I always loved Halloween because it was my one chance during the year to be somebody (or something) else. When else during the year could you quadruple-layer your mascara, wrap your body in feathers, and adorn yourself in thick costume jewelry? As a kid, Halloween was about looking like characters I admired, but as I grow older I realize that it’s more of the action of transforming myself into a completely different creature that really excites me. Dressing up as a lion is not about the fuzzy costume, it’s about who you become when you’re under the layers of fur and hairspray. Fierce, unfettered, and fearless.

These behind-the-scenes runway photos for a Dior fashion show remind me that Halloween is completely about transforming yourself. The chartreuse yellow clown costume is so outrageous and vibrant that I forget there’s an actual person under there. I am so mesmerized by her eye makeup. The Dior makeup artists somehow expanded her eyes to three times their normal size just with thin lines and soft colors. It’s magic, what these people can do, I swear.

Backstage at Dior

Alexander McQueen, RIP

In 2010, Alexander McQueen designed this Marie-Antoinette-inspired costume. The way the gold plating is collared around her neck is so gorgeous and regal-feeling. I look at this photo and think to myself, ‘That woman is powerful.’

Ironic, considering she’s just a model in costume. It’s funny how a costume can fool you like that.

Festivale Mask

This Venetian Carnival-inspired mask reminds me of an old fashioned masquerade ball. From certain angles it looks like a delicate bird, made with lace and geometric lines. I absolutely love how feminine and light this is — not to mention the over sized bird nest hairdo. I love how the simple lace outline and bushy hairdo can completely transform this model into a magical, mythical creature. The whole ensemble feels very 18th-century horror.


En Vogue Halloween

These photos are so haunting, but Vogue has this way of making their gaunt models look so glamorous. This Vogue feature spread showcases some of the darkest and most artistic Halloween costumes I’ve ever seen. The model with the deer mask on looks so chic and refined (check out the scalloped edges on her darling dress!), but her crazy hair and blank expression create such a spooky ensemble.

The feature page with the crow mask across the model’s face makes me want to watch the movie The Birds. All of these foul-inspired masks are incredible.

Vogue Halloween

Have a Happy Haute Halloween!!!

Back in my art school days at Otis, I had an installation art teacher that was one of those people you’ll never forget. He probed and poked our creativity in ways we never explored that made you think in entirely new ways. One day he walked into the classroom and held up a single toothpick and asked what installations we could create with it. We all looked at each other a bit puzzled and tried to come up with wise and witty comments, but soon feel short. Then he proceeded to dump an entire garbage bag of toothpick onto the floor and then asked, what could we create with this. That lesson always resonated with me in so many ways, proving that scale and repetition is the key to create beauty in so many ways. Repetition creates pattern, and pattern creates balance and symmetry, which we find beautiful.

A single tree may be pretty, but a forest full of them is magical.

Another perfect example of this are the Anthropologie windows we all drool over. Look at their teabag installation, or their plastic bottles, it’s the scale and repetition that makes them what they are. As I worked this past weekend on an installation featuring hundreds of hand dyed strips of fabric I reminded myself of these principals of design, poured myself a glass of wine, and kept on working.

Tara Donovan is an installation artist that explores exactly that with her series of installations made from common day products. You’ll never look at the scotch tape on your desk the same again. From styrofoam cups, toothpicks, glue drops, and buttons, she grows organic shapes that seem to live undersea or on a mountain top, proving that repetition is part of the reason we find nature so beautiful.

The forms these cups create seem as if they could be living on the bottom of the sea.

I imagine a hectic cityscape of highrises in a future time.

The honeycomb pattern seems so intricate and delicate.

The circular patterns created in these rolls of paper feel so natural, as if grown inside of a seashell.

I feel as if I’m looking into a delicate garden of coral.

I imagine the black lava rocks in Hawaii from these textures.

These actually remind me of the drip sand castles I would make on the beach as a kid.

When planning that special day you’ve always dreamed about, I’m sure you imagined looking like your most beautiful self floating down that aisle. Make that dream a reality and leave your looks to the pros at Fiore Beauty! Coiffed, curled, glossed and polished, these ladies will transform you into the covergirl you always knew was inside of you. The artists at Fiore Beauty do makeup, hair and nails for celebrity glamour mavens such as Jennifer Lopez, Jenna Fisher, Heidi Klum, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian and Whitney Port, just in case you wondered the caliber of their talents.

Below Jaimi of Fiore Beauty gives us some gorgeous inspirations and tips from the pros sure to make your groom go ‘WOW’!

Every girl wants to be her most gorgeous on her wedding day.  Getting your glam plan in place takes a bit of planning but it’s fun to get in that extra pampering you don’t always treat yourself too.

There are so many beauty inspirations to help you find a look you love, from eternal beauties like Bridget Bardot and Audrey Hepburn to current lovelies like Leighton Meister and Rachel Bilson.  They can inspire you but how it all comes together will become of your own.

Think of the time you spend getting ready on your wedding days with your girls as a celebration in itself!

All eyes will be on you and you’ll feel gorgeous, enjoy every second!

Tips from the Pros

Here are some Fiore tips on how to make sure your wedding day beauty all comes together without a hitch!

  • Wear lashes, everyone looks prettier with them. We use individuals most often, they look natural and you won’t even feel them.
  • If you can’t keep your artist on for touch ups put one of your ladies in charge of your lipstick touch ups, you will be having so much fun you won’t think about your makeup if no one reminds you.
  • Don’t skimp on beauty. It’s really easy to try to cut corners when it comes to all of your beauty services for your big day when you’re spending so much money on everything else. After the wedding you look back at your pictures (which you’re the focus of) and when you look at them you want think “What a fox!” and remember how beautiful you felt.
  • Don’t try anything new 2 weeks before your wedding including products, facials, tans, eyebrow grooming, or hair color.

