Monday, December 7, 2009

EleGaNTLy wASTED - subscribe to my new blog !

©mara zampariolo

Hi everyone, and thank you for subscribing. I have now moved to Typepad.
From now on I will be posting every week - I promise ! - on the following blog:

I have just posted a story featuring me at the supermarket (more pictures on my new blog).
I would like this new blog to become a web classic just like Garance Dore, Sea of Shoes, Fashion Toast, Suzie Bubble etc... To do so, I need some love from you guys.. please subscribe, link and comment.

© mara zampariolo

I will publish a small 'editorial' of roughly 10 pictures every week, its going to be either me or a stylish friend, with my punk rock take on fashion.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


(sorry, picture taken off upon request)

all pics © Julien Mokrani

Hello my virtual friends.
I had plans to write a post on the art of posing, or maybe just posting backstage videos from fellow photographers' shoots.
Then, just like Towelie, I got high and I sort of wandered off, to find myself obsessed with french charme.

What is french charme? Where does it come from? Is it somehow related to the uncanny ability to make more than 300 types of cheese, all of which fattening?

All sort of questions rose to my mind when I realized that the organ I'm mostly attracted to in a person it's his/her brain.
Don't get me wrong: when I say "attracted" I do not mean some sort of intellectual admiration that involves red wine, cheap cigarettes and a bunch of old Woody Allen dvds.

I mean raw desire.
I mean wanting somebody just beacause of what he/she does.
Talking to such people may feel like an unfair match of strip poker, in which I am wearing 1,000 layers and they end up naked before I can spell Rocquefort.

Such minds come in different body shapes, sizes and sexes, and I'd still .... you know.
That's kinda disturbing but hey, last time I checked my grandma didn't read my blog.

So why can't I just drool over David Beckham in his Armani undies or some other random dude's sixpack? Why can't I be just another healthy gay man, and use the internet for what it was originally meant - jacking off to free porn?

Hell no, I gotta fantisize on temperamental artists and their smarty-pants ways.
Not that I've met many. I met two in my lifetime, insanely sexy brain carriers - a boy and a girl.
They don't know each other and they probably don't even realize their minds make waves,
and this tsunami shakes me to the bone.

So where does this je ne sais pas quoi come from? Is it innate? Is it something everyone can see or is it just in the eyes of the sucker?
I chain smocked my way through these questions and I couldn't find an answer, and now I'm outta grass and I still don't have the answers. I got a husky voice instead.

I know for sure part of the bewitching comes from the eyes. These people all have killer retinas.
They gotta be tremendously gifted, the kind of talent that makes me forget to feed my cats.
I could be jealous but somehow I am not at all. Their gift is so beautiful I can only nod and hope they won't read my mind (or blog).

I just stare at the sparkle in their eyes whenever they talk on being the best about what they do one day.

Temperamental yet sweet, whenever I say something they don't like I can see a flame burst and the effort they put in trying not to lash out is enchanting.
I can see a volcano erupting, and it's scary and awesome at the same time.

My admiration is pure, and the fact that I was never able to express what I feel because I won't dare, is just making it sweeter.

all pics ©Julien Mokrani

(My arousal may not always be as pure but hey: at least it comes from a nice place).

So at 2,00A.M. I still do not know where this kind of allure is manufactured, I still cannot sleep, and I still cannot get a hold of my dealer (he must be doing the world tour in a hot-air balloon, and I guess I've been sponsoring him at least up to Japan).

But as my umpteenth useless saturday nights flows by, I'll have to admit charme was originally made in France, just as "allure", "chic", and all these words they drop with goddam nonchalance.

Frenchies happen to know that the sexiest part of the human body it's the brain.
Why didn't they tell us before?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

.... ... Lady looks like a Dude ... ....

Celia of ANTM 12
all Polaroids© Carrie Blaydes

Hi everyone, it's Marina Hermanovna, your italian lenswoman with a penchant for blogging.

This post is about androgyny.

