Fairy Tale Portraits

I found this article and was totally captivated by it. I would die to do this kind of shooting and wishing one day I could be a part of such a wonderful project :-)

Enjoy these magnificent photos and amazing makeup artistry!

Photographs & Costume Designs by Kirsty Mitchell

Makeup by Elbie Van  Eeden

Words by Victoria Stanell

Kirsty Mitchell’s “Wonderland” is a character-based conceptual series inspired by love, imagination, and fairy tales.

The photographer and costume designer didn’t expect press and attention when she started photographing mythical characters in the English countryside, but after three years of shooting and over 60 surreal, hand-styled images to her credit, the story (and the design) behind the look is beloved worldwide. Kirsty’s tale began in 2008, reeling from the death of her late mother Maureen (a former English teacher). To help her cope with the passing, she retreated into the fabled stories she grew up hearing, and decided to interpret her mother’s alternate, idyllic universe through a new lens—the photographic series Wonderland was born. Set in the pastoral backwoods of Britain, Kirsty visualized the mystical creatures that lived inside of her head to the real world—carefully entwined in cavernous trees, dancing among vibrant flora, and laying in melancholic fields—with little to no digital alteration.

Kirsty, who previously held design positions at Alexander McQueen and Hussain Chalayan, was meticulous in her craft, and would sometimes hold a shot back 12 months just to include spectacular fields of bluebells which only appeared a few weeks in the year. The end results were worth the wait, and the haunting, romantic images continue to linger in the mind. A true display of British talent, her photos have even been showcased in front of Karen Millen’s flagship Regent Street store, a custom installation celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee.

The painstaking attention to craftsmanship in the costume design is rivaled only by the otherworldly hair and makeup, designed by Elbie van Eeden. What started as a professional relationship between Kirsty and Elbie blossomed into a deeper friendship (Elbie was recently Kirsty’s bridesmaid!). Joined together, both minds envisaged a realm where magic is possible, and majestic queens, druids, and mythical beings reign supreme.

Elbie was kind enough to offer her insights and a behind-the-scenes view into the series, which blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.

“We’ve ran to get fresh flowers in the fields at five in the morning. Things like that happen, it’s part of the fun.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Elbie Van Eeden


Victoria Stanell: WHICH MAKEUP DID YOU USE TO ACHIEVE THE GORGEOUS COLORS AND TEXTURES?

“I can’t be without my Make Up For Ever Flash Palette. It’s an artist staple and I use it for everything. In the picture of the king, I used the Flash Palette on his lashes, and mixed all the colors for his lips, which are a sort of powdery blue. I also use a lot of Illamasqua products. I love their pigments and precision ink.”

Victoria Stanell: WHAT FUELS YOUR CREATIVITY?

“I’ve always been interested in conceptual shoots. I grew up on a farm in South Africa, so I’ve always been surrounded by beauty, by nature. My mum used to be a fashion designer, and always encouraged and ignited my imagination. I studied hair in Johannesburg, but came to London five years ago, self-taught in makeup. I didn’t just want to stick rhinestones on a models face, I wanted to do something with a little more heart to it.”

“Wonderland has been a perfect balance of everything that I ever wanted.”

                                                                       Elbie Van Eeden

 

Happy weekend everyone!!!

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