Tag Archives: corsets

Persephone: Welcome to the dark side!

9 Jan

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Wow- hello, new readers! I had a wave of subscriptions since my last post, so thankyou for the nice messages and interesting discussions I’ve had since then. πŸ™‚

Before I go all mythological on you, I just want to clear some confusion over a particular term and an oversight on my part which I’m planning to fix in a very exciting way. The term β€œstripper rates” has been used for as long as I can remember and (as far as I have ever heard it) refers to rates that increase per hour according to the amount of skin on show. It is not meant as derogatory to models or strippers. I stand by my original point that there should be no rates increase between fashion and art-nude because it places the value on your nudity rather than your skill… BUT… it had not occurred to me that adult models may also be reading my post and that is a different matter.
Adult models (here, meaning models who pose to open-leg and beyond) charge higher rates depending on various factors and as this is not my area of expertise, I’m currently speaking to some well-known, very well-regarded adult models about appearing on this blog! This will be the first time I have asked other models to guest post so I’m very excited! πŸ™‚

As I expected- life’s getting busy and I’m almost completely fully booked for my studio weekend at Joel Hicks Photographic in April! If you would like a place, I still have a little time free on April 22nd/23rd but otherwise, February 11th/12th is my only other weekend there and there are spaces aplenty! I would love to use some of the grey atmospheric trees and surroundings before Spring comes along and re-greens everything… πŸ˜‰ Each hour is just Β£50-all inclusive- get in touch for a place!

As you can see from this photo by Liv Free, Winter is a good time for photo-making…
(Headdress and make-up/hair by Liv Free)
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There are also just two hours still available on my first ever shibari studio day in March! Click here for more information.
NB: You do NOT need bondage experience- all the ropework is done for you by a trained rigger.

I’ve updated my travel page- some of the ‘possible’ places have become definites and I can’t wait to start zooming around the world again. Do let me know your interest as soon as possible as I’m booking as far into the future as I can- or ask me to add you to my ‘short notice’ mailing list. No need to keep checking back- I’ll let you know if I’m available nearby.

Though I’m definitely noticing the lighter evenings, Winter is still very firmly here- the canal’s frozen over and ducks go skidding hilariously past my window every morning! In Greek mythology, the reason for everything being cold and barren is this (simplified massively*):
Once, the earth lived in eternal summer, watched over by Demeter- the goddess of harvest. One day, her daughter Persephone was gathering flowers in a meadow when Hades, lord of the Underworld surprised her and snatched her off to be his queen. The grieving Demeter turned the earth cold and lifeless and in fear for the earth’s survival, a rescue mission was mounted. The ‘rules’ in almost every legend involving an underworld or faerieland say that you can return home if you don’t eat or drink anything while there and Persephone, apparently, held out for as long as she could but finally ate six pomegranate seeds in her hunger and so when Hades was finally forced to answer to the other gods and goddesses, he used that fact as leverage (or another god ratted on her) and it was agreed that Persephone would belong to the Underworld for six months of the year and return for the remainder. That is why Demeter retreats and freezes the earth for the months in which her daughter is no longer with her and brings back the flowers and warmth when she returns.

I don’t know about you but something about that has always felt ‘off’ to me…
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(I seem to be replacing Lord of the Rings references with Disney at the moment. I’m not going soft, I swear!)

Anyway, here’s another version…
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She had lived in the tower for so long she was almost used to the vertigo. She had lived with the imposed fragility until she had almost forgotten her strength. She had lived eternally planting flowers that she had almost accepted she would never wear. She hadn’t lived– and all because the key to her door lay in the hand of her mother, Demeter.

Seeds upon seeds, in pots upon pots, the little girl Persephone had treasured her work. The child planted, the mother grew, and the seeds were sent out into the world to flourish. Decades passed and yet the woman Persephone remained surrounded by the embryos of flowers she could only see blossom from her window. It had become an irritation, a complaint and finally an argument of the kind that tells a mother her child has grown.
Demeter took the key she should have handed Persephone, and turned it in the lock. Persephone smiled an innocent accepting smile and bided her time. When one is pushed to the light by force over freedom, one learns to think rather dark thoughts.Β 

There had been suitors but all had been banished. “When you live alone, you may do as you wish” had been her mother’s refrain. It would be pointless gesturing to her earth-strewn, seed-scattered solitude in the tower. Better, by far, to wait for the retreating footsteps and then lean backward out of the window, balancing and swaying until the sun god (who had already been cautioned about looking at her) couldn’t help but go to her aid. Just a favour, she asked. A quick word with the god of messages.Β 
The god of messages (who had been banished twice from the gate for asking after her) entered through her window. Tell anyone who will listen that I need to get out! The words were on the tip of her tongue but the footsteps of Demeter were already echoing on the stairway.
“Let the earth swallow me”, she had muttered to herself as her messenger fled, but he had heard and prepared to convey the strange request to somebody who could fulfil it.

