liner -- breathed lushness into her look. I felt she was camera ready but would the rest of the crew? The response to my work was unanimous, Noelle looked lovely and was ready to shoot.

The crew took off to the location while I stayed behind and fussed with makeup and prepped for the inevitable touch ups that would be necessary for the upcoming studio session. The weather had deteriorated to the point that I was afraid Kevin's plans for photographing Noelle amidst a forest of rusted re-bar would be scrubbed. I needn't have worried, everyone returned fired up over how well the shoot went. The Eco Chic project was off to a flying start.

The rationing and restrictions imposed on the fashion industry by the Second World War forced most designers into creative hibernation. Depending upon how we treat our planet and her resources we may face similar restrictions again. Innovative design and use of materials, the kind seen in the Eco Chic project, could insure that fashion will continue to flourish.


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