I am afraid I got the inspiration from America's Next Top Model's 12, so if you thought only ignorant people watched this show... you were probably right, I am indeed getting stupider by the minute.
Now picture me shaking my hips to Tyra's infamous jingle (@0:30")  "Nananananana-Nanananananana - You wanna be on top?"  Who's getting dumber by the minute now?

Here's a couple of things I wanted to say about this show before you either fall apleep on your keyboard or you start banging your head against it until it bleeds.

- ANTM it's disgusting. It's addicting. It's like an obese woman dancing naked in your livingroom. You don't really want to, still you can't help it: you have to watch.
Young people should stay away from it.
I find myself refreshing my Youtube home page in the middle of the night. The re-refreshing it.  Damn, the latest episode is not online yet... I thought only Ebay could do this to me. Scary.

- The day Nigel Barker will be a "noted fashion photographer" I'll be the first woman walking on Mars. Wearing Manolos. And a clutch. Walking a chihuahua. Who'd be wearing custom made Louboutins. And its matching mini-clutch. 
Tyra, do you hear me? Stop ridiculing Nigel with this whole "noted fashion photographer" thing. Famous photographer do not participate in such programmes - they are way too busy shooting! They have agents! They do editorials for edgy magazines! They do not need to remind everyone that they are famous, because being famous is about people already knowing who you are!

all Polaroids © Carrie Blaydes

Paolo Roversi is a famed lensman. Peter Lindbergh is. Juergen Teller is.  Camilla Akrans is. Solve Sundsbo is. Alessandro dal Buoni is. Cécile Bortoletti is. These are truly talented and successful photographers. 
WARNIG: Please rince your eyes several times with any of these true artists' work before jeopardizing your retinas by staring at Mr. Barker's pictures.

Some of Celia's ANTM work 
"click on the pic to enlarge it!"

photo © Mike Rosenthal

photo© Fadil Berisha

photo© Brian Edwards

Nigel is neither talented nor successful, I guess we are not going to see any of his work on Dazed and Confused or on I-D anytime soon.
(just take a look at his horrific website; the most "high fashion" shoots he did are in fact ANTM's, and the big budgets and Tyra's artistic direction barely cover up his blatant lack of talent.  The rest is... let's just say any TopShop lookbook looks way better than anything he did.Here's NY Mag take on Mr. Barker as a photog: it brings the ROFLS).

- Tyra Banks knows a thing or two when it comes to scouting ugly-pretty models. Here's two of my favorites:
Allison aka "Bride of Chucky":

... and Celia aka "Walter's twin sister". 
Girfriend totally looks like my boyfriend! And I like her! How creepy is this? 

Celia from ANTM 12 looks like my boyfriend!

They even smile the same way...
More photographic evidence: same high cheeckbones, square jaw, strong chin, short nose with a small hump, masculine forehead, deep inset eyes, see-through eyebrows, (and yes, he is blonder than he looks in this pic and of course he's got blue eyes).

-  Tyra Banks also knows how to entertain people = keep the ratings high.
That's why she keeps on casting "rating girls", models that have little to zero potential of making it in the real fashion industry, and she knows. 
This season is all about Tahlia. The girl is a burn victim (and needs to shed a few pounds as well, or add a few and become a plus size). I wouldn't recommend her to take up modelling.
This is the one job who made the most beautiful women in the world feel insecure about their looks.
The girl is already quite insecure: why baby girl, why? There are a million other ways to feel beautiful, and she probably chose the only job who is going to make her feel uglier than ever (I felt ugly when sitting at a casting sorrounded by 150 drop-dead cute girls, and I didn't have scars..). Tahlia, if you are reading this: they are using you and your story to make them richer, they do not believe in you as a model. No agency will hire a model with such big scars, believe me.  Do something else - you can be beautiful without being a model, you know.

So if you ask me who would I like to shoot from ANTM cycle 12 the answer is....
.. trannylicious Celia!

photo © Carrie Blaydes

Lady looks like a dude, just like me. She's my favorite (Allison is in my wish list as well). 
Since the very beginning of the show poor Celia has been targeted as "manly", as you can see in many YouTube comments and blogs

The bad news is that indeed, she looks like a man.
The good news is she looks like a very hot one! 
Fashion loves us baby, don't you worry about a thing. 