Her plan shattered, Persephone took the unexpected way out- through the window. It was not as far a fall as she had thought, even without the assistance from various winged forms (who had been snapped at for attempting to talk to her). She came to her feet and ran. Free!

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Wishes have a habit of granting themselves at the strangest times and Persephone, having made her way across eight fields, a river, one and a half woodlands and somebodys garden, enjoyed the feel of grass under her feet and flowers in her hair for less than a day before her request was honoured.

Fear and flight have been added to every story concerning the events that happened in that meadow, Persephone reflected later. There certainly was none. Perhaps her status as a flower goddess in training had misled people about her fragility. Perhaps it was inconceivable even then that an innocent daughter with blossom in her hair could want anything other than the sun on her skin and birdsong in her ears.
Certainly when the earth opened up before her and he stepped out, she felt many things but fear wasn’t one of them.

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The lord of the Underworld has been painted enough times. Enough songs have been sung about him. Enough people have made up their minds on who or what he is. All Persephone will say is that sooner or later, we all meet him and can judge for ourselves. Only she and the dead truly know, and the latter are in no position to speak on him.

It would be easy to claim that she had merely been picking a bouquet to bring home to her mother when this man split the earth in two in order to steal her but the fact is, when one is forced toward the light, the darkness becomes very, very appealing indeed.
Persephone smiled a smile that made even the lord of the Underworld take a step back. She waited the split second it took for him to recover, waited a second more to enjoy the moment and then descended to the Underworld, shedding her cloak on the stairs. She kept the flowers for she had picked those herself.

Of course, her mother was never going to be happy with the state of affairs. As the earth and stone formed a cocoon around the lord of the Underworld and his new friend, who was learning quickly that flowers could bloom underground if they really set their minds to it, Demeter scorched the sky.

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The other gods and goddesses could never agree on whether Demeter grieved mostly for the loss of her daughter or the control she had wielded but either way, people began to die shrivelled and empty as the earth now was. Only Demeter retained a fraction of her former strength and despite threats from the other deities, the earth yielded nothing. The sky remained black.

The sun, who usually saw all, was blind to the goings on below the darkness and had to rely on his hearing and guess at the despair below. It was in the middle of the starless night- which now looked much like the day- that he heard the decision made by the gods council; happy or not, willing or not, Persephone must be found. And he had seen her. Demeter may have cautioned his god, but she had never told the sun himself that he couldn’t look at her daughter- and so he had seen all. Softly, coughing through the smoky blackness, he called Demeter to him and asked her to listen.

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Had Demeter gone to the underworld herself, it is likely that Persephone would never have been found- the Underworld has its own ways of hiding what it holds. Instead, she sent a man who had once guarded her orchard. He flew through the gates in the form of a black owl and found Demeter’s daughter wearing a black dress and a smile. When he tried to persuade her to return, she asked him simply for a good reason.

The man who was an owl thought for some time and took out a pomegranate he had saved. They were messy and fiddly to eat but he was hungry and Persephone was scary.
“Your mother is, after all, family. Blood is thicker than water…” he offered.
“That saying is incomplete”, Persephone told him gently, taking a seed. “It is ‘the blood of comradeship is thicker than the water of the womb’. But I suppose one conversation with her wouldn’t do much harm.”
“The food up here is tasty when it grows?” he offered her the pomegranate and Persephone ate another seed.
“So is the food down here. But you are right.”
“You would be less lonely up above.”
“Don’t confuse being alone with loneliness. I’d like to catch up with some people though.” She took a seed and looked at it. It was pretty. The man who was an owl almost reached out to pat her arm but thought better of it.
“You could escape and return to the glory of the sun. And lastly, your mother would, I’m sure, let you entertain a better suitor!” Persephone took two more seeds, crushed them between her thumb and forefinger and flicked the sticky juice back into the messenger’s face.
“Let? I chose my own suitor and I don’t need, wish, or want to escape. You have given me four tenuous reasons to return to the above and two reasons to kill you and remain lost,” she snapped at the man who was an owl, who flew from the Underworld and returned in minutes with a guard.

Persephone’s rage was terrible but the old rule stood- taking the food of a world to which you do not belong binds you to that world and she had taken six seeds from the above, which was no longer hers. As she prepared to spend the rest of her life divided, she cursed the man who was an owl to remain jet black and live only in the dark of the night from then on. Don’t look for him- you’ll never see him.
Demeter kept her job as harvest goddess but only just- the summer comes once a year now, and other gods and goddesses have taken greater precedence. She and her daughter still talk from time to time though half of Persephone’s life remains a mystery that even Demeter would rather not know. Persephone still remains goddess of flowers, but these days her tastes have changed….
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Photo by Lisa Waud

Other images by Leigh Eros (who I am greatly looking forward to working with again this year)
Pink corset by Orchid Corsetry
‘Metal’ corset made by me.

