beauty

Iandra - Beauty Knows No Color

Iandra - Beauty Knows No Color

By now the name Ananda Khan shouldn't be unusual to you (those of you who read this or look at the crew lines on most of my projects/instagram):  Ananda is an incredibly talented hair and makeup artist currently represented by Big Leo and a long time member of my creative team.  Over the past several years of working together we have become very close friends, and a huge part of our relationship is that she is one of my many feminist touchstones (even though that word makes her a little twitchy, we're still working on that).  We've had many a conversation surrounding the themes of feminism and equality in media and how we approach those issues in our careers.  She has told me several stories about feeling as though she was hired because the client had booked one or two black models to walk in a runway show, or how she was told at the beginning of her career not to put too many black girls in her book because it would make her look unprofessional when she was already going to be judged on her appearance.    

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Kelsey for The Angle Magazine

Kelsey for The Angle Magazine

In a previous post where I shared the story behind the Sidewalk editorial for Hope Street Magazine, I talked a little about the new team members that I've started to work quite closely with, namely Jenny Haapala and the lovely ladies (and Derek) atMarilyn.  You may have noticed how strongly I feel about the importance of having a strong and diverse team, and how much I believe in surrounding myself with talented and motivated artists who not only elevate my work through their respective expertise, but who also are always challenging me to achieve more and create stronger images and stories.  So on the heels of one successful project I got the team back together for a denim and beauty test.

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Behind the Scenes of Ivy and Aster Bridal Lookbook

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I'e spent most of the last month devoting a significant amount of my time to working with one of my favorite clients, Ivy and Aster.  Ivy and Aster, for those of you not already familiar with their work, is a bridal line for brides looking to add a touch of wanderlust and whimsy to their wedding day.  This and the next few posts will give you an idea of what we've been up to together.

This year for the New York Bridal Market Jessica Brown, the line's designer and creative director, decided that rather than showing at Pier 94 with so many other lines, she would opt for a more personal experience by renting out Darling.  In this tiny women's apparel and accessories shop in the West Village, she and her team created an intimate space that completely represented the brand to the parade of buyers and editors lining up to chat with the talented team and explore the new collection.  

Friday morning of the first weekend in October, a day before the official opening of market, we loaded into the space to shoot the lookbook.  While the Ivy and Aster team unloaded boxes and my assistant and I helped with the delivery of gold mannequin body parts, Ananda Khan got to work on the hair and makeup for Ren Kelly (APM), the star of the lookbook and one of the showroom and presentation models.  Ananda, a talented hair and makeup artist represented by Big Leo, worked on last year's bridal campaign and bridesmaids lookbook, and so when I heard about the plan to move downtown, it only made sense to reconnect these two for this expanded project.  Ananda and Jessica had been discussing their plans for the hair and makeup and by shooting early in the weekend it gave them both one more opportunity to refine and adapt their approach of what would work for the showroom appointments and the full presentation (but more on that later).

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While the ladies continued to work downstairs, my assistant and longtime friend, Bob Kidd and I got to work pulling the set and lights together, while anxiously watching the skies for rain.  Luckily, there was only one instance of frantically pulling all the lighting gear inside because of sprinkles that never materialized, and the afternoon's downpour was polite enough to wait until well after we had wrapped the shoot.  The shoot itself went smoothly and we spent the majority of the day joking and oohing and ahhing over the highlights of the new collection (the cashmere column dresses and the tulle skirt are currently my favorites).  And if you're thinking that you've seen those headpieces before you'd be correct.  Heart of Gold Designs partnered with Ivy and Aster for this collection, and supplied all the hairpieces. 

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Another notable partnership that was an integral part of this whole project was Julep.  Julep came on board as the makeup sponsor and sent Ananda several boxes of product from their entire range including nail polishes and lipsticks.  Enough to craft and create the looks, supply the models and artists for the lookbook, showroom appointments and the presentation, as well as share with the guests.  I would like to mention that a couple of the lipsticks did make it into my makeup bag at the end of the weekend, and for those of you out there who appreciate matte red lip, I am now hooked on the Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Cardinal Red Creme and the Light on Your Lips Lipstick in Lady in Red.  But I digress.

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Continue to scroll through for more behind the scenes goodness and check back soon for highlights from the bridal lookbook.

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Melt Away with Me..Full Edit

In a previous post when I was telling the story of the making of this shoot I promised an extended edit beyond the published story that ran in The Dapifer.  And here they are now.  I hope you enjoy!

Photography: Adrianna Favero

Wardrobe Stylist: Alex Vinash

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Jon Lieckfelt

Hair and Makeup Assistant: Nikki Fontaine

Model: Allie Silva (New York Models)