Tag Archives: hollywood

Hollywood Fairytales

28 Jan

When you’re freelance, modelling isn’t the endless game of dress-up that films and magazines like to show. (Hollywood? Glittercoating something? Surely not…) On a normal day in Roswell-land, with some notable exceptions there’s no stream of caterers, make-up artists rushing in to fix hairs out of place and designers adjusting the diamonds attached to me. There’s no fairytale whirlwind from which I emerge a princess, and usually I like it that way. (I prefer to be a knight…) 😛
This is not to say that a full team (make-up artists, designers, assistants etc) cannot be fantastic to work with, just that it isn’t the norm for freelance models. We often have a greater hand in the creative process than agency models*. Of course we can work to a brief; there are plenty of shoots in which the photographer has a very clear idea of what s/he wants the final image to be and it’s our job to bring that idea to life- but for many bookings we do our own hair and make-up, pose freestyle and bring our own ‘shooting wardrobe’. “Just showing up and looking pretty” is not an option.
* If you want to read a hilarious account of life as an agency model, go and read Elyse Sewell’s old blog. She was the scientist in the first season of America’s Next Top Model.

I’m sponsored by a latex designer, a lingerie designer and a corsetiere so regularly have new one-off outfits to wear (in fact, I have some now…) but I have also updated my entire shooting wardrobe for 2016! If you’re a photographer and would like a booking or to enquire about what’s new, just send me a message here. Here’s a sneak peek though…

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While the Hollywood game of nothing-but-dress-up is mostly an illusion, I almost always get to play characters when I shoot- even if they’re only in my head. Until recently, I was mostly known for my fetish and art-nude work but in the past year or so, I’ve noticed an increase in my fashion and beauty bookings. Being freelance, this means I usually do my own make-up and styling in collaboration with my sponsors.
I’ve been working with Orchid Corsetry for about six months now and spent last weekend in Shrewsbury with designer Beth, being fitted for the next pieces! I love looking around other peoples studios and Beth’s is a luxurious sweetshop of material and trimmings.

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What Beth’s currently working on is a secret but we’re combining fashion and mythology as we both have a love of fairytales… 😉 In fact, I’ve just finished a written tale of my own for submission to an anthology called “Damsels in Success”!
I promised some more flash fiction blogs so to accompany the pictures below (that I’ve been so excited to post) so here are some Once-Upon-A-Time-s for you. The more I looked at the pictures, the more I thought of characters you might find in Hollywood.
The photographer is Shannon Swift, who is one of the most inspirational and interesting women I have had the good fortune to work with.
Would you like to work with her? She’s running a photoshoot giveaway right now! The deadline is the 31st so get your applications in quick.
NON-WHITE MODELS OF ANY COLOUR OR RACIAL BACKGROUND, please listen up! Shannon is shooting a photo and video project featuring models from different racial backgrounds so if you’d like to work with her, drop her a message.

Corsets and lingerie: Orchid Corsetry
Crown, hair and make-up: Me

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The Rising Star.
A thousand times upon a time, a young and beautiful woman made her living by pretending to be other people. This she did well, even in her own life. With every word said or movement made, she played a character as compelling as any whose shoes she stepped into for the sake of the camera. At first she gripped the crown she wore as though it might turn to smoke or slide off her head- it was borrowed, after all- but over time she learned to hold it as though she was certain it would remain hers forever- there would be no other girls afterward and people learned to believe her. Away in a locked room untroubled by the cameras, she shrugged off her character and laughed:
“It’s as simple as that! If we all just played this game, we’d all be fucking immortal!”
She laughed as though there would be no girls after her. She laughed like a fool.

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The Fading Star
Once upon a time in a strange land, there was a woman who was thin. Much too thin- and yet there was more, for she was fat too. This woman was free, talented, troubled, disfigured, stunningly beautiful, disgraced, risen, repentant, not sorry in the slightest, and thin again. In fact, she was each of these things at one time or other- and all at once depending on who was telling her story. The only thing that the storytellers could agree on was that now she was fading.
There would always be options until the day came when nothing she could do would seem interesting. She sucked an ice cube and tightened her belt. Fruit, it had been decided, was an ornamental decoration only. Sugar was for other people. And so the golden apple sat in plain sight- a trinket for visitors to notice and her own private joke. She picked it up. It had been the only thing recovered from the accident and kept out of the media in exchange for a sum even the richest would mentally stagger over. For a whole ten minutes she told herself she was merely considering telling, but her mind had been made up for days. What was it they said? “If you can’t be famous…”

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The Confidante
There are a lot of pets in Hollywood, but these ones aren’t the kind you want to get to know. They seem quiet, subdued, even a little skittish- but that’s just compared to their owners. Peacock-bright and beautiful, they are the ones you want to meet and touch. The pets fade into the background and nod yes.

“She’s lovely isn’t she?” 
“Yes.”
“May I speak to her?”
“Yes”.
Here, pets manage their owners lives while thinking on their paws as they run to keep up. They know everything there is to know. They watch- some pets are guardians too. They understand when nobody else does, so they are told.
There are, of course, good owners and bad owners. Whether or not there are bad pets is not for me to say. But I’ll tell you this; when a pet turns on its owner, it is quite a thng to see…

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The Spectator
The statue had been there for as long as the house had stood.
“Built in the nineteen-twenties!” she had heard a tour guide say, as though that was a mark of true venerability.
It was her good fortune, the statue supposed, that every one of the houses inhabitants had either found her charming or lived mostly in hotels, seldom visiting their own home. Still, things had crept in- palm trees, crystals from a famous medium, a pair of pink flamingoes that she scowled at but would miss if they were to be removed.
It was a bizarre state of affairs, the statue thought, that she should live in the place fairytales were manufactured and fantastical things happened every day but know better than to ever move.

