Last light

sunny warrior face 2sunny warriror facesunny warrior 1sunny warrior 3sunny warrior 5I’ve had a couple of busy weeks preparing for Manchester fashion week and it’s been hard to keep up with my regular routine and posts. We managed to get out just before the sun went down a couple of days ago to shoot these. I’ve been loving my furry bag all winter but the days are getting longer and warmer now so it’s probably about time I put it away for the summer.

dress and cardigan: H&M

leggings: from an upcoming range for Eustratia

bag: next

harness: Eustratia

Jewellery: Richard Ayres

boots: Office

Photography by Richaard Ayres

BLOG SIGNATURE

Rush!

Today I went to drop off some samples with a stylist. Hopefully they’ll be featured in a cool editorial. I was in a rush so I put my hair into a messy half-up twist bun.

rush 7rush1I customised my blazer with some small spikes to give it a bit of edge.

rush 6I also enjoy slipping bits of latex into my everyday wardrobe. Today I wore my kindaku harness over a mesh, polka dot dress.

rush2I also rediscovered my long socks, that have been hiding away over the winter, due to not provided quite enough warm.

rush3When I came home I found a little bag of goodies from bodyjewellerypiercing.com which I will be featuring in a different post, but I decided to try a couple of the pieces out.

rush5Earrings: Richard Ayres

Blazer: H&M

Dress: Miss Selfridge

Shoes: Rock & Candy

Bag: Religion

Images by Richards Ayres.

BLOG SIGNATURE

 

Silver thorns

silver thorns 2a copysilver thorns 1silver thorns 4silver thornssilver thorns 6silver thorns 3I managed to get these images in just before the rain yesterday, it seems srping isn’t here after all. I’ve pretty much lived in this cardigan for the last year so I think it deserves to be featured. I’ve had several replacements but non of them seem to work quite as well.

Cardigan: Topshop

Shirt: H&M

Shorts: Miss Selfridge

tights: M&S

Boots: Jeffrey Campbell

Jewellery: Richard Ayres

Septum ring: Bodyjewelleryshop

Images by Richard Ayres

BLOG SIGNATURE

A gap in the clouds

Manchester is known for its cloudy skies and constant drizzle so when you get sunny days in March, it’s pretty much compulsory to take pictures. It was particularly nice to not have to carry a jacket around!

house1house2 copyhouse3house6house7house5        Cardigan: Topsho

  Top: Topshop

Skirt: H&M

Leggings: Ebay

Boots: Irregular choice

Accessories: Richard Ayres

Body jewellery: bodyjewelleryshop

Images by Richard Ayres

BLOG SIGNATURE

Home shooting for Rebelicious

I’ve wanted to set up a mini photo studio in my house for a few years but never really had the space until recently. A few months ago I bought myself a simple lighting and backdrop set up and decided to try out shooting from home.

Aside from product shots which are really useful for my business, I also shot some model product shots with the help of my boyfriend, Richard Ayres, also a designer who frequently needs shots of his new items. The first shoot we need was very casual but we still got a couple of nice images.

 

natural 2headpiece smallglasses sideWe put slightly more effort into the second shoot, used an outfit from my Persephone lingerie range as well as the headdress Rik made me for my birthday and the latexlace cat ears and ended up with quite a sleek set.

flowers 1smallflowergirl2smallflowers4 smallflowers3smallWe shot this set around Halloween so I did a fun version with a drawn on cat nose as well.

catI was quite please with the set overall so I decided to send it to Rebelicious magazine and they published it alongside a short interview.

rebelicious floral 1rebelicious floralThe feature is in issue #16 and can be purchased here.

I also used one of the image to form the basis of the Regress flyer and the new Eustratia pocket mirror.

1462953_10151971177550365_227394941_n

 

BLOG SIGNATURE

Black Diamonds

At the beginning of year I got asked to collaborate on a beautifully dark editorial with a fantastic group of creatives. Some of the images have recently been published in Dark Beauty magazine and I believe some of the beauty shots are also due to appear in FACEON.

I put together 8 looks using items form Eustratia, Richard Ayres, Carly Petitt Tylor and my own wardrobe and also did nails for one of the looks. I was especially happy to use the non-latex items I have made as I haven’t had a chance to get them published before.

Credits:
Photographer: John Cubillan (www.johncubillan.com)

Make-up Artist: Abbie Glover (www.abbieglover.co.uk)

Hair Stylist: Jade Thorley (jadethorley.co.uk)

Nail Technicians: Stacey Black & Temi Aboderin

Stylists: Richard Ayres (www.richardayres.co.uk) & Stacey Black (www.eustratia.co.uk)

Model: Emma Owens @ BOSS Model Management

Art Director: Cello Ong (www.celloong.com)

Post Production: Cello Ong & John Cubillan

Clothing: Carly Petitt-Taylor (www.carlypetitt-taylor.com), Richard Ayres and Stacey Black

3_DSC0615

2 4679-110-111db11-0Featured items available for purchase now:

Chainmail headpiece

Baroque latex leggings

Nutmail gauntlet

Latex peplum dress

Chainmail geometric top

Chainmail cropped top

Brass neck chain

Latex flower headband

Chainmail dragonscale collar

Spike shoulder pads

Studded latex collar

BLOG SIGNATURE

 

Accessory moment 8.

