I knew I was behind on my pop culture when I found out that in my junior year of college, I was one of two people in my class to have never seen Wayne's World. The other student was doing study abroad from China. So kicked off a long summer of staying up too late, waking up even later and wasting away as I tried to catch up on the American pop culture I seemed to have missed out on. I did see Wayne's World (I finally get the references my classmates were talking about!), and I also for the first time saw Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sabrina, The Great Escape, Gone with the Wind...and at one point, I managed to find a copy of the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde Starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. It's now one of my favorite movies. Aside from being a terrific story with a star class, there was something else about the movie that was magnetic - Bonnie's clothes. Apparently I wasn't the only one that thought so, because Harper's Bazaar ran this fashion spread in March 2010 with models who look remarkably like the actors. More so, the editorial managed to nail (movie) Bonnie's style down to the very last detail. I recall a ridiculous obsession with berets and all things beige after having watching the movie - I even still have my beige beret. The pencil skirts, the feminine button ups, the skinny belts...it's just love. I just wish to know how true to life this is to the actual Bonnie Parker. The 1930s bank robber seems like such an unlikely fashion icon.
Still image from the 1967 movie
Before you go off and watch the knock off starring Hilary Duff, make sure you go watch the 1967 version. Hopefully the stylist in 2010 can pull off Bonnie's look as well as Bazaar did.
graphic designer michiel schuurman with berber soepoer has come up with this brilliant limited addition color in dress (i think only about 200 were made) . while reading his blog, i came accross this other fancy design: the assembly dress! i cant say that either are particulary my style (you'll most likely never see me in any colorsÂ crazier than red, black or white), i was still intrigued by the concepts. you can mix up the patterns!
Yesterday, summer officially ended and Fall rolled it. I always find transitional outfits so difficult to assemble - you could end up too hot, too cold, and usually you just end up too blah, if you know what I mean. It's almost demoralizing having to go from bare legs and flirty crop tops to baggy sweaters and jeans. With that said, I put together some of my own favorite outfit posts from my favorite fashion blogs, including Late Afternoon, Sterling Style, That's Chic, Song of Style and Fashion Toast. Each of these lovely young ladies has her own style, but the general equation from what I can tell is leather + bootcut jeans (so happy to see those coming back!) + slouchy sweater + stockings = the win. I love Ms. Raych's ability to combine an army jacket, leather shorts AND stocking with booties, or Rumi's hippie-esque bootcut jeans with her slouchy sweater and headband. It's almost enough to make you want to jump into the Autumn spirit.
All images are copyright their respective owners, listed above.
my new favorite photographer!! im actually jealous of these photos by alex prager, which bring meÂ backÂ one of my first and biggestÂ influences,Â the "untitledÂ film still series" by cindy sherman.Â they are everything i ever wanted my photography to be: the perfect blend of retro film, fashion, and surreal imagery. lots more at her website: www.alexprager.com
24-year-old Nekole Kemelle may be a self-proclaimed â€œmini-model,â€ but in the San Francisco fashion scene, sheâ€™s an artistic powerhouse. Standing at 5'7", it seems that every photographer worth a dime loves Nikki and has shot with her.Â In addition to being everyoneâ€™s favorite muse, Nikki likes pesto on her pizza and the color sea foam green. You might even recognize her face - it's at the top of every Thrifted.net listing. When sheâ€™s not modeling for the likes of Levis and Nasty Gal,Â she spends her time painting on wood, taking phenomenal self-portraits for her photo blog, OpheliaOlive.com, and watching Hulu.Â She sees modeling as an art, and when you take a peek at her photos, you'll see what she means.Â Basically, sheâ€™s our kind of girl. She should be yours too. Where are you from? Pleasant Hill, CA How did you start modeling? How old were you? I was about 17 when I started getting into modeling, you know, fumbling around, doing stupid shoots that are now buried deep in the recesses of my computer. I was almost 20 when I got an agency (City Models)â€¦and Iâ€™ve been with them since. Why City Model Agency and not another one? City was the first agency I signed with and Iâ€™ve just sort of stuck with them. Iâ€™ve had my ups and downs with modeling but theyâ€™ve been patient and hung in there and I appreciate that. Iâ€™ve looked around at other agencies only to find out they all have weakness and strengths and itâ€™s really up to the model to choose what strengths at which agency suits them best. Plus, I really like the staff at City - they make it easy to do business. What are some names youâ€™ve modeled for? Through