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Design/Styling projects

Cover outtake. Photo: Jackie Roman.

My latest art direction/styling project for New York Press is a cover shoot for musician Frankie Rose, formerly of Vivian Girls/Crystal Stilts, who currently fronts the band Frankie Rose and The Outs.

I had the opportunity to work with talented rock photographer Jackie Roman and after brainstorming, we decided on this theme: Mystery, occult, and magic, with late ’60s Russ Meyer/early ’70s “Witchcraft Today” paperback covers and altar imagery as inspiration.

Imagery from the photographer’s inspiration board.

The photo shoot turned out really well and we got some amazing images. Here is what we picked for the cover:

Photo: Jackie Roman.

Now this is where shit hits the fan; this photo caused quite a stir in the online community, particularly on the music blog, BrooklynVegan. First of all, I don’t care whether or not someone liked the concept or execution of the cover; everyone is entitled to their opinion. I personally stand behind the work though, and no one’s comments will change that.

However, this is where I found some of the reactions annoying: It’s really lame that some people felt the need to be immature, obnoxious, a hater, or worse, sexist in their comments. Not only that, but some of the commentary were based on inaccurate assumptions. For example, some people thought a man was in charge of this photo shoot. In answer to this comment from the post:

“fuck the guy who suggested she take her top off…”

Ahem… for the record, the art director (me) and the photographer (Jackie) are BOTH women. This was a creative collaboration between me, Jackie and Frankie, approved by all female parties involved. The goal was to create beautiful, compelling imagery of a woman who’s very confident and comfortable in her own skin and we achieved that.

Nudity is not a new thing (think Janis Joplin’s iconic nude portrait, among countless others). Yet, decades later, some people still freak out when a woman poses shirtless. Big fucking deal. Plus, have you heard?… Sexism is stupid.

There were some other juvenile comments which are not worth reposting here but to see my point, you can find it at http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2010/08/frankie_rose_go.html. Sadly, it seems that Crystal Stilt Kyle Forester’s quote from the New York Press feature rings true:

The girl thing is weird because it’s good and bad,” says Crystal Stilt Kyle Forester, who used to play with Rose. “People love girls in bands but they want to write lewd shit about them on Brooklyn Vegan. It is weird that the indie rock world is supposed to be politically progressive, but in terms of gender politics, it’s sort of like Mad Men.”

This started out as a straightforward, behind-the-scenes post, but I felt compelled to speak out as the absurd comments unfolded. Regardless, I stand behind the decisions that I, Frankie and Jackie made. Frankie’s a strong, independent woman who’s not afraid to be herself and I can respect that. Now, back to my original intent: Here are outtakes and behind-the-scenes shots.

Unless noted, photos by Jackie Roman.

Experimental shots of Frankie with filters, different exposures and motion.

Me styling Frankie as Jackie sets up the shot. Photo: Danny Goldshtein.

Frankie blowing sage on the set.

Amazing prop styling by Masha Gvozdov, mashaart.carbonmade.com.

Danny assisting as Jackie clicks away. Photo: me.

Tarot card/dresser scene.

Love this shot of Frankie primping while Danny’s perched on the loft above, lighting the shot. Photo: me.

I’d like to thank my creative team for creating the magic that day:
Photos: Jackie Roman, jackieroman.com; photo assistant: Danny Goldshtein, danielgoldshtein.com; prop stylist: Masha Gvozdov, mashaart.carbonmade.com

Jewelry, courtesy of againstnaturenyc.com & Urban Outfitters.

Check out Frankie Rose and The Outs here.

Also, click here to read the New York Press article by Jamie Peck, “The Ballad of Frankie Rose.”

Lastly, if you haven’t seen it, interior photos from the print edition below.


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Iron Fist t-shirt. Halter dress from VampireFreaks. Photos: Mike Fernandez.

Hello everyone. It’s been a minute, but I’m back! I’ve been consumed with projects, in particular organizing/art directing/styling a confidential assignment. Now, the secret’s out: the New York Press Summer Guide has hit the streets!

Theme for the New York Press Summer Guide issue: ZOMBIES!! We tweaked the expression “The Dead of Summer” and made it “The Undead of Summer.” The idea, to have zombies running around, doing summer-type activities in NYC. It turned out to be one hell of a crazy, hectic, adventurous undertaking!

The Look: Glam, goth, punk, B-horror movie-inspired.

After our models spent a few hours in makeup and wardrobe, the crew devoted an afternoon to documenting our zombies’ exploits in the city, from Soho to the Meatpacking District.

The Zombie Cast:

Dina Sheyn, Kelly Hartie and Alexander Dong.

Here are some memorable outtakes from the photo shoot:

First stop, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.

(Left, on Dina) Tripp NYC cut-out top and skirt;
(on Alex) “Death Row” black shirt from VampireFreaks, chain from Tripp NYC.

(on Alex) H&M hat.

Zombies sunbathe?? At the High Line. (On Dina and Kelly) Tripp NYC swimsuit and bikini top.
(On Alex) black shirt from VampireFreaks, Iron Fist zombie swim trunks.

Gimme that ice cream cone NOW… grRRRRrrrr! (Left, on Dina): Iron Fist tank top.

……..

A cover contender:This fantastically gory photo was also considered for the cover. However, once the cover dimensions
changed (cover ad sold), the cropping didn’t work for the new, squarish dimensions.

The actual cover:

Zombie unicorn dress from VampireFreaks.

The Summer Guide interior layouts:

Click here to check out New York Press Summer Guide listings online.

……..

Want to see the nuttiness that went on during the photo shoot?? Here are some behind-the-scenes video footage and photos by Garrett Bowser:

Make up artist Matthew Stetson creating Kelly’s zombie look with Kryolan make up.Zombies on the subway!Zombie Dina breaking rules by smiling and getting acrobatic!

These shoes are hot! A close-up shot of the Iron Fist wolf beater heels in the photo above.

Me art directing the scene while Mike snaps away.


Cool zombie wheat paste art we found in Soho that we used as a backdrop for some shots.

Digging through my wardrobe/props suitcase.

Mike contemplating his next move.

A quick wardrobe change in the middle of High Line park!


We ended our photoshoot with a scene at The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck,
which was parked in the midst of The New York Bear Fair.

Wardrobe, courtesy of ironfistclothing.com, trippnyc.com, vampirefreaks.com

Art Director/Stylist/Graphic Designer: me
Photographer: Mike Fernandez
Make up Artist: Matthew Stetson
Airbrush Make up: Adolfaux
Behind-the-scenes photos/video:
Garrett Bowser

Models:
Alexander Dong
Kelly Hartie
Dina Sheyn

Shoutout to Beegi for being supportive and helping out.

Thanks to everyone involved for making this happen!

Hey, so what’d you come here to see? Some raunchy pics? Fashion inspiration? Just curious?? Well, I’ll just show you how it was kickin’ it with Lexi Love while we conducted a photo shoot. Aside from being a porn star, she’s a real person; a vegan, reptile lover, tofutti cuties + oreo monster and a good friend of mine.

Here are some rough cover mock-ups I considered…

These unretouched photos I just loved for different reasons…

Mistress Lexi

Psycho Lexi

Lucy Vonne of sexyblogtime.com hanging out with Lexi between takes.

A serene moment.

Squirt face.

Lexi in the hood. Poor gal; it had to be 20 degrees outside!

Deena & Ozzy gloves. Fashion addicts, more on the heart necklace later this week…

For those of you who haven’t seen the actual cover, click here.

art director + stylist: me

photos: Steve “Beegi” Halpern

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