Fashion Rears its Beautiful Head – October 2011

October is generally a busy time for a make up artist. Halloween provides many opportunities for face painting, both for kids, individual clients and night club promotions. However, this year my sister decided to get married over the Halloween weekend (how selfish) and so I unfortunately had to turn down several offers of work in order to hang out with friends and family, drink champagne and eat cake. It’s a tough life.

And so, October surprisingly wasn’t all about monsters, vampires and witches for me. I received an email from Bang On Top (who I have previously worked with on several occasions – Blow Up The Liffey Bridges, One Night In Istanbul, Brick Up 2) asking me if I was available on the 16th to be a personal make up artist for Rafa Benitez (very charming) who was doing a one off appearance at the Liverpool Empire in order to raise money and awareness of the Montse Benitez Foundation. It was an on stage interview, with video clips of various games, strategies and personal memories. This was for me, exactly what Bang On Top do best – creating theatre that is accessible to all, theatre for people who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre.

the beautiful Charley Cockbain

My next October assignment was a fashion shoot in Liverpool city centre. The director had come up from London, with an amazing array of dresses for our models to wear. The difference with this shoot was that we were filming in 3D – something I have done only once before, but am keen to get more experience in. The shoot was rather secretive as the camera technology is quite new and so its inventor is protective of his methods. Somehow the director managed to make Liverpool look like Paris or Milan – ok we were filming at night and Liverpool is a very photogenic city but it amazes me how differently outsiders can see the potential in the architecture of this city. Of course it helps that the models were beautiful and the dresses elegant, but it made me realise that I haven’t done too much ‘beautiful’ work of late. Much as I love the blood and guts, I love the beauty also. Note to self : do more fashion stuff.

vamp shoot with Echo.  Photo by Zak TylerNext up, I arranged more fashion stuff, hurrah! Another photo shoot, though this time just still photographs for our portfolios. Although we started off with just straightforward beauty shots, the model was quite alternative, with lots of piercings and so the gothic crept back in. This resulted in a contemporary take of a 1920s screen vamp. Although I’ve never seen any of their films I am a big fan of the vampish look, as seen on Theda Bara and Clara Bow. I have made a short film in the 1920s style and would one day love to do a feature film.

Finally, despite turning down a lot of Halloween make up work, I did manage to fit in a days facepainting for Open Culture. I had been recommended to them by Shiverpool and they were jointly organising a family event, ‘Shiver on the River’. Werewolves, witches, ghouls, vampires, zombies and many other creatures from the dark side made their return to my life. But then, no Halloween would be complete without the traditional blood and guts would it?

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