This post is about us Ladies who look like we had a penis - removed.

Yes, androgyny it's rad. It has its own edgy UK magazine.
Greta Garbo was one of the first famous chicks to rock this look - just sayin'.
Besides, I do not understand this obsession with female models and "prettiness" at all. 
Pretty girls were made for straight boys. 
Androgynous ferociousness was made for everybody else in fashion
(us 98% = women and gay guys) - and of course for the few straight boys who have a little fantasy and appreciate our unique beauty.

But androgyny need to be handled with care. If you have masculine features you want to look mysterious, not post-op she-male. The difference is all in the way you present yourself. 
A tranny is a man that tries hard to look feminine but cannot help having a square jaw: so if you keep you hair long with lots of make up and all the girly/sexy things you can buy, you won't look feminine, you'll  just end up looking like a drag queen (see picture below....).

Androginous babe's don'ts

If you want to look androginous - which is neither trannilicious nor butch - you have to create some sexy ambiguity through unisex attire. 
You are not a man. Yet you are not a woman. You are simply stunning.
In the picture below some looks that always work in creating a hot androginous yet sexy look: gothic meets motorcycle gang, neoclassic dandy, lesbo-chic, 90's minimalism.
NOTE: If you still want to score a boyfriend, make sure you throw into your look one only hyper feminine item (I love to wear boyfriend jeans + checked shirt with heels and bad ass rings. But it can also be just about a sheer fabric, a bow, a necklace, a strap).

Androginous babe's dos...

What happens when I do not throw in such items?  I get mistaken for a boy (a dozen of times in 2009...). 
Here is  a gallery of androginous top models plus some pictures of me. Enjoy.

Today's androginous female supermodels...

Yes, these are all female supermodels.

Omahyra Mota is one of Jean Paul Gaultier's muses, just like Aggy. 
I met Mr. Gaultier in person and not only he loves us androginous creatures but he also is a sweetheart.

Here's a few pictures of me, shot by my friend Chloé:
and here's  a light test I did for Cécile Bortoletti, an amazing photographer I work for as an assistant (coming soon: video backstage of her latest editorial !)

light test:  Cécile Bortoletti

And here's some self candids I took back in October, while modeling for Maison Martin Margiela. The first one with the wig was just a joke.. 
But how did I manage to look like a man in drag - I have no idea. Let's just say in Jair Sfez's words (that's also photographer I'm assisting)
"You look like a model... straight out from a Dior Homme campaign". Lovesit.

So here's my tips for you girls that look like boys and still want to look hot!
Do not try to fight it - embrace your androgyny.
If you grow your hair long you'll end up looking like a tranny (see pic). Wear it short (or a bob) and you'll look cute.
Do not wear bright lipstick: you'll end up looking like a viado on top of a chariot for Rio's carnival. Our features do not look good in heavy makeup: just do the eyes and (kinda) forget the rest... 
Steal anything from your boyfriends' closet, than wear it with killer heels. It looks hot on us!

self portrait in drag @ Maison Martin Margiela

self portrait as an Hare Khrisna @ MMM

self portrait as a fake candid @ MMM

I've always liked this mith of the original Androgynous Creature, before God split us in two halves that hardly understand each other, man and woman.
Why splitting the androginous perfection?
Now we piss differently and argue about that all the time. Very dumb move, if you ask me.

On the other hand, if we were still one there wouldn't be no sexy confusion of the sexes, aka androgyny. So I'm glad you did, after all...


m. h.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Questions you don't want to ask a photog

All pictures ©Marina Hermanovna
please do not use my pix without permission
visit my website to see more

Hi everyone !
This post is about photography, a form of art that we all know in some way - and that's where all the problems come from, in my modest opinion.

