Now remember, this was the tail-end of the 90's. Kate Moss was the quintessential supermodel, the words 'heroin chic' were tossed around without irony and the London look had convincingly replaced conventional beauty on covers all over the world. Pretty was not hot, feminine and sweet was not cool at all. And while commercial and catalogue clients usually remain a bit more true to classic good looks, even they expect a model's portfolio to be current, they want to be assured that the model is comfortable and suitable accross types and remains in fashion, as it were... So our aim was to make me look edgy, grungy, raw.
I roped in my lovely model friend Michelle du Toit to help me with styling, hair and make-up. While she has classically stunning bone structure and features, at that time her hair was fiery red, highlighting her freckles and when they'd shoot her with little or no make-up, she was your perfect 90's model!
I threw a bunch of odd stuff into a bag and set off to the studios in Goodwood. The guys had a big space and quite a bit of lighting at their disposal. Michelle and I went through my bag of crazy stuff and settled on a few looks.
When you do a test shoot for the model's portfolio, you want to get at least three completely different moods. This helps to show off the model's versatility, makes it look like he/she has a bit more experience and besides, it's more fun! We started off with minimal make-up, or in fact some anti-make-up. A bit of vaseline and we were done... Look, no photoshop!
The actress in me just responded to the next outfit's quirky 50's vibe and we got some silly, expressive pictures.
Pull back the hair and move in for a quick close-up. I remember feeling really comfortable and confident working with this team. With Michelle also there, urging me on, I managed to finally get some different emotions on camera.
My Grandmother's Kimono came in very handy! Wet hair and stark Geisha make-up go well with screamy pictures. The longer I look at these the stranger they appear, but I promise you at that time, this was cool, arty fashion! Well we thought so anyway...
I must find a few archetypal late 90's tearsheets to prove to you guys how cool these were...
That was the first shoot where I took over the direction of styling, hair & make-up. It was the most fun I'd had in front of the camera yet and when Debbie from Storm was excited to get the pictures into my book, I was pleased as pie.