This photo was recently featured on the Confessions of a Top SL Model blog. Now, I by no means think I’ve made top model stardom yet, but the image is lovely and working with Julie Hastings is certainly fun.
As a new model in SL, my feeling is that it would be beneficial to work with a number of photographers. To get to know their style, how they work, and to see how their personal aesthetic comes through in their final product. Not just for modeling, but because I am first and foremost, a stylist at heart. Obviously, Julie’s work is totally amazing. I’d seen so many gorgeous, sweeping gown scenes flashing above my head during the Face of Beningborough competition that it was a must to schedule with her. Those images really pushed her to the top of my list of people to work with.
Around the time I set the appointment with Julie, Model’s Workshop held a competition sponsored by Kimmera Madison from Tres Beau. The idea was to put together a cocktail look that was as pulled together as possible with the lowest arc possible. There were many gorgeous looks there that day. Cinna Button did a beautiful look with an asian inspired garment (I thought she would win). Naiya Kazyanenko and Saby Sweetwater also did a fantastic job with their pieces. And Heyah Oh, well, Heyah and I did our initial prep for this contest together at my house and Heyah really inspired me to push to get my arc lower than the 700 or so I started out at. In the end, the judges appreciated my 306 arc and slick, street chic ‘NYC’ aesthetic and I was lucky enough to pull first place that day. You can read about it at Cinna’s blog http://cinnabutton.blogspot.com/2010/01/models-workshop-arc-challenge.html
So, at this point we have a pending photo shoot and a very generous gift card from Kimmera…hrmmm, what to do ? Oh, I know, RUN, don’t walk, over to Tres Beau! lol
When I do any photo shoot, I think carefully about the final photos. I never, ever buy a garment unless I can get a mental picture of at least 1 final image. Artistic direction is very important in any photograph and if I don’t find a garment inspiring, chances are the photographer won’t either. Based on Julie’s prior work, I narrowed my selection down to garments that had a higher color saturation. My goal was to maximize the visual impact with the styling as much as possible to compliment the sweeping scenes that Julie creates. Its like handing her the paint and canvas, stepping back and letting her blend it into something spectacular.
When working with formal wear or costume couture, I prefer to go high drama. To me, this particular type of garment and resulting photo is a model’s chance to go for a look that pushes past the norm and into that goddess zone. You don’t want to just catch an eye, you want a WOW. Ultimately, Kimmera’s Nemi gown seemed to best fit that bill. Originally created for Miss Nemi McCoy for the Miss Virtual World 2010 Pageant, this gown is a hands-down show stopper. I love the color and texture. The level of detail on the garment is amazing. You not only have a texture that includes jeweled draping hanging from the bodice, Kimmera has included the jewels to match down to the bindi. The consistency of the colors in this garment push it past your usual piece and into its own zone.
When styling the garment, I chose to attempt to be true to the culture behind it and really tried to embrace everything about it. The skin is an Indian skin from Unique with make-up colors that compliment the gown. For hair, I chose a swept back look with a high, full pony. Something that I felt was reminiscent of the images that come to mind when you think of the classical goddess look. The Manadala bangles seemed the perfect compliment to the overall look and feel of what this woman would wear. As for the henna tattoos…well, this is SL and sometimes that means it is a chance for us to have something in our pixellated universe that we maybe haven’t had a chance to have in our real lives. I’ve wanted to have my hands and feet painted with henna tattoos for the longest time now. Would I really pass up an opportunity to use henna tattoos here? Heck no!
After that, well, my job was just to stand there and let Julie take over. And oh boy did she! The end result is far beyond my hopes and I cannot wait to work with Julie again. In fact, I am already on the hunt for another striking garment to style and take to her. Who wouldn’t want to be the paint for her brush ?
You can see the Confessions feature at this link http://csltm.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/fashion-music-a-whole-new-world-by-peabo-bryson-regina-belle/