Please note that all the pictures featured on this post have been taken with a consumer compact camera, no professional lighting (the small flash fired, that's it), no make up, no hairdresser, no stylist, minor digital retouching.
I only posted a few although I have many others because I want to publish these somewhere, so please avoid downloading or I'll have to stop posting my pictures.

Soon enough I'll post some more taken using natural lighting - so to all the young photographers out there (I am thinking about Autumn!), yes you can take perfect pics - even if you cannot afford much; besides, you can buy used equipment and Christmas is oh so near...

There are a bunch of clichés about photography, and as a professional I have to deal with two or more of the following sentences any given week.
So here I present you in random order some questions you do not want to ask a photographer - unless you want to see some professional eye-rolling.

1 - "Oh I see, you are a photographer! And what do you do as a job?" 
Didn't I just say professional, you spoiled brat?

2 - "Wow, you are a photographer! I see there are many tonight!" 
"No hon. Holding a camera, no matter how big, does not make you/them a photographer, but just a dude with a big camera that takes useless party pictures. Oh, and professionals seldom take pictures at parties because they want to enjoy the party, in fact"

3 - "Do you do black and white? 'Cuz I love it!"
This sentence is emptier than a Halloween pumpkin. Please tell me the first and second name of someone who does not like black and white photography. I believe the reason why so many people say so is because they only go to the exhibitions of Cartier Bresson and Boubat and this kind of stuff and they totally ignore the work of masters of colors like Martin Parr. So when they say they love black and white photography what they actually mean is they only know the work of very old reportage photographers.

4 - "How many Megapixels does your camera have? / What's your camera?"
 I have six cameras to begin with. The one I use the most for payed work is a Canon 5D, which has 12,8 Megapixels. Having said that you must be aware of the fact that other 60 millions people have the same camera, most of them are not professionals, and by no means they all make beautiful pictures. On the other hand, a professional photographer can take beautiful pictures using any given camera, even a compact consumer camera. In fact, the pictures you see here have been taken with a small 7 Megapixels compact Canon, a japanese turist's camera. It's not about the equipment, it's all about the eye. 

5 - "Do you have a darkroom? Do you print your pictures yourself?"
I know how to do this; I spent so many days in a darkroom back in 2006 that at a certain point I started seeing green creatures and feeling dizzy (hint: the acids definitely give you some kind of high if you smell them for too long - but please, don't try this at home).
But the fact is many amazing photographers never developed or printed a single picture in their entire life - Robert Mappelthorpe for instance never did.
What you see in Hollywood movies - a boy in his darkroom hanging prints under the redlight and stuff it is not a photographer's job, but a printer's.
Of course a photog must know how he/she would like a print to look and tell the printer where to correct the negative but the thing is professional photography is a work for an artist, whereas printing only requires a good artisan.
So a photographer may or may not know how to print or Photoshop his/her pictures, but this won't really make a difference since it is not his/her job in the first place.

6 - "Awww, photography! What an amazing job you do!"
That's not a question, but it's dumb enough to end up in my shitlist. Taking pictures for your pleasure is amazing, trying to make a living with your camera is another business, that involves so many unpleasant sides people just tend to ignore.
For instance, did you know that the beautiful editorials you see in fashion magazines don't make us any richer at all? This is because magazines don't pay the photographers for editorials; they pay the models (very little), the hair and makup persons, the stylist, the retoucher.. but no, the person that directs all of these contributors into one significant direction, his/her vision of beauty, is not paid a cent. The reason is they "give us a window to showcase our work"; go tell my landlord... 

7 - "Well you can still take digital pictures, it won't cost you a thing!"
Non professinal digital photography costs less than non professional traditional photography, we can agree on this point. 
But when it comes to professional photography, digital is just as expensive (if not more) than film. Whe shoot tons of pictures, we make backups on huge RAID hard drives, we have stuff you dont need like a device that calibrates the screen, a graphic tablet, flashpacks, lightstands, backdrops and backdrops stands, sensor cleaners, light boxes and umbrellas, cobra snakes, filters, software, Pocket Wizards and black adhesive tape, and cinefoil and gelatines and..
Well, you get my point. 

