Tuesday, September 29, 2015

No Pain, No Gain...

I found some very interesting images of very interesting beauty treatments during the 1940s. Today, these methods look both horrifying, funny and ridiculous. Had people from the 40s traveled forward in time though, and seen what sort of beauty treatments exists today, their comments would probably be that they look both horrifying, funny and ridiculous... Haha! And I wonder what we will be putting ourselves through in the name of beauty in the future...

Anyway. Here are the pictures I found. Don't try this at home children...

Max Factor's ice mask! A mask with plastic cubes was filled with water that got frozen. Then you put it on your face to decrease swolleness. It was popular among the 40s movie stars, and was invented to be used after a rough night out on town.

On the other hand there was also Helena Rubinstein's heat mask! This was meant to increase circulation in the skin, and give you a rosy fresh look. I'm sure you could also use it as a tea cosy...

Electric hot rollers! Seems very safe, and was probably not damaging to the hair at all... Hm...

Freckles were to be avoided at any cost! Even if that meant going to the beach looking like a ghost. Obviously...

Another very flattering mask from Helena Rubinstein! This was put on to tighten the skin. Could also be a good look for Halloween...

This actually looks really nice! Just sitting there doing some knitting while getting a good leg massage. It was used to get a slimming effect, since it was thought these metal rolls stimulated muscle growth.

Another useful metal contraption! This was created by Max Factor to simplify getting you makeup applied in the right spots. Uhm... Well...

And finally - the vacuum pumps! These were to be moved over the skin to reduce acne.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jewelry Friday

This Friday I have an amazing tiara for you! It was made around 1900, and I'm sure it would fit my tiny head perfectly! Haha!

In the center sits a sunburst and crescent moon motif over a large cushion-shaped diamond, on a scrolling frame of shooting stars, set throughout with old brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in gold. The principal diamond is of approximately 1.75 carats, the rest of around 14.00 carats in total. It was sold at Bonhams for 16,250 GBP.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

La Traiviata Through The Lens

Four weeks ago I fell down a rabbit hole, into the Wonderland that is Folkoperan, to start rehearsals for the opera La Traviata. It's been four weeks of creativeness, craziness, sweaty hard work, and a LOT of laughter and coffee! In the middle of it all I also managed to get a flu-like cold, which kept me banned from the opera house for a few days. Last week we finally did our two premieres though, so now we can crawl out of that rabbit hole again, and only return for shows three times a week. Both premieres went really well, ending with standing ovations from the amazing audiences, so I'm really looking forward to keep doing this over and over this fall!

Photographer Markus Gårder spent two days with us during our rehearsals, to shoot some press photos. It's difficult to get a good perspective of everything going on on stage when you're actually in the middle of it all yourself. So seeing these pictures made us all aware of how beautifully staged this version of La Traviata is! Here are a few of these photos. To see more, and buy tickets, go here!

One of our two Violettas - Julia Sporsén. And yes, that's me humping one of the drag queens to the right...

Jesper Säll, one of our two Alfredos, on the horse!

And here we have our second Violetta - Susanna Andersson - being filmed by Annina, sung by the one and only Carolina Blixt!

On the floor - Germont, sung by Jeremy Carpenter. I feel so calm when he sings...

And this is a study in how to shake violently, while at the same time eating licorice ropes... Haha! I'm going to be SO tired of licorice after this season...

Five of the fabulous drag queens doing their thing!

Our second Alfredo, seen here, is sung by Per-Håkan Precht.

All photos copyright Markus Gårder.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Jewelry Friday

Oh no! - you might think when seeing I've changed the title from Fabergé Friday to Jewelry Friday. But do not worry! Yes, there will be less Fabergé items, but still lots of glitz and glamour every Friday! Even though I could keep on showing you things by Fabergé for years to come, I just felt it was time for a little change. So, from now on Fridays will be dedicated to everything from modern jewelry to antique pieces by different creators - Fabergé being one of them. To not make this change too big of a chock to all my faithful readers, today's post will still be about Fabergé though - but about some of the newly created pieces the company still bearing that name has to offer right now!

Their Fabergé Imperial Collection really takes its tone from turn-of-the-century Russia, and the pieces Carl Fabergé created himself back in those luxurious days, before the Russian Revolution. As you can see, the eggs still play a big role in the creations from Fabergé...

Zhivago Diamond Necklace

Impératrice Diamond Rose Gold Pendant

Spiral Diamond White Gold Earrings

Duchesse Diamond White Gold Necklace

Spiral Diamond and Spinel Tassel Pendant

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Carine Gilson Fall/Winter 2015/2016

This year Carin Gilson Lingerie Couture celebrates its 25th anniversary. For her Fall/Winter 2015/2016 collection Gilson goes back to her signature theme of the Paradise Garden. With prints of flowers, trees and exotic birds, together with a color palette ranging from green gold and empire blue, to ink, black and nude tones, this collection really embodies the feeling of a beautiful garden slowly changing colors and falling asleep beneath a light mist. The magic of fall...

