I have always had an obsession with the timeless feel of Old Hollywood Glamour. So, when I heard that there was an abandoned theater sitting right in the middle of San Diego my creative thought process instantly jumped into high gear! My first instinct was to draw inspiration from the movie Sunset Boulevard and the idea of the stunning starlet desperately clinging to the beauty and opulence that the stage once created for them- but has long since faded away. I decided to portray the loss of beauty through the staging and scene instead of through the model herself, and this ghostly shell of a theater set the stage perfectly!
I was able to get an amazing team together to take this idea out of my head and make it a reality. I asked the wonderful Marissa Stokes to come out to be our starlet. I had worked with her once before and knew she would be able to tap into the emotion needed to portray this scene. As usual, I had my favorite makeup artist, Erin Celine, on hand to create a classic look featuring old glamour black eye liner and a bold lip. I also had Winna Izis come out to give Marissa the most amazing finger wave do. I had worked with Winna several times before and I knew she would knock it out of the park (as she totally did!)
We arrived at the theater right at the height of golden hour and hustled Marissa into wardrobe because the light that was poring though the stage and illuminating the dust in the air was just too good to miss. I chose this simple nightgown and lingerie look as it reminded me of what a starlet would throw on after getting out of her binding costume for the evening. I told Marissa to connect directly to the theater and portray missing the stage through her body movements and her work with the curtain ropes really nailed this directive!
This next look, a long green velvet dress with sweetheart neckline, reminded me of the dress this beauty would slip into after the show before heading out for a nightcap with the cast. I was really inspired by the thought that this woman would still treat her time in the theater at its most dilapidated the same way she would have on opening night of her biggest show. She would examine her flawless face, prepare herself for performance, and then hit the stage with grace and poise.
I loved the fact that all of the curtian ropes were still intact and the thought of this woman entwining herself with the ropes felt like a way for her to connect herself back to the stage she so greatly loved.
One thing you always have to be prepared for when shooting an editorial on location is the possibility for things to not go as planned, at all! We did hit a few snags along the way and due to this we weren't able to complete all of the looks that we had hoped, but overall I am so happy with what we were able to create. Thank you to this incredible team who braved this 'bando expedition and helped to make my vision a reality! And, as always, be sure to check back soon to see the full set from my latest collaboration with Olivia Hargrove, of Young Free and Style Obsessed and Erin Celine Makeup as we take on the DTLA Arts District!