Bound To Fashion

My final thesis project for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California consisted of a collaboration including Nikon Ambassador & photographer, Bambi Cantrell and a remarkable team of artists, a few whom I have worked with on prior styling or editorial projects. The concept evolved as we went along with a tweak here and a tweak there. My intent with this particular editorial shoot was to show a range in style for beauty and hair including a fresh faced look and finishing off with abstract body paint and a gown constructed of colored cellophane then created directly on the model.

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Attending Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and having the opportunity to report on the backstage hair and beauty trends exposed me to whole different side of the fashion industry that I now know I must be a part of. It felt like time was moving in fast pace while I was in New York. It was here then gone so quickly yet opened my eyes to the possibilities and opportunities that journalism has to offer as a career choice. At the Academy of Art University’s 2015 spring show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week I covered backstage beauty & hair trends with Boston based photographer Stacy Murphy.   It was through the School of Fashion’s PR office that this opportunity arose. During the show I interviewed Victor Cembellin, senior MAC cosmetics make up artist for North America. “Transformation” the theme at the Academy of Art University’s spring 2015 runway show was a big part of the inspiration behind this editorial shoot. “This group of designers is focused on transformation,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion at the Academy. “They are using fabric manipulation and printing techniques to change the inherent qualities of textiles to create new textures and surface qualities. There is a focus back to the body and wear ability in silhouette, which the designers have utilized advanced tailoring techniques to achieve.” The focus on transformation was consistent throughout the Academy’s collections and balanced well with the architecturally sculpted beauty looks created by Cembellin and the MAC PRO team. “Bound to Fashion” is a reflection of how each of us are tied to fashion. Whether we are dressing accordingly for the businesses that we work at or just fulfilling our daily desires/personal preferences fashion is always involved and ever evolving. Fashion can be defined in many ways and created through endless means. “Fashion is a true art created by the unique for the mass. Part of the direction I was going didn’t quite work the day of the shoot so thankfully my team of creatives helped take things to the next level. I like when I show someone visual inspiration and they are not afraid to take chances adding their own twists to it. Which is exactly what makeup artist Chris Bustos (formerly trained by Victor Cembellin) did when we were at Cantrell Portrait Design studio in Benicia, CA. Prior to the shoot we discussed images from the W Magazine shoot with Kate Moss where she had white and turquoise body paint and was wearing couture gowns including McQueen. When I met with Bambi to discuss my concept vision, her time was pressed so I quickly gathered a few inspirational images and then she stopped me on one in particular. The model was body painted and she was wearing a clear cellophane dress. Bambi quickly informed me of what I needed to make the dress and I listened intensely as I made my list. I knew this was going to be exciting especially after having the opportunity to work as the production assistant for Bambi Cantrell’s 3 Day workshop for CreativeLIVE called “Building a Profitable Portrait Studio.” During this production when the model was hair and makeup ready Bambi used window screen to create an extravagant dress. Each model during the hair wars segment was styled in a dress made directly on her…. one could say they wore “couture style dresses.” Bambi is truly inspirational to work with. My team created beauty and hair looks that evolved from fresh-faced to imaginative. For the final look we used unusual materials such as translucent colored cellophane and abstract body paint to create the restyling. The fun shoot was filmed by cinematographer Colin Pattison who created a short film of behind the scenes footage. I hope you enjoy!

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