I don’t always have time to update as often as I’d like but I do try to keep things more or less in chronological order, this sometimes causes me to fall even further behind because I find it hard to publish a particular post. This is one of those posts, I have thought about what I wanted it to be like for ages because I was searching for a more refined and straightforward way to present my personal personal projects but I guess I’m not quite there yet.
As I have mentioned previously, this winter I was very inspired by wintery imagery, white animals and snowy settings. I really enjoyed gathering inspiration for the Eustratia winter wonderland shoot so when a show slot came up at the Manchester Alternative and burlesque fair, I jumped at the opportunity. I never usually plan seasonal seasonal stuff in time but my general love of animal-inspired headwear and white latex came in useful here.
I wanted to tell a story and I left it would come across best if the setting was right so the props were important. The main part of the story takes place in an enchanted forest so trees were essential, I’ve wanted to have something like this on set for ages so I ordered some foam board and thanks to the efforts of the multi-talented Richard Ayres, it was made possible. I think he will aslo need a prop portfolio soon.
I also purchased a snow machine, which I think made all the difference, a large mirror, some small animals and hanging stars to complete the scene.
With the event being so close to Christmas I wanted to add some traditional elements into the story, unrecognisable as they may be. I stumbled upon the story of Befana, the Italian, gift giving witch. I loved the fact that as well as putting sweets into the boots of “good” children she also took time to sweep the floor while she was there, utilising her witch broom to show she was a good housekeeper. I decided to put her in the show but I totally changed her appearance to fit in with my aesthetic.
My decision to add this traditional element along with the girls starting of in the real world and journeying, in a dream, to the enchanted forest made the execution slightly more complicated. I was determined to make it work because it was the most unique part of the show and I left it gave more depth to the story.
The final narrative was as follows:
It is the night before Christmas. 2 girls go to bed in their room, excited for what the next day might bring. They have just fallen asleep when they hear a tinkling sounds coming from the mirror. The one nearest gets up and notices she can go through!
Once through the mirror the two girls find themselves in a winter wonderland, they are wondering around in awe when they meet a witch. She is gathering flowers in a basket and the girls decide to help her. To thank them for their kindness the witch gives them a magic coin that they can use to call upon her whenever they need help.
Next the girls come across winter woodland animals, dancing between the trees, they are transfixed and watch the graceful dance until their attention is drawn away by a loud noise. The snow queen and her extravagant pet unicorns approach the animals and circle menacingly. The queen decides to turn the animals into ice statues so she can admire their beauty whenever she likes, then they leave.
The girls come out from hiding behind the trees and are sad to see the animals cold and motionless, then they remember the coin and decide to use it to help the animals, they throw the coin into the air and surely enough shortly after the witch appears, she gently touches each animal and breathes life back into it. The animals have been turned back to normal and it starts to snow, everyone frolics happily.
The witch then leads the girls back through the mirror and into their own room. She puts them to bed, leaves glitter in their boots and sweeps the floor before leaving. The girls awake on Christmas day to find the glitter in their boots, a magical reminder of their journey to the winter wonderland, they are happy.
Video by latexgirls HD
The staff and broom were made for the show by Madame Dee’s creations.
Some stills from the show:
You can view more images from the show and info about the models on the Eustratia facebook page.
I’m quite happy with the way the show turned out despite the technical difficulties we had on the day. I’m grateful to everyone who contributed/took part and I think the models did an especially good job considering we didn’t get to rehearse with the props in place. Visually, I wish there was a white or generally light coloured backdrop, I think it would have really added to the set. It isn’t majorly important but I think it’s helpful for myself to make a note of such things because it isn’t something I would normally think about before planning a show.
Though it was a latex fashion show, I mostly enjoyed experimenting with different textures and making the non latex items. I had lots of fun with the fake fur, a material I’ve never used before. Of course I had to try on all the silly animal headwear!