To see the whole collection, visit Carine Gilson's website here!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fabergé Friday

Here comes another one of Fabergé's beautiful brooches! This one was made by workmaster Alfred Thielemann, sometime between the years 1904 - 1908.

The convex-shaped brooch is covered in translucent pale pink enamel over a guilloché ground, framed by a row of rose-cut diamonds. Four circular-cut diamonds sits around the edges, and the piece is topped by a diamond-set tied spray of leaves. In the center of the brooch sits a large oval diamond. The width of the piece is 3.7 cm, and it was sold at Sotheby's.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Paolo Sebastian

If you, like me, happen to be a sucker for beautiful, flowing gowns, you will love the work of designer Paolo Sebastian. At just seventeen the man behind the brand, Paolo Vasileff, came out with his first collection, after having learned how to sew with his grandmother. In 2012, after graduating from Milan's Europeo Instituto di Design, the brand was launched internationally. Paolo Sebastian specializes in custom-made couture tailored to accentuate the beauty of the individual. With a mix of old Hollywood glamour and contemporary cuts, with tailored boning and beautiful appliqués, these dresses are made of dreams. Sometimes the meticulous hand beading and positioning of French lace makes it look like the dresses grow on the wearer's body. Here are a few examples from his 2015-16 SS Couture Collection. To see more, visit Paolo Sebastian's website here!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Fabergé Friday

When I started writing these Fabergé Friday posts, I began by going through all the 43 surviving (of 50) Imperial Easter Eggs Fabergé created for the Russian Imperial Family. After the Russian Revolution, no more commissions for these eggs was made, for obvious reasons... But the jewel firm Fabergé still exists, and earlier this year they presented the first new Imperial Egg created in 99 years - the Fabergé Pearl Egg. It has been created to mark the 100th anniversary since the last Imperial Egg was commissioned, and Fabergé's spokeswoman, Alize Morand, says this is the first egg of several soon to be unveiled by Fabergé.

The Fabergé Pearl Egg has been hand crafted in the same manner as the original Fabergé eggs, and draws its inspiration from the formation of a pearl within an oyster. The egg is decorated with approximately 3,300 diamonds, 139 natural pearls, carved rock-crystal and mother-of-pearl set on white and yellow gold. Just like its forbearers, this egg also opens up to reveal a secret - a rare 12.17 carat grey pearl from the Arabian Gulf.

It took 20 highly-skilled craftsmen around 18 months to design, acquire the precious materials and build the egg. It was shown earlier this year at Baselworld, after which it went home to its new owner - Hussain Al-Fardan, chairman of the Alfardan Group, and founding director of Investcorp.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

La Traviata At Folkoperan - Finally!!!

Last year I told you I would be part of the opera La Traviata at Folkoperan (The People's Opera) here in Stockholm. We rehearsed for about a month. But since Folkoperan got severely water damaged and had to spend all of last fall drying up, we had to wait a whole year to actually be able to put it all on stage. Now the time has finally come though, and last week we started rehearsals again! I'm one of the nude models in act one - but clad in a transparent black dress in act two. This will be a crazy, wonderful, powerful mix of nakedness, drag queens, fabulous singers, sex, death and emotions. I can assure you La Traviata has never been done like this before... I'm really proud to be able to work with all the amazing people working so hard together to create this opera. The director, Mellika Melouani Melani's ideas are incredible, and I don't think I have ever laughed so much during the creation of anything on stage before! Like for example when Mellika told a few of us nude models to sit down on a bench, and then burst out the idea presently in her brain: "Imagine a fuck-tree. Now we're going to try to create a fuck-tree!" Haha!

As your faithful reporter I decided to sneak around the opera and take some pics to show you a bit what it looks like backstage. The bottom pic is taken by someone else though, and shows part of the second act. Last year a little trailer was also shot while we rehearsed. This one was removed from nudity-shaming Facebook though, but I've put it at the end of this post so you can see it here! The opera premieres September 16, and 17 (yes, there are TWO premieres). To read more about it, see what days it runs, and get tickets, please go here!

The stage looks really good with it's simple, yet very stylish scenery. This is the mechanical horse used in act one. Riding it naked makes me feel like Lady Godiva!

This is the hair and makeup room. We models and the drag queens do our makeup ourselves, but we get help with our hair and wigs. The pink wigs in the pick are used by the drags in the second act.

In the costume atelier you find many treasures... Here are the drag queens' shoes, and a detail of one of their costumes for act one - the white act.

After last year's water damage, the dressing rooms got a new look. The second mirror to the right is my place!

And here is a pic from the second act! The fabulous drag queens don't just entertain the audience, but also the rest of us on stage. I love this moment in the opera! And then we have the - according to Facebook - very provocative trailer... I think it's beautiful though! Enjoy...

Hyper Smash