8 - "Wow, this model is gorgeous. Must be easy taking great pictures with such beauties!"
Taking a beautiful shot has NOTHING to do with the physical beauty of the subject you are shooting; this is why you can find an amazing picture of an old man and many butt-ugly looking editorials and catalogs out there.
The beauty of a pic comes mostly from composition, lighthing, emotion, originality and the overall ability of the photographer to convey his vision and making it clear in one fragment of a second for anyone.
After all, when you are not Mario Testino they don't give you Naomi Campbell to work with, so young photogs have to work their asses to make models look way better than they do in real life.
If taking great pictures only required great models there wouldn't be professional photographers but only modeling agencies. Period.

9 - "How much do you sell a picture? / How much do you charge for a book?"
I usually reply with "How much is a car?". They get it.
First off, you don't SELL pictures (with the exception of wedding pics), you just rent them.
Photography being an intellectual job, no one can ever be deprived of the property of his work of art, unless he/she has been dead for more than 70 years, then it becomes public domain.
Until then, just as a writer cannot sell his writing but only a copy of his printed book, photographers don't sell pictures, they only rent the rights to use them somewhere for a certain amount of time.
Yes, I make books and pay test for modeling agencies or aspiring actors and the market price for these ranges from 200 to 400 euro if you have a home studio and do not require professional hair and makeup or styling, but just a cd of retouched pics.

10 - "Wow, you work with models? I mean, real models? Aren't they all anorexic? Are they rich? Do they party every night in fancy hotels? Do they go to castings with a driver? Tell me some diva anecdote - please!"
Models are thin, but they are seldom anorexic. Runway models, especially haute couture models as opposed to prêt à porter models are extremely thin, but they usually get that thin just one month before the shows. I am thin enough to get into a modelesque french size 36 (an american 2), and I eat pasta and ice cream... not everyday, ok.
Underwear models are often fatter than I am, in fact, and the only real difference is that they are sometimes shorter than clothing models and they often have breast implants to reach this not-so-natural top heavy look.
I have seen a 16 y.o. eastern european girl with breast implants; she said her parents mortgaged their house to pay for her new tits, so she can get more lingerie contracts and send her brother to college. True story.
But everyone keeps talking about anorexia, as if this serious psychological illness was the only issue fashion has to deal with.
14 years old models? Ok. 
Agencies selling them to rich old men (it happens, it happens, not giving names though)? Fine. Agents telling girls to go get a nosejob then come back if it turns out well? Alright!
But still, everyone talks about anorexia.

Oh, and models are by no means rich. In fact, unless you reach the "supermodels' heaven", modeling has become a pretty mediocre job, in terms of paycheck. The golden age has passed, and now many designers offer the girls to keep the dress after the show and that's it, and if you are not okay with it there are 100 other girls willing to accept.
As for the driver part, no, only a city plan and a MetroCard! I have seen some divas though.
But when it comes to true divadom leave it to the actresses to beat the shit out of models; 
for the love of gossip, here some first hand exemples:
- smoking where not allowed (Shalom Harlow, Mélanie Laurent)
- leaving half-eated sandwiches on the couch (Tilda Swinton), 
- being moody and hard to work with (Karolina Kurkova)
I could continue this list but hey, I still need to get some work !

marina hermanovna

Monday, October 27, 2008

<-> Sunday Bloody Sunday <->

Hi everyone, and thanks for reading !
(Tip: Click onto my pictures to see what a difference it makes !)

This post is about modeling, so if you are an inspiring model read the following.

Here's what happened since last time I logged in:

- I shot many pictures
- I transformed my flat into an overcrowded photo studio moving all the furniture in a corner, much to my kitties amazement
- my cat peed on my favorite Diesel hoodie. Amen
- two models forgot their personalities in the other bag
- I passed out
- my boyfriend got mad at my stylist and yelled at her
- my doorkeeper got mad at my boyfriend and yelled at him
(and much more)

What I forgot to mention is that all of the above happened in one day, on October 12, a Sunday.