Goodnight…

ROSWELL xxx

Time again

28 Dec

It’s become a Roswell tradition that at this time of year I do a questionnaire I found on livejournal ages ago. It’s crazy how much has changed: for example,2008’s ‘greatest achievement’ was ‘doing a photoshoot in another country'(!) This year, it was ‘realising the rat race was making me miserable, turning my back on it and making happiness my priority’.
As this was a relatively late realisation, I missed out on a lot of blogging and there are so many things I wish that I had covered!

Sooooo… before I show you two totally new looks from earlier this year… here are some things I wish I had blogged about (in no particular order).

1) White Feminism
How do you stop an army in its tracks? You set the fighters against each other until they forget what they were fighting for.

As a white woman and feminist, I was furious and confused when I first heard the term; what do you mean, feminists exclude black women? Every time I say that women should have equal rights, should I be adding “and black women too” as though anybody not white is a separate species?? Because that’s what it sounds like. Then I read something that explained the term and though I stand by my opinion that it is antagonistic, I can now see why it came about.
Here’s an example:
Most sources say that US women make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes but that only applies to white women:
African-American women make 64 cents to the dollar and Hispanic women make 54! The fact that the higher figure is the one quoted ignores all women who are not white. This kind of exclusion is what is meant by white feminism.

I can see how the ignorance of many white people must be frustrating beyond belief (I still have a lot to learn even though I’ve opened my eyes a bit)! but I don’t think the solution is to lump all feminists-who-are-white together under a misleading umbrella term,  creating even more division along racial lines! Surely we (humans of all colours) know by now that is a really shit idea.

SO… In future when I write about feminism, I’ll check if other women have different experiences based on their ethnic background- and encourage other feminist writers to do the same.
Yes, I’m aware that being white gives me privilege, and that gives me a loud voice (as does having a very well-read blog), so I would like to use it to do as much good as I can for as long as there is inequality.
Patrick Stewart says it better than I ever could so here he is:
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2) The SwitzerScot adventure
For the first time ever (and making a horrendous luggage blunder) I went from a week’s shooting in Scotland and one full night changing airports to three days in Switzerland: one shooting, one volunteering, one chilling. I wish so much that I had told you about all of this:
– I stayed in a converted church and visited an Escher exhibition next door!
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– I went to a cat cafe with a fellow model I’d only spoken to online before, and united in crazy-cat-lady-ness
– I took myself to an art gallery and found this beautiful angel…
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-… and the worst boob job in Greek Mythology! 😛
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– I went to Aberdeen and watched for dolphins. Look at these rock balancing sculptures!!!
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– I spent the night in three different airports and arrived here:
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– I did a photoshoot! (during and after)
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– I felt completely welcome in my Swiss hippy commune
– I swam in a lakes while grebes dived nearby, their chicks on their backs!
– I visited a beautiful grotto and saw THIS VIEW from my bedroom window!! The bird in the sky is a red kite- one of my favourites. The little huts down there are inspiration shelters and the edge of the garden I worked in.
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– I came home and did my hair like this:
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3) Caitlyn Bloody Jenner.
While I think that Glamour made a wonderful, accepting and clear gesture by giving the award to a trans woman, was there really nobody more deserving than Caitlyn Jenner???!
Though she appears to have taken criticism on board, quipping that the hardest thing about being a woman is knowing what to wear was absurd. I don’t watch the Kardashians but having seen enough adverts during which she purrs about what a girly day she’s going to have with her shopping and her spa treatments (because that’s what girls do, right?), I can quite easily believe that wardrobe troubles are the hardest thing about going from a life of rich white male privilege to a life of rich white female privilege.

These people may have fewer social media followers than Jenner, but here are three alternative trans choices for the award:
(Criteria: talented, interesting and with recent achievements as this is an “of the year” award)
Janet Mock– a writer, trans activist, former sex worker and recently (2014) a contributing editor at Marie Claire magazine.
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Annie Wallace– actress and musician, currently playing Sally St Claire, in Hollyoaks. The first trans woman to play a trans character in British soap history, and the inspiration for Coronation Street’s famous (and beloved) trans character Hayley Cropper
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– Geena Rocero– model and TED speaker, founder of advocacy campaign Gender Proud (2014)
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Actress Laverne Cox isn’t included here because she won a Glamour award last year.

4) The Happiest Thing
Earlier in the year I met a person who can’t drive but wants a Lamborghini, and can’t swim but wants a swimming pool. It made me realise that I need no other material possession to feel successful, other than my home and my laptop.
I love books. I love armour and accessories and chainmail and coffee and incense and notepads and shoes and they make me happy, but they’re an awesome bonus. And cheap compared to a Lamborghini… 😛

Oh, and cats. I love cats. (Photo by Cornerstone)
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I could carry on- there’s so much I’ve done and not said this year, but it’s time I did some other things. 🙂

What better way to look back, than with some vintage style photos from JRT photography?! MUA= me, hair credit pending
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As were were shooting with the same technique used with old film stars, most of my make-up was black (blusher and all) so it showed up against the flash.

An early Happy New Year, everyone. See you on the other side!! 😉

ROSWELL xxx