I recently had the opportunity to work with one of my oldest and best friends, Brittany on a collaborative project which was published in Dark Beauty Magazine. Brittany Bindrim is an extremely talented illustrator, together we wanted to make photographs using her drawings in a way where the two art mediums collided and became one. I absolutely loved how this creative fashion photoshoot turned out. We wanted to bring illustration to life while introducing a surreal imagination and dreamlike graphical fantasy to the reality of photography. The title came from the inspiration, the post-war sexist romance cartoons that Lichtenstein ironically used in his work. Drowning Girl, in particular, had the most influence. The talented models with the help of the creative team swim out of the tide to display a strong presence and feminine dominance throughout the images.
The day of the shoot was a long and busy one. Luckily, our team was on point all day and the final outcome really reflects the hard work that went into the shoot. There was a lot of testing involved, both for lighting and clothing. Brittany and I chose to be very selective with the clothing in order to make sure our models fit the theme, and the lighting had to be consistent no matter what the model was doing, just like in a drawing. There were a lot of adjustments made throughout the shoot, but each tweak was worth it.
The Defibrillator Gallery in Wicker Park included Lichtenstein’s Heroines in their Personal Project show. Brittany and I had decided to enter it before the series was even completed. We thought our combined passions joining into one work was a great match for the theme of the show. It was a roaring success! The place was packed, and we dominated an entire wall. We received countless compliments on the series that night, and almost the entire team came to see the finished installation. We all worked so hard on this, it was wonderful to celebrate its completion together in such a fun way (fueled by gallery wine of course).
Keep scrolling to see the images from Lichtenstein’s Heroines.
Title: Lichtenstein’s Heroines
Photography: Emily Gualdoni
Mural/Set: Brittany Bindrim
Art Direction: Emily Gualdoni & Brittany Bindrim
Makeup: Loni Hale
Hair: Liza Espinoza Achurra
Wardrobe Styling: Caitlin Eucker
Models: Juni Park, Selena, & Clara Rae
Photographer assistant – Kaitlyn Hope Polles
Brittany (the illustrator) and I at the Defibrillator Gallery
ransporting the mural to my studio was quite the challenge. We had to be so careful not rip or wrinkle it.
BTS from the day of the shoot. Photos taken by Kaitlyn Polles.
The full editorial that was published dark beauty magazine.
With a creative dream team, I joined Rachel Goldberg of Thanatos Courture to shoot her garments about the original Cinderella story. With poise and grace, the beautiful models emphasized the visceral and dramatic real story that varies greatly from a Disney fairytale. Using subtle hints to reference bold moments in the story, the garments offer a unique aesthetic on a seductive interpretation of the tale. Keep reading for more details!
Rachel Goldberg, an independent Chicago designer now living in California was the talent that gave birth to this amazing garment collection. They are one-of-a-kind masterpieces based on the original Cinderella story. The series is named “True Cinderella” to reflect how the collection aims to expose the traditional, cruel, gruesome story of Cinderella in contrast to Disney’s happily-ever-after interpretation. With grace and elegance, I tried to emphasize the hints Rachel put in her design to the original story. The best example of this can be found in the stepsisters’ details. Their shoes are adorned with concentrated red rhinestones to reference how the sisters mutilated their feet to fit the slipper, and there are black birds tangled in their hair to illustrate how birds came during Cinderella’s wedding to punish them with blindness (also shown with their red velvet eye patches).
I feel that this series offers a unique aesthetic on not only a “well known” story, but it uses my personal style to deliver a visual treat. All of the models were stunningly gorgeous (yes, even the prince was pretty) and carried themselves with such poise. It fit the vibe given off by the stylized garments flawlessly. The overall look strives to be daring yet seductive while exposing the world to something it’s never seen before.
The shoot itself was a great all day affair. My team came together like a well oiled machine, touching up makeup, making sure the garments were intact, blasting the smoke machine to add a soft haze to a whole section of photos, lighting tweaks, and endless collaboration. A great addition to the atmosphere was how much everyone enjoyed being there. Even when the first two models (Cinderella and the Prince) were done, they stuck around for a while to watch what happened next. The hard work paid off, and the shoot was featured by several magazines and blogs (Unfolded, Glassbook, Dark Beauty, Trend Hunter). Check out some of my favorite shots below the credits to see how the shoot turned out for yourself.