Hi. How's it going?
My Idiosyncratic Life has gotten a little surreal lately, but things are good. Very good? Yes, maybe.
Right after I went to the Crackpot Dentist, I went to work. I shot a story about this South Beach designer named Belinda who had designed all of these amazing ball gowns for soemthing called the Bug Ball, a charity gala for the Biami Meach Gotantical Bardens (Hee! That's just funny.) She was commissioned to make gowns inspired by flowers, they were very corset-y and have huge satin wraps with wires, a la Cruella de Ville sort of, but stunning.
So I was shooting Belinda, her assistant Ishtar (sweet but chachi 18-year-old actress type who has grown up in a scary LA/Miami entertainment jet set family) and Annemarie, an actress from Finland who is naturally photogenic and nice, in Belinda's shop. They were fitting the models for their gowns as they were hired to circulate throughout the ball and be beautiful and chat up Belinda and the dress she donated for the auction. Of course, being around fun creative people always makes me happy, and so in the spirit of all the random friends I make while running around with my camera (Guido the S. African backpacker, Lorrie and Michael Wardell, etc) we bonded and I said corsets look painful, and they couldn't believe I've never worn one and the next thing I know Ishtar is tying me into a complex couture gown.
I'm amazed it fits, and of course, I can't resist putting on huge silk butterfly wings, and the very next thing I know, they make me promise to go to the ball the next night. I kept saying I can't afford this dress, but thank you, it's very beautiful, and Belinda explains that she "dresses" people all the time, meaning they wear her stuff and give it back the next day and it's what famous people do all the time and just come, it will be fun!
Eh... why the hell not? So I go, and it's fun, but I had NO. IDEA. that people were going to pay attention to me. I was sort of hanging around with Annemarie (the model) , because she was one of the only people I knew there, and we walked out of the dressing room at the same time because I couldn't do all the things that had to be done to wear this outfit (Wings, scarves, criss-crossed lace-up back), and it was Ishtar's job to get all the models fixed up so I just got dressed with them..... and.... and... oh, God, this is embarrassing, I ended up getting photographed for Spanish Vogue, Women's Wear Daily and the NY Post fashion page.
Me! Chunky Photojournalist Barbie. In a dress. With makeup. (I'm wearing my blue leather mask, though). I'm next to Annemarie in a few of them, and I really hope I'm not the Fashion Don't, next to the Fashion Do. Although, that *would* make for a freakin' hilarious story...
Belinda wants me to be in her wedding runway show in a few months. (I know, right? What the f*ck?) I don't know. When she brought it up, I thought she wanted me to shoot it, so I said yes. That's *not* what she meant. She really prides herself on making fantasy gowns for real women, and she said she liked my "energy." (She should talk to the Crackpot Dentist, and he could tell her it's really thrown my grace and harmony out of whack). I guess a lot of women who come into her shop don't expect to find things in their size (or don't come in) because not many designers in South Beach make clothers larger than a size 8, and so....
Feminist ethical issues put aside for a discussion on another day, I'm flattered, but I would much, much rather be shooting it, and I don't shoot fashion (beyond a feature piece about something like the Bug Ball) very often. And let's face it, I'm the girl who stumbled around the stage at the science fair award ceremony in 7th grade, unable to find the stairs to get down or off. God, that sucked.
But I am going to shoot, (alongside a fashion photographer from Chicago and just for fun, really) some people in Belinda's dresses in a tiger preserve in Ft. Lauderdale next week. I'm excited to just get to be near the big cats, if only for nature stuff for myself. (Oh, and Luke? She loved the portrait of me that you shot that appears on the back of my portfolio CD, you know? Of course, I told her you're amazing, so if you ever want to pick up some fashion work on your own in the future, she would probably look at your portfolio. Seriously.)
Yeah, so all of that is really surreal and sort of odd, but fun. The next day I spent the better portion of a day with Dave Barry and his family for this huge scavenger hunt puzzle thingie the Herald does every year. (I know.... cue theTwilight Zone theme music)
And today I got harrassed (sexually and otherwise) for three hours at a "victory party" for a local candidate while all of his cigar-smoking, balding, short, aggressive friends got drunk and followed me around. At one point, I actually had to get the (male) reporter I was with to intervene and "interview" the aggressors every time they got near me because I couldn't make a damn picture without one of them getting in my face and asking me to do unethical things (not sexual) or making inappropriate comments (some sexual), despite my repeated and increasingly angry requests for them to stop following me around. They wanted the photo of this candidate to carry the local section and I really couldn't leave until I had something good enough for main art because the results in all the minority districts, where this candidate was wildly popular, were inexplicably delayed for hours and hours (but only for local elections, hmmm.....)
Not to sound like stoner kid picking out a quote for the yearbook, but "what a long strange journey this has been..." And I'm just talkin' about this week! :)