The June issue of Bombshell magazine is out! My Hearst Castle-inspired set by Marilee Caruso (who also did the makeup and hair) is in Book 1, including the inside cover facing the table of contents. If you want to grab this – or any – Magcloud publication on sale, there’s a discount code right now: MAG25.
Since I am a huge fan of William Randolph Hearst’s La Cuesta Encantata estate (“the enchanted hill,” now a California State Park located near San Simeon, CA), I wanted to incorporate a sliver of the atmosphere there. Virtually all aspects of the architecture and decoration were overseen by architect and Berkeley grad (Go Bears!) Julia Morgan over nearly three decades, and it remains one of her most impressive projects.
Since we couldn’t shoot at the actual house, we adapted Marilee’s “study” setup to double as W.R.’s library. The original room is very Spanish Baroque in ways that only a wealthy media mogul who collected lots of European antiques can replicate, but we did our best. I added a reproduction Greek vase (dude collected tons of art, including a huge ancient pottery collection from Greek antiquity which he highlighted in his library) and my “Citizen Kane” snowglobe to the studio set.
Marilee put images from my Film Noir shoot on the late 1940s tv console to add another layer of meaning, as both Hearst and Marion Davies (his girlfriend and major silent era and golden age of Hollywood star) were involved in the early American film industry. Given the tv cabinet and the more mid-century look of the studio set, we couldn’t do 1920s or 30s. And since the house was closed during World War II and Mr. Hearst and Davies left the house in 1947 due to the former’s ill health, we figured a small evening party in 1946 or 1947 “coulda happened” like this.
You can find this and all my issues via my Linktree.
I had the pleasure of shooting with the multi-talented and very lovely Bettina May back in March, and the pretty Victorian hotel photos we took that day are now on six pages of Retro Lovely‘s Godiva No. 57! Bettina did my sweet 1940s-style hair and makeup, too!
I wore two fabulous lingerie outfits made for me by Rachel of Buttress & Snatch in the UK, a blue tulle robe by GlamourGhoul on Etsy, and a black ruffled Cassandra robe by Catherine D’Lish.
I love the 1992 Dracula adaptation with Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman. While watching the film in a Carson City theater auditorium last year (Fathom Events hosted a set of 30th anniversary showings back in October), I was struck by the idea of doing a pinup shoot featuring the count’s three hot vampire brides. Fast-forward to the end of April, and my dream was not only reality, it’s on the cover of Retro Lovely‘s “Halloween in April” special edition, Volume 1!
My friends Miss Melody Noir and Lena Von Noir kindly agreed to be my sister brides for the shoot, and Marilee Caruso – my favorite photographer! – signed on to do makeup, hair, and (of course) take the pictures.
I’d been wanting an excuse to shoot some photos in my pink Lirika Matoshi Strawberry Dress, so the Spring edition seemed like a perfect opportunity. As I’m Greek Orthodox (hey, it’s almost Easter as I type this! Christos Anesti! ), of course it made sense to pose with a basket of red Easter eggs; these were Ukrainian-style hand-painted eggs (artificial, of course), because I love Ukrainian Easter egg designs (even made some of my own millions of years ago using layers of wax and dye) and support Ukrainian sovereignty.
Marilee has some great dusty pink velvet drapes and a lovely sakura tree, which really made the red eggs – and the bright, sparkly strawberries on my dress – pop!
I love pinup, I like cosplay, and Disney theme parks have been my jam since I was a lazy-eyed baby in an eye patch singing “A Pirates Life for Me” like a drunken sailor. So it isn’t a stretch (haha, just wait for this pun payoff!) to assume I’d want to submit something to Retro Lovely‘s Disney-themed Mousequerade special edition.
Marilee Caruso did the pretty hair and makeup and took the photos for our six-page feature. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off an early-1970s look, but Marilee made it work and I ended up loving the results. She also shot Missy Maybe’s lovely cover set for the same issue!
We based the image on my romantic vampire photoset by Marilee Caruso from last Spring, so there’s roses and all sorts of gothic goodness – perfect for a pinup named Catherine Morland! We added a jack-o-lantern to represent my lifelong obsession with Halloween and a cute black cat to represent my fluffy familiars. Marianne even included some of my favorite horrid novels in the art, namely Northanger Abbey and Dracula.
I highly recommend Marianne! She works fast, her prices are reasonable, and her artwork is unique and beautiful.