my agency I do a lot of commercial, online magazines, catalogues, local designers and stores. Levis, Motorola, AT&T, SF Weekly, Wired Magazine, Sway, Bell Jar, Nasty gal, View Camera Magazine, ContraThink Magazine, The Collective Magazine, little Japanese clothing companies that I canâ€™t remember the names of, Â and some film jobs. And some more designers I canâ€™t remember - I have a hard time remembering some of them. Every model seems to have her preferences as to what kind of shoot she likes to do, aside from doing paid work. Name a few of your favorite shoots youâ€™ve done. What made them different and why did you enjoy them? My favorite shoots I guess are always the ones that you get to eat a lot of food. Â The shoots that are all day and feed you three meals; when you get to run around making amuck on set, shooting and eating lots of catered food. Does that count as a favorite kind of shoot? There are a lot of standards that models have to live up to - you have to be this skinny, have just the right amount of curves, be this tall. How do you feel about the industry standards? How do you feel you fit into it? Why do you think they're there and do you think they may be changing with the success of models like Kate Moss, Devon Aoki and local Brittany Markert? Usually when I think about the industry height standards it stresses me out. The weight thing not as much- Iâ€™ve got my weight under control. Iâ€™m actually starting to prefer a more rounded look on myself, whether itâ€™s fashionable or not. I have my little market niche: thin/exotic/boobalicious/likes to move. I appreciate that Iâ€™m not good at everything but not everyone can do the things I can. I think thatâ€™s where the mini-modelsâ€™ niche is - not so much fitting into a mold but just being a unique little thing that can inspire people to create, start trends, and even think up new kinds of art. I mean, imagine a world without Kate Moss? Heroin chic might not exist. There is learning to pose and all of the standard modeling procedures and then there is expressionÂ - what do you think makes a great model? How can a model deliver an expression or a story that isn't their own? I always tell people modeling is a lot like acting without words. One of the key secrets to acting is identifying with your character somehow, being able to match an emotion triggered by something in your life to the emotion the character is feeling. Â In order to convey what the photographer wants itâ€™s important to just talk to the photographer or art director and really find out what they are looking for and kind of get into character. Â Iâ€™m usually not afraid to ask questions like â€œlike how?â€ or â€œwhat do you mean?â€ because I really like to be able to see what they are seeing. Otherwise, when I start posing I may do something completely different from what the vision is and then everyone kind of moans and gets annoyed. Then there are times when a photographer points a camera at you and says â€œOk, ready? Go!â€ That usually means a photographer wants YOU to inspire them. And thatâ€™s where stuff Iâ€™ve practiced comes in. Yes, I practice. I donâ€™t really think about it, but you know when you are getting ready in the morning, sometimes you walk by the mirror and shoot yourself a glance. I do that, but just more intensely. So usually, again, whatever Iâ€™m expressing is paired with an emotion or a few. And the emotions are usually more complex than just happy or sad. For example: frustration, longing, mystified, or displaced. Just anything you can use in the sentence, â€œIâ€™m feeling ___.â€ Usually the more complex the feeling, the more interesting your expression is going to be. That is if you really let yourself feel it. Â A lot of times I will have a few emotions and poses circling in my head so I just pick one and work it out from there. Or sometimes Iâ€™m feeling impulsive and inspired so Iâ€™ll just start moving and only god knows where it comes from. But that usually requires some sort of enlightened mind state like a really good day, a couple glasses of wine, or just being surrounded by inspiring people. A lot of photographers refer to you as a muse. I personally think that you are an all around, boundless artist. How do you manage to constantly inspire others? And more importantly, where do you garner your own inspiration from? Thank you! Well I spend a lot of time getting inspired myself, I stalk pretty much everyone. If youâ€™ve ever come into contact with me, Iâ€™ve probably stalked you. Iâ€™ve got flash drives FILLED with tears from magazines and work from my peers. The trick to inspiring others, I think, is to just keep going. The only time anyone ever stops being inspired is when they just stop. So as long as I just keep creating and pushing forward, even if I donâ€™t love my work every time, I usually stumble onto things that excite me and in turn excite my viewers. Iâ€™ve learned to let inspiration come from any source. Sometimes I feel impulsive and just go walking down the street and find a random chair, and then the chair reminds me of that ad I saw, which reminds me of that dress I bought the other day, which matches those tights I just got, and etc. Sometimes