Exclusive Rika Magazine cover for my latest collaboration with the writer Anne B Kelly, who wrote The Mermaid for the shoot with the muse Georgia Hilmer. Styling Sara Dunn, hair Eric Jamieson, Makeup Munemi Imai
THE MERMAID, Part 1
Right before dusk, the sand had already begun to cool under our bare feet and the sky was fading to a flat lavender when we saw her. Seagulls looped and squalled overhead. It was one of those days where the moon had refused to leave and sat low on the horizon in spite. Our pockets hung damp and heavy from collecting miniature colored shells for our grandmother, who poured them into empty olive and jam jars where they sat on weathered window sills until they were as powdery and fragile as her skin. Bring the beach back to me my little scavenger crows, she said while petting our dark braids. And that the best time to find a real gem was after a hurricane. So intent were we on sifting our precious loot from the sand pebbles that at first we mistook her for a small beached shark, the recent rough rain swirling it astray and leaving it stranded in a silvery crescent in our path.
The Higher The Hair The Closer To God….
..and the hair stylist and my collaborator Eric Jamieson is an Archangel.
My top professional secret on fashion photo shoots: a model’s hair to me is often even more important than the clothes. It can inspire a model to feel like a Goddess, or it can destroy everything.
I am in a state of awe whenever I collaborate with Eric. The way he works with hair is like a snake charmer who steps into the writhing and hissing cobra pit and makes the beasts danceby playing a few simple notes on his flute.
I emphasize “simple”: I asked Eric recently - How do you become this Hair Whisperer? What do you do to it? He said: “It’s not what you do to it, it’s what you Don’t do to it”.
They say hair is a woman’s crown, I think it’s even more than that- it’s a woman’s visible aura. I love working with Eric because he is always watching the model (and her aura). Sometimes when she is about to enter “the zone” feeling the most beautiful and empowered, Eric will flick a tiny piece of hair around her chin or ear… suddenly taking the image beyond and a step above the climatic moment, harnessing and building a new wave of inspiration. Often when a girl plays with her hair or moves her head quickly a little imperfection happens. Most hairstylists will stop the whole shoot to wrestle it back into place with a vigorous dose of hairspray, Eric will use and emphasize this little “flaw” as an inspiration to build a richer and more intriguing character. Allowing a model to magically transform from a blank mannequin with a cookie-cutter perfect hairdo into a girl with a Story. An ever evolving story of our lives.