What I used:

scalesno1. Spike earrings H&M (gift)

2. Opal plug, ebay

3. Shattered quartz plug £5.99 urbanpiercingshop

4. Floral scale pendant by Richard Ayres

5. Scale bracelet by Richard Ayres

430907_10151351702895365_1535702207_n62149_10151346040910365_1653512082_na99fd6224fbc11e2a64f22000a1f968e_7BLOG SIGNATURE

London Fetish Weekend

This year I had the pleasure of being invited to show my collection at LFW. I only found out that I got through a week or so before the event so I decided to do the Avalonia show, featuring the Opulence and Chimera collections, just in a slightly different format that at the Alternative and burlesque fair.

Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to dress the stage this time, and with the limited rehearsal time is was lucky that I re-wrote the choreography to go with a different shaped stage on the journey down.

The dressing room was crowded with models and collections but the other teams were helpful and we found space to put our stuff and even electricity to do some simple hair. Kudos to my amazing MUAs, Laura Wilson and Tabitha Adams, for managing to do make up in the abysmal lighting conditions!

I was pleased with the show in general and received a lot of positive feedback.

_DAF1760577108_10152149427040293_479289292_n307962_10152149428520293_1135722786_n_DAF1980_DAF1761249405_10152149426965293_697532807_n_DAF1780_DAF1770_DAF1793_DAF1806_DAF1860_DAF1863_DAF1842_DAF1832_DAF1826_DAF1879_DAF1893_DAF1932_DAF1916_DAF1910_DAF1921_DAF1904_DAF1899_DAF1975Show pics by Daffyd Owen

Models as they appear in the photos: Asphazia, Helene Atsuko, Kerry Wheeler, Whiplash, Sapphire Black, Anna Swiczeniuk , Harlotte Wolderland, Ruby True, Vex Ashley, Boo Elizabeth, Biomechanina, Mam’zelle Maz.

BLOG SIGNATURE

 

 

Rebelicious magazine publication

I was lucky enough to have 2 features in this months rebelicious magazine, issue #8.

One was an editorial, featuring products from my label, Eustratia styled with different items from my wardrobe. I think some people still have a very set idea of how latex should be worn so I tried to demonstrate that it can be mixed with clothing of different styles and textures.

We shot this in my bedroom and I think Jenni did a great job of making it look like a cool place while retaining a personal feel. Beautiful make up by Laura Wilson.

The second feature was a model spotlight with an interview and a few pictures from my shoot with Beverly Ann photography that I edited with pastel colours.

The awesome chainmail stuff is by Richard Ayres and the head chain is one of my favourite new items, it’s available to buy online here.

The writing is a bit small on the images so I’ve copy and pasted the interview here for anyone who would like to read it.

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/staceymavrou/Documents/Biomechanina%20rebelicious%20questions.doc

Biomechanina

 

What inspired you to start modelling?

Images have always been a source of great inspiration for me. I enjoy looking at creative imagery and I guess my love of modelling started from looking at pictures and seeing a theme that I wanted to interpret or a story I wanted to tell. Styling also plays a big part for me. A lot of my shoots are mostly about an outfit I wanted to put together and the setting I thought it should be worn in. I like creating characters in my pictures. I think people are crystals with many facets and it’s interesting to see how they can be transformed through images with the air of art and fashion.

What have been some of your favourite photoshoots so far?

I love many of the shoots I’ve been involved in but the ones that stand out most for me are not the ones that turned out the most attractive pictures of me, but the ones were I felt a whole new environment was created or a certain feel was communicated through the picture as a whole.  I like a bit of fantasy in my images, even if the subject is something as simple as sitting on a bed.

Some examples of shoots that have really fulfilled these are: Firstly, the wonderland shoot I did for my label Eustratia with Toria Brightside, modelling alongside my friend Sapphire Black. I knew everyone involved in this shoot personally so they indulged my crazy idea of driving to the woods and carrying furniture down a long, nettle ridden path so we could arrange it around this specific tree that I had discovered a week earlier. I love the images because I really get the feel that we live under a tree and wear latex every day.  Secondly, the shoots I did with Jennifer Byron in my house. My house is not very big or glamorous and wouldn’t normally be suitable for photoshoots but I think we  made it work. The first set we did was in the living room and I covered the floor with leaves and twigs to create and inside-outside kind of feel and the second one was in my bedroom, just as it was but using some interesting angles. What I like the most about the images is that they have a certain every-day quality, as well as something a bit different that makes them special. This is how I want to think of my every day life.  Lastly, I think the white medical suspension shoot I did for Valentinafetishdoll.com is worth a mention. I was covered head to toe in white latex and wearing ballet shoes, the room was also all white with a medical look and I was suspended from the ceiling by chains attached to cuffs. There was a toy-like, surreal quality to it that came across in the pictures. It was as if I was a doll in my little environment, light and able to pose in positions that normally wouldn’t be possible.

As well as modelling, you also run your own latex company Eustratia. How did that begin?