I make up things on accident; once I was just trying to figure out how to light a shoot without real lighting equipment so I improvised and took all the lamp shades off all the lamps in my house and lined the lamps up on the edges of the set to light it. But since the lamp shades were just sitting all over the floor I just ended up grabbing one and putting it on my head while shooting. And then the lamp shade reminds me of this, which reminds me of that, and then the rest of the set comes togetherâ€¦ What do you do if you're ever feeling like you're losing your inspiration? Is this even something that is possible to be lost, like a sock or your homework? What are your feelings on inspiration in general? I actually just went through a big phase of photographers block. So yes, itâ€™s totally possible to lose your inspiration. I mostly get uninspired when Iâ€™m really tired and donâ€™t have the energy to build the set, put together the outfits, take the time to work out the lighting, do the makeup, get the costume looking right, pose, watch all elements while making photos happen, sit and edit through, and THEN edit the finals in Photoshop. I actually just did a new set last night when I got off work. Sometimes coffee really helps to get the juices flowing. Itâ€™s just about having enough energy to create. I notice when I go out and have fun later I feel refreshed enough to want to make something. But if I work all week at my day job and do a bunch of modeling on the side even if I wanted to Iâ€™m usually so tapped out that I donâ€™t even want to look at a camera. So when the juices stop a flowing, itâ€™s probably time to run off on a hike, go to a party, take a vacation, clear your mind and unwind. You have an excellent blog, OpheliaOlive.com. When and why did you decide to it? When did you start introducing other models to the scenes and why? I started Ophelia Olive in April of 2009. All I knew was that I wanted to leave something behind and I knew I didnâ€™t want to just be another â€œmodelâ€ with a short lived career. I wanted to be some sort of artist that was remembered for doing something at least semi-original. Like when you think of impressionism you think of Vincent Van Gogh. I tried being a makeup artist, a stylist, even shooting some people, but nothing was as fun as modeling. Plus I didnâ€™t like the idea of going down some route and just being something that tons of other people had already been. But the thing about modeling is that itâ€™s not really done as a serious art form. Generally models need someone to shoot them, a crew, a set, a designer, a reasonâ€¦ all things I didnâ€™t really have readily available. So I took a leap and did something random. I was already well versed playing the model and photographer from all the self-snapshots my friends and I had done as teenagers. The main push for Ophelia was to produce portraits that looked like someone else had shot them. I even thought of making up a fake person and saying it was someone else, like â€œTyler Bravoâ€ or something because I was embarrassed that I was taking self portraits. I thought it was vain or something, which to an extent maybe it is. After lots of support from my friends and some brainstorming I decided to make an alter ego and just hide behind that. And slowly as people started following my blog Iâ€™ve been shaping it into less of just self portraits and more of a persona. As Ophelia took shape one of my long time model crushes Brittany Markert became interested and since we both shared the idea that modeling is an art form, it was natural for us to pair Ophelia with her less publicized alter-ego, Lily, and make some art. Sheâ€™s inspired me to try new genres and really pushed me to think about where Ophelia is going. Are all of the photos on your blog self-portraits? What sort of equipment do you use? Iâ€™ve thrown up shots of Ophelia from time to time that other people had taken. Even though I liked the photos it didnâ€™t sit well with me I didnâ€™t shoot them, so I took them down and currently all the photos on OpheliaOlive.com are taken by yours truly. When I first, first started I used to steal my dadâ€™s Cannon 20D and shoot with natural light in my old apartment. Now I have a â€œstudioâ€ that I built in my warehouse loft, my own 20D, a tri-pod, two 200-watt strobe lights (crappy but better than nothing), a bunch of diffuser umbrellas, reflectors, stands, sand bags, clips, and backdrops...All pretty standard photo equipment. Then I use CS5, a Wacom tablet and a bunch of external hard drives for all my editing. I like my stuff to be unique as possible. So I tend to frequent scrap supply stores, second hand stores, vintage boutiques, flea markets, garage sales, sidewalks - wherever I can find clothing and props that no one else has. Do you have any suggestions for new models trying not just to make it, but to take modeling beyond standing there and looking pretty - to become a muse and an artist? Yes. Be yourself. And recognize there is pride in doing whatever the fuck it is that makes you happy because no one else will do it for you or like you would. All photos provided courtesy of Nekole Kemele and copyright their respective photographers.