I waited a while for the perfect story to write that would go with the images and was cursing my writers block… and suddenly I realised I was stuck because the story had already been written and it fit so perfectly. We didn’t go out intending to illustrate a myth but somehow it happened- even down to the six main balls of light in the last picture.

I’m excitedly writing something to go with the rest of the set by Liv Free so I’ll show you those pictures as soon as I can as well… πŸ˜‰

It’s now 3am and I just poured coffee into my cup of tea. Definitely bedtime…

ROSWELL x

P.S. Is there anything you would like me to write about? I’ve had a lot of flash fiction requests and am making a new website for my non-modelling writing, but anything industry-related you wish I’d burbled about long ago? Let me know.

* strictly speaking, being Greek mythology, there’s a lot of cheating, rape, abduction and incest in the long version.

What do models wear?

17 Feb

Also:
– Why we look like bag ladies on the tube in the morning
– How we get designers to lend us stuff
– Why we often look nothing like the way you imagined us!

Well, as you seemed to like my ‘what models eat‘ blog so much, I decided to address another few questions I get asked a lot! πŸ™‚

If you don’t care, scroll down for some insane outfits in incredible locations. πŸ˜‰
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Glamour models often arrive fully made-up because as the preferred ‘look’ can be very samey, she knows what the client wants and can arrive ready to shoot immediately. Otherwise, most models are told to arrive as blank canvasses, whether we’re agency-represented or freelance. This means that the sleepy make-up free, scraped-back hair-ed, baggy-trousered suitcase-dragging creature you see at 6am on the tube may well be a model in disguise!
No matter whether we’re fashionable, alternative, pretty and girly or any other style you can think of, the professionals (especially nude and lingerie models) will arrive in baggy outfits because they don’t leave marks on the body, saving the photographer time in photoshop.

Before and after… SIX YEARS AGO!!! I was modelling for the gone but much-missed HMSlatex.
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You know when you walk straight past somebody because they aren’t in the place you associate them with? (e.g. walking straight past your karate instructor because they aren’t in whites with a black belt?) I’ve found tying my hair up is the perfect disguise! I’ve lost count of the people who have mailed me saying “I thought I saw you but wasn’t sure…” Another model friend swears by the “Felicity effect”- wearing glasses = incognito! πŸ˜›
This is Felicity Smoak in Arrow. The glasses are to show you she’s a geek because all geeks on TV must wear glasses. πŸ˜› She takes them off and- boom- different person. Apparently.
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This is why we look different to the way you imagine us:
It’s funny how often I find that photographers know models from one particular style we shoot, with no idea about the others! (It seems the art-nude and fetish worlds rarely cross paths.) As my art-nude pictures are often ethereal, classically beautiful and pre-Raphaelite inspired, some people can expect a long-skirted romantic to come skipping along.
*sound of New Rocks stomping down the train platform*
The same happens with many of my model friends known for certain looks they do very well- it’s a facet of their personality that they love to express and they’re not only versatile on camera but choose another facet to show off in their everyday world.

Instagram models are a different story as they mostly make a living from their sponsors and advertising. (I wrote a whole blog about the way that works here) That means they have to keep things as consistent with their projected image as possible. It seems like a very easy lifestyle, getting paid simply to take a selfie, but in my opinion there’s far more pressure on Instagram models than freelance models, as even their personal lives have to remain ‘on brand’. Often, what they wear is what they’re paid to wear- and that’s why they’re usually more recognisable in the street than other models.

I’m currently sponsored by Yummy Gummy latex, Orchid Corsetry and Louise Ferdinand Lingerie. Pictures below are Yummy Gummy and Louise Ferdinand- you’ll see Orchid Corsetry later in this post. (Yes I’ve lost weight- the bottom picture was a few years ago, the top was a few months ago).
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Photo by Proteus Photography
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I once read a rant from a very famous and now retired fetish model, who was sick of new models contacting her asking which photographers pay and which designers lend clothes for free.
“You know what they’re saying to me? I don’t want to work for anything so just give me money and clothes!”
It’s hard as a new model to know where to start and I can understand the temptation to ask more experienced models for all the information but professional models build up working relationships over a long period of time. If you’d like to work with a designer and work towards sponsorship, this will give you a good chance:

1) Prepare your portfolio
Have a lot of good quality pictures that would persuade a designer you are worth working with. If your first shoots are all basic fashion from your own wardrobe, that is no problem at all as long as you look good in them, but think about who you approach. For example, a lingerie designer is unlikely to offer you work if you have no lingerie pictures.
Treat it like a job application. No “hey bayb, wanna shoot?”

