Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Dressing Mrs Brown

I am all a fluster getting plans readied and ideas organised as I am doing a 1951 makeover on a friend of mine who has kindly agreed to model as Mrs Brown for me next Monday!

We are travelling to Stoke to photograph 'Mrs Brown' interacting with the many objects within her dressing room in order to give them new and deeper meaning. My good friend Layla who has modelled for me before as the kitzch receptionist 'Miss How Can I Help You', was the perfect choice as she fits the physical requirements I had in my head of Mrs Brown's size and colouring. Plus as an artist herself she can understand what I am attempting to get from the shoot.

Miss How Can I Help You, acrylic on canvas 2006

The story being unravelled in Mrs Brown's Diary is all based around the many objects found in Stoke's Potteries Museum and Art Gallery's decorative arts collection which were then built into a 1950's dressing room. It was always my aim to tell a story though belongings and with the photographs I hope to emphasise this further by bringing Mrs Brown into the picture but keeping the objects as the main focus. She will almost be an accessory as the objects take the lead and represent different moments of importnace to her

I'm really excited about the makeover as all things cosmetic and hair give me a buzz! I've found an amazing tutuorial for early 50's pin curls, here's the second part showing how to style your curls into a perfect housewife do:

This girl really knows her stuff and after watching the whole tutorial I feel I learnt a lot. To my absolute joy I found the exact same method for pin curls being detailed in a Vogue article from the late forties (Thanks Layla for bringing in your brilliant Vogue book!).

After discussing Mrs Brown's personality and the era with Layla she managed to pull together an outfit that even though not original period clothes, will still look fantastic for the shoot as you can see above. We were looking for something fashion forward for the early 50's. Something with a hint of the full skirt Dior New Look, but also functional enough for a middle class housewife with pretentions to grandeur. With glamourous cosmetics and period hair this outfit will be perfect for the young and flighty Mrs Brown. I will document the entire process, find out how the makeover and shoot go next week!

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