I planned to improve my portfolio with some pictures inspired by italian painter Modigliani, so I made sure I packed into my 35 square meters flat a stylist, two hairdressers, a makeup artist, seven models, an assistant, two cats, five luggages, a backdrop and myself.
Needless to say it was madness.

Ulla@Metropolitan Models

To make it all more interesting I made sure I felt sick the exact day of the shooting, so what you see here has been shot at 39°C plus seizures and a sexy bacterial infection. As Borat would say - Very Nice !

The stylist made also an important contribution to the climax of the shoot, showing up a whopping three hours late, chain-smoking and bitching and asking random questions to anything that moved - cats included.
Poor thing was complaining that there only was tub water, so she basically ordered a model to go get her a bottle somewhere. This is the point where I saw my boyfriend's "anger vein" getting bigger and pulsing - not a good sign, in case you are wondering.

Ophélie@Metropolitan Models

As for the models, here's my impressions:

Olga - an amazing girl. She moves like a dancer, she is nice and bubbly, a pleasure to work with. The kind of model that delivers the picture in ten frames; I would rebook her for anything

Ulla - she was rude at the beginning (she failed to come say hello to the photographer...), but when shooting she followed directions well and I love her unique features.

Ophélie - Incredibly shy, girl has hardly one expression. A very good one though.

Rose@Metropolitan Models


Rose - an incredibly versatile aussie, she is gradually forgetting all the bad catalguy-posing they taught her when she started out; I shot her for three different projects and she has definitely something unique that make you want to see her interpret different characters. Oh, and she looks so much like Nicole Kidman.

Birgit - A very pretty face, she could be a good model if she listened. Unluckily, she does not.
I looked throughout her film and all I saw was one expression, The German Milkmaid. I kept telling her what to do to no avail - poor thing has the attention span of a goldfish. This is the only acceptable shot I have of her.

Gauthier - The boy makes waves. He is so photogenic you might stare at your LCD for three minutes than leave the room screaming in Sanskrit.
He is also a sweetheart, and kept talking to me the way young children speak to professors. It definitely made me feel 15 years older but I'd forgive him even if he gave me STDs.
Did I mention this was his very first shoot? Unbelievable.

So here's the results of this shoot, tomorrow I'll start looking for a magazine interested in publishing these.

Thomas - a very nice boy, he is clever and follows directions well. Too bad I fainted while shooting him, so I was able to take only like ten pics of him before K.O. Seeing the photographer on the floor, Thomas thought it might be a good idea to pick up my Canon and shoot the girl. How very paparazzi of him.

Soon enough I'll tell you more about Rose Vickens, my new Muse, whose new book I'm signing almost enirely and I am oh-so-proud of this.
Yesterday we shot some more pictures for it, the brief of her agency being
"soft lighting, a more commercial look than in the rest of her book but not too commercial".
I will soon post these. 
In between, you can take a look at my new website - I'm still working on it but it is finally taking shape.

Gauthier@Studio KLRP

I have one more anecdote to tell you guys about modeling, the bottom line being
 "looking good does nothing if you don't make an impression"

I went to the boy's agency a couple of days ago to give their booker (the energetic Jurgen!) their pictures; while I was there I took the time to check out all the new composits and two boys stood out from the bunch in my opinion, Jesper and Carl;
Since I am preparing an upcoming men's editorial, I thought I might want to see these two in person and I realized that two out of the three guys talking to Jurgen right there were the boys I wanted to see. So I asked Jurgen to do an impromptu casting.
Jurgen called the boys back and introduced me; I couldn't help but notice the "who the hell is this girl supposed to be" look in their eyes.
The look changed from "WTF" to "I don't think so" the minute Jurgen said the word "photographer", and I know why: this comes from me looking younger than 28 and being a good looking female. I keep getting these kind of looks whenever I introduce myself as a photographer, so I learned to stess the adjective professional...

Oh, Olga! How graceful.

