For our Spring 2020 Issue editor Elizabeth Rhodes put together a joint photoshoot with photographer Saryn Christina in LA for our She’s in Parties beauty editorial and our recurring feature Runway to Vanity. Take a look behind the scenes with this Auxiliary Online Content featuring more background and insight on the shoot and some behind the scenes shots.
For this shoot, we brought in two musicians as our models, Courtney Garvin and Christine Mednansky, for the Runway to Vanity feature as well as a beauty editorial. Longtime Auxiliary Magazine contributor Saryn Christina photographed both features. Andrea Mota was our hair stylist and Tiffany Trezzo was the makeup artist for this combined shoot and went straight to work preparing the models.
For the beauty editorial She’s in Parties, the inspiration was Biba, a London-based fashion retailer founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964 after starting the brand as a mail order clothing business the year prior. As a retail store Biba evolved it incorporated cosmetics and this is when the brand reached its peak popularity through the 1970s. The makeup worn by models for Biba had a romantic, 1930s nostalgia with a dark, flamboyant edge and the storefront in London had Art Deco interior decor. Celebrities of that time wore Biba fashions and made the retailer famous. As Lisa Eldridge states in her book Face Paint: The Story of Makeup (2015), “The Biba look was not about the harsh graphic lines of the sixties but rather big, soft, round clouds of color. And wherever the Biba girls went, with their glossy metallic faces, huge, heavily lashed eyes, and strange lip colors, everyone sat up and noticed.”
We took inspiration from this era of fashion and added a modern edge. The use of graphic shapes for the eyes and fashion styling that references these shapes in the makeup was inspired by the androgyny of the models featured in many Biba ads.
RUNWAY TO VANITY
Taking the Biba inspiration further, our Runway to Vanity feature pulled from a trend seen at Spring 2020 London Fashion Week where eyes were doll-like and reminiscent of the 60s via graphic shapes blocked out by color or liner, lower lash wings and rounded eye shapes that called upon the trends of the aforementioned 1930s. Upon a closer look at the so-called “Golden Age of Hollywood”, this is when Max Factor became well known as a makeup innovator, selling his own makeup line and creating an entirely new world of mystique around the art of maquillage. You can still see the remnants of his incredible legacy today in Los Angeles at the Max Factor Building of the Hollywood Museum. With the film industry booming, makeup trends shifted away from the smoky eye looks of the 1920s and a softer, more feminine use of colors emerged: eye shadows were typically lighter, brows were groomed into thin, rounded arches and lipstick became a hot new trend.
Here is a shot not included in the issue from our Runway to Vanity feature of Courtney wearing the look inspired by Spring 2020 London Fashion Week.
Some behind the scenes moments from the shoot.
SHE’S IN PARTIES
Learning lines in the rain
Special effects by loonatik and drinks
The graveyard scene
The golden years …
Hot lines under a rain of drum
Cigarette props in action
Dialogue dub, now here’s the rub
She’s acting her reaction
She’s in parties
It’s in the can
– Bauhaus, “She’s in Parties” from Burning from the Inside (1983)
With all of the connections to the 1930s and old Hollywood, I couldn’t get “She’s in Parties” out of my head while we were shooting! Thus, the name for this editorial was obvious. Undertones of darkness and mystery behind the glamour of the entertainment industry as seen in this song’s lyrics still hold true today as they did in the early 1980s when this Bauhaus song was released, very likely referencing those “golden years” of Hollywood.
The models chosen for this feature are both musicians and creators in their own right. Let’s meet them.
Currently active in musical projects Maraschino and Ghoulie Sweets, Courtney Garvin is best known for her primary solo project Toucan. She describes the direction and sound of this project on Soundcloud as, “Toucan stands for an almost lethal high-tension encounter with a mysterious alien like music made of solitary rhythms that make you shiver. A sound penetrated by reflections from the darker part of imagination. One that sparkles from a dreamless distances. A last cry for sensuality, a pretended distraction in repetition, charge and motion.” In addition to being a talented audio/visual artist, Courtney also designed the glass top she wears in the editorial.
Check out these videos of Toucan.
As the former frontwoman of the postpunk band Guilty Strangers from San Antonio, Texas, Christine is her own force of nature. The band released multiple full-length albums and created buzz around the alternative scene in the first half of the 2010s. Check out this great interview with the band by fellow Texan Oliver Sheppard to learn more about their history and get some insight into the Lydia Lunch connection with Christine. She’s a take-no-shit kinda gal who loves music and food, I should make mention here that Christine is also an incredible vegan chef! Visit Plant Witch Kitchen to see what she is up to these days.
Here’s a video from Guilty Strangers’ album Walking the Wire (2010).
More recently, Christine has provided vocals for the filthy rock-n-roll collective known as Gunther Von B. Hole & the Butcher Cabal. If you search YouTube for videos of them performing you will see a familiar face on stage performing alongside Christine and the Cabal: our own hair stylist, Andrea!
As a final nod to the team behind these features, makeup artist Tiffany Trezzo is also a musician performing currently as Miss Trezz. Check out her EP via Spotify.
See the full She’s In Parties beauty editorial and Runway to Vanity feature in our Spring 2020 Issue. Find out more about makeup artist Tiffany Trezzo’s work at her website. More information about Saryn Christina’s photography can be found at her website.
To read more, look behind the scenes of more of our photoshoots.