I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 8 and have my own company since I was 18. I originally thought I would finish university and get a job for a while first but while I was there I realized I could only have the job that I wanted if I created it for myself.  Latex clothing had always intrigued me since I didn’t know how to make it and after trying out a few samples I decided to make half of my final collection in latex. I latex used parts of that to form my Dyad collection, the first collection I released under Eustratia.

What are your thoughts on the ever-growing popularity of latex clothing?

I like the fact that latex is becoming more popular and more people are being introduced to it, it would be nice to see it free of taboos and being worn in all sorts of places. I did feel it was more special before though. I keep seeing new latex designers popping up without noticing much diversity in the type or style of products available. This fact, along with the visible imperfections on some of the garments I’ve seen online leads me to believe that a lot of them haven’t put much thought into starting a business.  I’d like to urge anyone new to latex fashion to do research of their own before purchasing an item.

How would you describe your own personal style? Are there any makeup/beauty products that you can’t live without?

I would describe my style as quirky and fashion-aware with dark undertones. I change my style slightly every couple of months depending on what new elements of fashion I’m experimenting with.

At the moment my top accessories are headbands and statement earrings. Also I can’t live without my babyliss wave envy styler, tarte mineral face powder, NARS highlighter and Rimmel waterproof gel eyeliner.

With the modeling industry growing constantly, what’s your personal view on the ‘alternative modeling’ scene as we know it?

I feel the alt modeling scene has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Alternative models in general are a lot more popular now and almost every photographer is happy to have some sort of alt work in their portfolio. This is great because there is a lot more high quality work around and alt models can get the publicity and recognition they deserve. It has also caused more of a cross-over  between alternative and fashion photography which is probably my favourite thing about it.

I have also noticed a rise in new models complaining about designers not lending them items for photoshoots or not replying quickly enough, and would like to add that a few years ago someone who wanted to start modelling had to buy their own wardrobe.  This plethora of young designers that are happy to lend their items to anyone who fits their vision in exchange for photos is a new thing. I think collaborations are great and it’s nice to see everyone working together and reaping the rewards but it’s important for everyone to respect each other so it can keep on happening.

Are there any designers/photographers/other models that you would love to collaborate with one day?

There are so many talented people around it would be impossible to list them all but some people who I would love to collaborate with one day (and whose work you should check out) are: Tim Walker, Eugenio Recuenco, Kirsty Micthell , Rachel Freire, Rik Owens, Junko Mizuno, Stuntkid, bitching and junkfood, Audrey Kitching, Charlotte Free, Adrej Pejic .

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

In 5 years I expect to have stopped modelling and be focusing mainly on my fashion label. I have plans to expand and offer a variety of different products. I would normally say that I hope to have a store of my own but in the current economic climate I don’t know if that’s a bit overconfident.

As a sideline, I might concentrate more on my illustrations or take up photography as well as continuing to work on my blog, aestheticcontradiction.com.

What advice would you give to anyone that may be thinking about becoming a professional model?

Being a professional model is hard and living exclusively off modelling is even harder. Most models I know have a different job at least 2 days a week.  You should get into modelling because you love it, not because you expect to make money.

Like all creative professions it requires a lot of extra work and sacrifices. It helps to know a bit about trends in photography and fashion so you can help produce something current. Have a look at what other people are producing but don’t get caught up in it. Look after your skin and body, I’m not saying you need to be stick thin, especially in the alternative industry but a toned body always photographs better. Study and memorise poses. A lot of new models don’t have variety in their poses. I understand feeling self-conscious when you try out something new but no photographer likes looking through 100s of pictures of you pulling virtually the same pose/expression. You either have to take a lot of chances, or try things out in the mirror and remember what looked good. Taking inspiration from others is also helpful but remember, different people suit different things! Just because “Mosh” looks good doing something, it doesn’t mean you do. Keep a look out for wardrobe that you could use in a shoot, even if you usually work with a stylist. Learn how to do basic hair and make up, there might not always be an MUAH available.  Make sure you have good shoes. No one ever mentions this when they give model tips but shoes can make or break a photo. It isn’t that expensive to buy nice shoes nowadays so make sure you have a few statement pairs that go with all the usual styles you shoot and try and keep them as clean as possible if you also wear them out.

Attitude wise, it’s good to be professional and polite but don’t take it overboard by being too serious or quiet. Everyone I’ve ever shot with enjoyed having a chat and some fun while shooting, regardless of the level they were at.

I would say it’s good to know what you want from a shoot and have your own ideas that you can suggest but don’t be too precious about them.  Ask people if they’d like to collaborate but don’t expect all of them to reply. Hassling people for replies or not replying quickly enough will never work in your favour. Don’t be afraid of rejection. The fact that you’re not right for a specific project/brand does not mean that you’re not beautiful/a good model. Being good at self-promotion is always a bonus. Let’s face it, the more people know about your work, the more work you’re going to get. There are lots of debates about the right way/ amount for models to promote themselves but I’m just going to say do what you feel comfortable with and try not to compare yourself to others.

To see more images from these shoots, please visit my facebook pages, Eustratia and Biomechanina.