Winter wonderland show

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.

winterboardThis was my main inspiration board.

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.

witch 3My 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.

-The End-

Video by latexgirls HD

The staff and broom were made for the show by Madame Dee’s creations.

Some stills from the show:

483520_10151305066329491_1387478830_n 385028_10151305062614491_333148465_n  68604_10151305064784491_100107513_n 67627_10151305064454491_1866644225_n 60898_10151305062644491_1597263301_n 30375_3962107458627_1838900844_n 18885_10151305063134491_1457445687_n 18828_10151305063899491_1376147886_nYou 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!



New collab and Illustrated pictures

I was recently asked to jump in on a shoot my bf, Richard Ayres had arranged with Beverly Ann photography.

If you haven’t seen a lot of Beverly’s work around yet, I’m sure you will do in the near future. She is a promising young photographer with a clear vision, who also creates props to enhance her concept. I always admire photographers who like to be involved in more than just taking pictures, they are usually edgier with bigger ideas (which in turn means they might like to work with me on some of my big ideas).

For this shoot she had made these oversised demon hands which looked great combined with some black paint that she also applied herself. I love how the image below turned out and the black eyes were such a nice touch.

I was also given permission to edit some of the images from our shoot. I did one set with light pastel colours which I’m holding back until after its publication next month and an other which I can show you now.

I started off by just doing a beauty retouch and cleaning up a few things.

I did actually consider cropping this last one but decided I liked the large white space.

Models: Myself (Biomechanina) and the beautiful Jess Sevensin who you will most likely see featured here again soon!

After editing the photos as you see them above, I wanted to add something extra. I experimented a few times by making the background darker or adding some clouds but neither of these worked for me. I then remembered that I had wanted to produce a set of images with my own illustrations over the top of them for a while and these would be perfect.I did a bit of online research to find some examples that might inspire me. I have posted some on tumblr.

I have been working on some illustrations for an upcoming t-shirt line recently and most of my illustrations feature faces and insects. There were already faces in these images so I decided to draw insects, mainly moths, butterflies and dragonflies. I also added a couple of other natural and dark themes I felt were relevant.

The outcome:

What I really liked about this is that the drawings didn’t have to be great to look effective. Most of them were just quick doodles but they really transformed the feel of the images. I tried quite a lot of different things as it was my first attempt at something like this but I will definitely be doing more in the future and may produce some more concise sets with a preset theme. In these images the illustrations were drawn separately and applied onto the pictures using photoshop but I would also like to try printing the pictures out and painting on them as well as drawing electronically.

If anyone else tries something similar (or does any sort of work combining photography and illustration) I’d love to see!