So the first guys hands me his book, I take it to the couch, look at the pics, take it back to the boy, grab the second book, bring it to the couch, give it back to the boy... Well, you got it.

They couldn't make it to the couch, introduce themselfs, shake my hand, tell me something about them, ask me about the shoot...  
Jurgen noticed this and being a good booker he gave them the "bad models speech". He taught them something very important that most beginners in the fashion industry ignore: the importance of personality.
If you want to be cast in modeling jobs you have to do more than staying thin and be punctual.
You have to make an impression, because the person in front of you has seen 50 models before you and he/she is going to see other 50 afterwards. At the end of the day, a few composits will lie under the client/photographer's eyes, those of the models who have the right look for the shoot, of course. But how are they going to pick the "winner" among all of these models if say, five of them have that certain look?

Personality, it all boils down to personality.

You have to smile, to make eye contact, to shake hands (firmly! a weak shake is a no-no), be bubbly and bring positive energy into the room. 
Sometimes photographers pick a model instead of another only because they felt a connection, they knew this girl/boy is no troublemaker and will listen carefully to directions throughout the shoot. I wasn't sure Olga was the model I was looking for this shoot but she was so funny during the casting that I couldn't help but book her, and my feeling was right.

Birgit@Metropolitan Models

I book people I want to work with ! So models be advised: 

- no more sour pussies on castings/shoots
- no more cigarette breaks every 30 minutes (and cigarette butts wherever)
- no more about:blank look in the eyes
- no more complaining ("oh I'm so tired! Tired of sitting having your picture taken? Go tell this to the assistants - puh-lease!), 
- no more lame questions ("are you sure this make-up is fine? SHE DIDN'T EVEN PUT MASCARA ON! Yes baby, it is exactly the way I wanted it, and "she" is a professional makeup artist, btw)
- no more dumb answers("who's this"?  - me pointing at a picture in his book - "oh, that's me!!". Thank you darling, I see that; it's your book, so only pictures of you inside it. Now, can you tell me the  name of the designer you are modeling for in this pic?") 
( and much more )


( I am kidding girls/boys. You know I love you! )



Marina Hermanovna

Friday, September 26, 2008

< Mostly Maison Martin Margiela. Mostly >

photos: Marina Hermanovna
model: Suzie Bird@Elite
styling: Laura Diesbecq
makeup: Morgane Goupy
hair: Makiko Nara
cat: vintage 
M&M's: photographer's own - but the model ate the whole thing!

No no no no, calm down. 
This post ain't no interview to the belgian designer every hipster loves more than life itself.
Oh, and in case you were wondering no, I haven't disappeared for good under a pile of unwashed socks or imploded after the fourth random guy called this week and asked me if I do ID photos. Like, duh!
I have been bee-busy doing this and that, and most notably I went to fashion photographer Boris Ovini's party, where I had the chance to:

- meet the adorable Karine from Metropolitan Models, who has been sending me an insane amount of foxes to check out on a daily basis ever since. God bless her.
- hang out with Boris, the most talented young photog I ever met who, unlike many colleagues, is not afraid to give you some advice and his true opinion about your work. Oh, and he's a hot piece of ass.
- try my newly found weapon of mass seduction: my nazi offspring haircut
If you think boys don't like girls with shorter do's (especially if you look like you are a Hitler'stache away from filming Anna Frank, the remake), you should think again. And then hit Tony and Guy (or cut it yourself blindfolded, which is just the same - only way cheaper).

This haircut - in association with a very androginous look -  has the power to make'em all meow and purr. 
It's like they are all closeted gays that would rather hang out (with a boyish girl) instead of coming out (with a real penis-bearer). Zing!

We have a deal. Let me write this white on white.

- eat two apples, a banana and some raisin. In the meantime the other guests had roughly a bottle of vodka and a half each.
This is funny because some of them that were pretty rude at the beginning (i.e. rolling up a joint while talking to me an then walk away to smoke it with somebody else) later became surprisingly friendly (i.e. hand me the entire filter to smoke some cardboard).
- meet the Uberstilish Goran, a designer from Maison Martin Margiela, that was irradiating coolness all around so brightly he had to wear sunglasses to protect his own retina. 