2) Stick your neck out
Apply to casting calls for fashion shows and photoshoots. You’re more likely to have the trust of a designer if you’ve actually met them in person! If they have no castings, offer to pay a deposit (and pay it!) This shows you’re serious about taking care of the items. Though I have built a good reputation, I still offer to pay deposits.

3) Be reliable
Give designers your correct measurements. I’ve seen a true fashion show horror story or two! If they need the outfit back by a certain day, make sure it gets sent back in time. If the outfit is damaged, let them know straight away. Accidents happen, but pretending they didn’t and sending back a broken outfit is not cool.I’ve had mishaps myself and the designers appreciated honesty.

It’s always worth an ask- the least somebody can do is say no, and you could have a new and lovely working relationship! πŸ˜€

It takes a hell of a lot of trust to allow your model to not only borrow your outfit but take it out of the country and into a lot of grimy overgrown places covered in dust, so thankyou so much to Orchid Corsetry, Dead Lotus Couture and Cyberesque for letting me do just that last year.
I worked with photographers Magpie Tommy, James Kerwin and fellow model Jade Stacy Maria in Belgium on an urbex tour. You’ve already seen the nudes, so here are the rest of our shots! Photos are watermarked with the credits.

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I love the way different photographers can produce totally different images in the same location. Tom’s is above, James’s are below. Jade and I are wearing Dead Lotus Couture.
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We didn’t think we were going to manage this incredible castle location but after a couple of adventures and an uphill scramble, here we were! I’m wearing Orchid Corsetry with a veil made by me. I haven’t forgotten to tell you the thrilling tale but for now, here are some pictures… πŸ˜‰
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We were running out of light and I really wish we’d had more time at the location below as there were so many more things I wanted to do! Another time perhaps… πŸ˜‰ Outfit by Cyberesque.
Apparently this bit is called “the rhino” but I think the structures look more like catfish…
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And my favourite shooting location of all! I loved the different places for very different reasons but as you all know my love of nature, this was an amazing place to be and to shoot. While Tom and James were shooting Jade, I sat taking close-ups of my own and pretending I was in another strange world. πŸ™‚
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I’m on a few new adventures this year and can’t wait to see where life takes me next. As for today, it’s been a productive one!
– I painted my doors
– Made a lovely smoked mackerel and beetroot salad
– Blogged (yay!)
– Recorded a short story I’m working on
– Am trying my hand at making chia seed pudding for the first time. Wish me luck! πŸ˜›

More adventures coming your way…

ROSWELL xxx

Spring cleaning!

13 Apr

I’m selling stuff. It’s listed below. πŸ™‚

First though, check out these pictures from The Phnarrcissist!!
Latex: Anatomic Bomb
Make-up: Me

Can’t decide which of the two below I like best! Opinions please?

Anyway, I’m having a huge sale so if there are any of the items listed below that you would like, send me a message or a comment and I’ll get them packaged and sent!
I hope you find something you like- prices are negotiable, within reason. πŸ˜€

ROSWELL xxx

 

Ooh, Corsets! And my Lisbeth Salander impression…

20 Jun

Dear readers, I don’t want you to get a shock or anything, but this post contains clothes.
Covering-boobs clothes.
As in, I’m not naked.
(Paramedics and smelling salts to the guy in the third row please).

Obviously, if I was really doing a Lisbeth Salander impression, the above would be said with a lot more attitude and eyeliner than I have right now, (I’m tired), but here’s an outtake from my shoot:

And here’s Lisbeth Salander, the only remotely redeemable woman from Stieg Larsson’s (in my opinion goddawful- I’ll explain later) Millennium Trilogy. (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo etc etc.)
(Hairstyle and make-up similarities not deliberate!!)

I’ve done a lot of art-nude shoots recently and so was very excited to get these pictures back from photographer Grace Elkin. We had worked with designer Catriona Stewart, shooting some of her collection and both girls were great fun to work with! πŸ˜€
We first went to the local park to shoot some bright and colourful latex. We got quite far but when it started to rain, we ran for the safety of the studio!

I *love* this blue outfit…


When Catriona showed me the next set of outfits, I got very excited! I love corsetry and am planning on starting waist reduction again, and these are different to any corsets I’d ever seen- most of the shape-changing was in fact done with a very strong zip!


That is it. I’m off to bed as I really am tired and can’t even think a coherent thought. πŸ˜€

Night night,

ROSWELL xxx

WAIT!

Once more with feeling: SQUEEEEEEZE!!!

Ok, now I’m done.