  • Exfoliation and hydration are the key to nice skin and therefore beautiful makeup so drink tons of water and find a great exfoliation product to use religiously. We love Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate.
  • Don’t have your makeup artist/ hairdresser friend do your services, there is about a thousand ways.
  • Really think about how you will feel your prettiest on your wedding day.  Gather pictures of yourself you like as well as magazine tears of beauty looks you and know what it is about the pictures that you like.  Beauty is so subjective and it’s really helpful if you have an idea of what you like.
  • Spray tans are wonderful for giving you a glow while wearing white and warms up your skin so you don’t need as much makeup.  You need much color at all though, a little goes a long way and test it out a couple months before your wedding.
  • Hire artists that are good listeners and are dependable and leave ample time to get ready (it’ll be an early morning, there’s no way around it).  This will make sure that you just get to relax and enjoy being pampered and getting ready to be a Mrs.!

Let Fiore Beauty beautify you and your bridesmaids on your wedding day! Start the celebration early with a fun and pampering relaxed environment.

Want to start the pampering early? Don’t miss our Mistral French Soap Basket Giveaway! Only 3 days left to enter!

Here’s how to win:

Visit the post at Welcome Basket Ingredients to enter.

Whether you are venturing across the seas or celebrating in your own home town, every wedding is a ‘destination’ wedding to some of your guests who traveled to celebrate on your special day. Why not thank them for coming with a thoughtful and personal welcome basket waiting in their hotel rooms.  We put together some of our favorite ingredients sure to help your guests relax and enjoy their stay.

Let Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations put together your dream Welcome Baskets! From the welcome booklets, postcards, goody bags with tags and personal items, we can design the perfect posh way to welcome your guests and ship them directly to their hotels waiting for their arrival.

Want to try out some of these luxuriously scented French soaps before you pack them into your guests welcome bags?

Here’s how to win:

1. Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite Welcome Basket goodies would be. We love creative and personal ideas!

2. Follow us on Twitter where we’ll announce the winner Wednesday October 27th. You can choose your favorite scent and Mistral will send you one of their deliciously rich gift baskets full of bath time goodies.

** You must be following us on Twitter to be applicable to win.

Today we have a very special treat full of eye candy thanks to the talented work of San Diego based photographer Jill Thomas. When I first came across Jill’s work it was one of those moment when you kind of fall in love… She paints a photographic picture that captures the feeling of sunshine and love with her soft romantic touch. Once I realized she lived just a hop, skip and a jump away from me I knew we just had to work together.  Look forward to seeing some beautiful collaborations from the both of us soon!

1.  What inspires me?

I am inspired mostly by 70s photography.  I love the timelessness and style of that era.  One summer I was up at my parents house visiting and my dad came in with boxes of photographs that he wanted us to help him organize.   I was just overwhelmed with the beautiful photographs they had of themselves and their families.  They were classic, stylish, and so timeless.  I loved them.  It amazed me because I look exactly like my mom and we look exactly like her mom, however my mom and grandmother had such beautiful images of themselves, that I only dreamed I would have of me.  what was the difference.  I investigated.  My answer … FILM!!

2. Has my photographic styled evolved since I first got into the biz?

Yes!  I started my business digitally and crazy about the latest photography trends and photoshop actions.  After I discovered film and film cameras for myself, I looked at my business in an entirely different way.  I wanted to shoot weddings, I knew that. I loved working with couples and love the excitement and fun of a wedding day. I loved having to think of things on a whim if a schedule change, I loved how it challenged my creativity.  So when I made the decision to gear my business more towards weddings, i changed photographic elements were important to me.  I was drawn to the raw elements of photography.  I want to provide images for my couples that they would love now, in 5 years, in 20 years and forever.  I wanted my brides to have those beautiful photographs of themselves, that they admired their grandmother having.  so i decided to shoot 100% film. Using old cameras, combined with new technology, allows me to provide my couples with those classic, beautiful, and artistic photographs.  through different films and different cameras  I am able to capture weddings with my own artistic style.

3. Does fashion, nature, trends, etc.. effect the style in which you shoot?

I am definitely inspired by fashion photography.  Even though i want my images to be beautiful and timeless, it is very important to me to have an element of style shine through. I do not look to other weddings photographer for this information.  If other wedding photographers are doing something - then it has already been done and i am at a back end of a trend.  However, if I use high fashion as inspiration and apply it to weddings, it keeps me the front end of fun trends.  My favorite magazine is W magazine.  LOVE IT!

4. Who/what/where has been your favorite shoot and why?

My favorite shoots and weddings are ones i have done for other artists.  I love working with artists because they appreciate artistic elements and truly appreciate my use of film.  I love when couples say things like “we love holgas” or “we love light leaks” or “we love instant photographs” or “we just want you to do what you do best”.  When someone hires me, they hire how I see their wedding and their story. I love when couples trust me to capture that, how I truly see it, in my own artistic way.

My favorite wedding was a wedding I did this summer at the smog shoppe.  The couple was a cute couple and the wedding was full of fun details.  but my favorite part was they fully trusted me.  I think because I took their trust seriously and was able to fully use my artistic vision, it was the best wedding I shot thus far.

5. What keeps me inspired?

I am constantly trying to stay inspired. Trying out different old cameras and different film types is probably the best way i can stay inspired.  Always learning something new and finding new photography elements I didn’t know about before, get me inspired and excited for whatever shoot I am doing next.

Photography by Jill Thomas

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