Although I'm a class-A wallpaper at parties I couldn't resist this dude that looks like he just popped from a Kusturica movie, minus a golden tooth or two.
I just had to speak to him. Here's what happened:

Marina Hermanovna: "I've been staring at you all night; you have the most amazing look ever"
He replied: "Funny. I was about to say the same thing about you"
MH - "You must be part of the fashion industry. Who do you work for?"
Goran - "Take a guess."
MH- "Ok, is it Helmut Lang?"
G - "No"
MH - "Ok ok, so is it Bruno Pieters?"
G - "Huh-uh"
MH -"Darn it! Who is it then?"

Who said models don't eat? Suzie likes to have 1kg cornflakes without milk every morning.

He handed me a white business card for an answer.  
As I squinted my eyes to read the white on white typing, I had the feeling the card was grinning at me. Finally the letters stopped dancing before my eyes and I was able to stutter


For the love of half-price Azzedine Alaia platforms, you should let an old lady have a seat before coming up with this kind of shoker. What happened next is just as shoking. 
The fiercly-clad macedonian born designer kept shooting me from all angles, telling me such flatteries that my keybord is blushing as I'm typing.

Who said models are stoopid? Suzie can breathe and count her toes at the same time!
While wearing glasses!

He also said he wanted me to model for the upcoming MMM showroom... so he would show his pics at his office and eventually call me for a go-see @ MMM headquarters.
Riiiight. I was like - "Dude, do you realize I can almost babysit the other girls?"
He just said "Let me do the talking. Don't say a thing. You are perfect for this".

Two days and lots of mobile staring later I got a call from MMM. I went there and a handsome guy took me to an even hotter dude, that led me to this beautiful italian lady, that slid me into an all-black spray-on jumpsuit and stared at me together with her assistant.

Marina it's my agent. He says if you are going to make me look like a nerd I might as well go home and play some Wii.

Hot MMM Mama: "What do you think?" (ah, I almost forgot what a weird feeling is being a model, when people talk about your appearence as if you weren't there!)
Assistant: "Mmmmm. Isn't she too skinny?" 
(WTF?! Too skinny to model? I'll have a three-days non-stop Chocolathon to get this job!")
Hot MMMM: "Well she sure has skinny-minnie thighs but this is actually good for the present collection. Have you already done this work before?" 
MH (don't say 10 years ago! don't say 10 years ago!!)
"Yes, for Martin Margiela and for Paul Smith, in Milan, back in the day" (shit! I blew it!)
Hot MMM Mama: "Oh no you didn't! With Vicky maybe?!"
MH: (Hmm, I don't recall any Vicky... I barely recall my zodiac right now...) 
"Oh actually I don't recall. It was too long ago (there I go again. Am I stupid or something?!)".

I'm pretty sure there used to be a plant right here where I'm sprinkling... let's just keep wtering, it will eventually grow back!

So, to make a long story short they liked me. 
My favorite designer hired me, not as a photographer but as a model. Wow. 
This makes me a model-turned photographer-turned model, if this makes any sense at all.

I had to go shopping to celebrate right away, so I bought this pair of UNIQUE shoes from Topshop and I started an intense styling session as soon as I got home that involved as well jumping, stripping and tiger claw climbing invisible walls to "Super Freak" by Rocasound Revamp, much to my kitties amazement.

So because of work (and me being a little lazy blogging as well, I won't lie) I am posting today some old pics I took back in March of model Sandra "Suzie Bird" Plassard @ ELITE, hoping you will forgive me and wait a few more days to see my interview with Mr. Dellerba from Givenchy. 
In the meantime check out this french beauty staying sexy with very invisible makeup , bedhair  and grandpa attire.
Right after this geeky shoot her carreer took off and she did Gucci and MMM runway... 


Marina Hermanovna