My friend hyped this movie up for how weird it made her feel. She followed that with how awesome it is. Of course, I then had to watch Dogtooth, in which it is coincidentally the first Greek film I’ve seen, right before I set sail on my first trip to Greece. It was nominated for Best Foreign Film, but I have a feeling most might turn it off while watching it. Love it or hate it, you won’t forget this movie. I think I’ve thought about Dogtooth everyday since watching it, and I think about this dance practically every hour. If this suggests how the Greek’s dance in a night club, you’ll without a doubt see me tearing up a rug in a discotheque nightly. Yikes, take 5 minutes to watch this. SOoooo weird.
Call me a softee. I got a call from the amazing photographer, Brian Kuhlmann, totally last-minute, to find props and wardrobe at 5 pm for a 11 am shoot. Once I calmed down from excitement, I ran out and found this freaking GINORMOUS magnify glass, (I think it’s used for a hot light), and came up with this hokey idea. The thing is, this image makes my heart pump this big without the coolest prop hovering it. I’m kicking myself for renting the glass and not buying it. The possibilities for fun photographs are endless!
If I break a record for most hits on my blog in one day with that title, I can then conclude that my readership consists of a bunch of 6th grade boys who watch Project Runway. I’m not talking about grooming areolas here, rather, how to style someone in a progression where eventually they’re going to take off their clothes. Sounds weird, and don’t worry, I haven’t become a costume designer for porn (although I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity, sorry mom), but it’s an interesting project to conceptualize as a stylist. Being a self-proclaimed, far from sexy person… My underwear drawer is something similar to a stack of cotton sheets you would see sold at JCPenney, I find it hilarious that I’ve had a couple of assignments styling for a gentlemen’s magazine (saying that made me feel about 70 and Christian.) Thinking about what provokes excitement in wardrobe is something I rarely get to do, at least that kind of excitement, but I’ve learned isn’t all that different from styling a car advertisement. It’s what is underneath it all that get’s us move’n, but it’s also how we get to that point. Therefore, I’ve found, and by no surprise, it all goes back to story telling. This time it’s not only about the details in the costume that tell the story, but the process of the clothing from bare skin to fully loaded with fabric. Even though it’s print, you have to think of it as a sequence where the end point, middle point and beginning point, you’d hope would be equally as exciting.
The hardest obstacle is to not fall into a cliché. At the end of the day, it’s all been done, but I personally think what sells sex is confidence. Granted, everyone has their own preferences on what wardrobe makes their hips sway. Whether it’s butt stirrups, or wet A-shirts, it’s not going to work unless the model is comfortable. That’s why, like with any person being shot for an editorial, it’s best to interview the subject before you go shopping to get an idea of what they’re all about. Being naked with a room full of strangers is a enough to shake some nerves, the last thing you want is for the model to not feel their best. They have to sell their body, like models have to sell the product. It’s the same thing, just a little more drafty.
In a perfect world, you’d always have the models’ and talents’ sizes before you hit the streets and shop, but there are times where you have to prep without them and follow your gut to guess sizes properly. In this case, I bracket and buy two of everything (sometimes three), to only look a little crazier to the sales clerk when checking out. Here’s my go-to guide to guessing sizes. It hasn’t failed me yet.
Male: Shirt- Medium and Large, Pant- 32×34 and 34×34, Jacket – 40L and 42R, Dress Shirt, 16 x34/35 and 17 x 34/35, Shoe – 10 and 12
Female: Dress – 2 and 4, Pant- 2 and 4, Shoe – 7.5 and 9.5
Male: Shirt- Medium, Large and XL, Pant- 32×32 and 34×34, Jacket 40R, 42R and 44R, Dress Shirt, 16 x 34/35 and 17 x 34/35, Shoe – 10 and 12
Female: Dress – 4 and 6, Pant – 4 and 6, Shoe – 7.5 and 9.5
This is a great example of keeping it simple with a strong message. The photographer, Thomas Chadwick, really kicked this concept up a notch to make an eye catching manbabe. On my end, this was an easy one to style. I spent time sifting through thrift store t-shirts looking for the best selection of abusive guy tees I could find. We didn’t want to hit you over the head with a A shirt or mesh tank. This is a little more subtle way of implying the stereotype. The shirts, even though used, were also aged with tea bags and sanded with a pumice stone. Throw in a fake tattoo and prepare to be intimidated by a baby.
A stylist’s cuteness expertise does not play into why they pick certain wardrobe for a shot or scene. If it was just a matter of things being cute, you would hire a cuteness expert. I imagine this person only wears pink, gets really excited over the bi-annual Victoria Secret sale, and/or smells like a freshly bathed puppy. Sure, I like cute clothing just as much as the next person, but that’s not my focus when making selections. In fact, it’s rarely about the overall consensus of what’s the cutest item on the rack. Deciding factors include how the item works in its environment, how it works with the other model’s wardrobe selects, how it plays into the overall direction of the story being told, and whether or not it compliments the product. The cuteness, in my eyes, happens as a result of all the factors previously mentioned working together.