I am also one-half of DJ duo, The Roustabouts!

We spin everything from Balkan Beats, Carnivalesque Cabaret, Electro-Swing and the filthiest guilty pleasures.  



Lotus Eater: An Experimental Short Film

After I finished photographing this head-dress, my partner (Mark Charade) and I decided to experiment with a short film!

Ever since we met 5 years ago, Mark has been experimenting with films, the most recent prior to the below being Pearlescence. Every time he just gets better and better, in this case experimenting with new colours and themes.

Watch below, watch full screen and in HD!





Tigz Rice, Sparklewren and Pearls & Swine

Back in late August, when it was still possible to be out in the London air without much on, I finally got around to shooting with Tigz Rice!

Well known for her beautiful portraits, particularly of performers and vintage-inspired fashion, it's crazy that we didn't join forces earlier, especially as we attended the same University, and work with so many of the same people. I very rarely model for other photographers unless I particularly like (and trust!) their work - I'm not a model, so I need to work with someone with the skills to make me look good ;)

I wanted to put together a special look that gave off a couture feel, using a colour palette that I don't often use. I've been a fan of the absolutely stunning corsets by Sparklewren for quite a while, and was so glad when she agreed to lend me one of her Mink corset-bodies! The lovely Bink at Pearls & Swine also leant me this beautiful Ship Headpiece.

The Mink corset reminded me of stone being struck by the sea; with the netting, lace and freshwater pearls, it made me think of a decadent mermaid. I took this idea through the outfit, with fringing, silver chains and pale blue hair. I used silver jewellery that featured a lot of charms and burnished metal to create a decrepit opulence. To make the cape seem more special I covered the shoulders and front with brooches and a beaded capelet.

For makeup I used silvers and blues for the eyes, leaving off eyebrows and using an unusual cut-crease to alter the shape of my eyes. I used dark purple/red lipstick with a touch of silver pigment in the center.













An exciting/scary thing about the shoot was that it was going to be filmed! David McClelland of Ginx TV got in touch with Tigz to see if we would be happy to be featured on Planet Of The Apps, a prime time TV series that focuses on modern technology and gadgets. They wanted to film the entire shoot through to post-production, but it wasn't very intrusive at all. 

I haven't seen the final show but apparently it aired internationally very recently, and we should be receiving the footage soon!

Onto the wonderful photos, thanks again to Tigz Rice!



Recent Reads

Petite Mort

I read this book a few months ago, and although I had rated it on Goodreads as 4 stars (now altered to 3), I had to remind myself of the premise for this review. Evidentially it didn't leave much of a lasting impression. It's a shame, because on paper (forgive the pun) it should be everything that should appeal to me; silent film era, cinematic illusions, mystery... 

The book is "narrated" by both the present day (set in the 60s, via a conversation with a journalist), and a young (set in 1913) Adèle Roux, a girl seduced by silent films, who follows her heart to the Pathé production company. Instead of becoming the star she hoped to be, she ends up working in the costume department. Along comes a handsome male producer and, as if you can't see this coming, she sleeps with him. Rather than secure her a role in a film, she finds herself in the role of personal assistant to the producer's famous film star wife. Yadda yadda yadda lesbianism yadda yadda mystery yadda yadda betrayal.

After reading true stories of early cinema, and the scandals that went on between actors, the sex and scandal in this book seem somewhat obvious. There isn't much I can say without giving away spoilers, as the book's blurb literally begs the reader not to disclose the plot twist. I think the emphasis of "omg plot twist!" is a bad move on the part of the author/publisher, as it encourages expectation in the reader, and therefore causes us to be more critical of the story. I had mostly worked out the twist from the first few chapters, so the reveal only caused a sense of satisfaction that I was correct. Not the shock that we are encouraged to expect.

The more I think about it, the more unconvinced I feel about the book. I don't remember feeling any sort of connection to any of the characters, although it was pleasant and easy enough to keep reading. 

American Gods

I actually read this back in February, and then devoured two Neil Gaiman books since, but this one was by far my favourite so I thought I'd review this instead! As blasphemous as this sounds, I hadn't read a Gaiman book until this point. I guess it was partly laziness and partly the raving about his work that made me feel like if I did read one, and disliked it, it would be a disagreement I had with a vast majority that I wouldn't be able to explain to myself; silly, I know. 

The book follows the character of Shadow (would be a cheesy name but somehow isn't, not sure what kind of literary magic he worked there), whose wife dies in a car crash just before he is to be released from prison. Unsure what to do or what to think, he makes his way back home on a plane. Here he meets Mr Wednesday, a charming man who claims to be a God, and offers Shadow a job, which takes them to bizarre characters and places.

The blurb describes it as taking "a long, hard look into the soul of America" and being deeply unsettling. I'm not sure whether it unsettled me (although the "underground" scenes are so strong I could feel them being played behind my eyelids like a film), but it most certainly captured my imagination. Although British, Gaiman channels the deep threads of American belief like he was born and raised there. It almost satirically observes the melting pot of the vast country, and delves into concepts of immigration and modern-day distractions. 

There are touches of everything I love about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Terry Pratchett books, while the depictions of America reminded me of Stephen King. But Gaiman's writing stands alone as evocative and painterly, with a story unlike anything else I've read before. I would very likely count this as one of my favourite books, and look forward to reading it again. 

Good news is, the amazing Bryan Fuller (creator of Hannibal) is developing American Gods for TV!