Replicating a Replicant

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I’ve always been a fan of Science Fiction (sci-fi). I was an avid X-Files watcher in the 1990s and the Alien movies starring Sigourney Weaver are some of my all-time favorite movies. I liked the prequal to Alien, Prometheus, even though I read it didn’t live up to it’s hype but I still enjoyed it.

So when my friends of Uvudu? Imaging brought up the idea to me to do a Rachael/Blade Runner-inspired photo shoot, I couldn’t get “hell yes,” out of my mouth quick enough. Blade Runner is the king of the sci-fi world and Rachael is a queen of sci-fi icons. This movie is classic, timeless and brilliant. I wrote about my love of this film and Rachael in an earlier blog here.

Rachael has such a specific look; the hair, makeup and suits she wears. We went with the infamous black suit since it is the one she is most known for. I will confess, I was a little afraid her hair would be a challenge. Which it was but I was up for seeing what I could do. I have a vintage 1940s black suit which wasn’t hers to a “T” but her look in the movie is modeled after the 1940s. I found a great youtube tutorial on how to do her makeup and voila! I transformed myself into Rachael.

We shot the photos at the photographer’s home. Below are the photos of the final product:

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(Deckard) “You’re reading a magazine. You come across a full page of nude photos of a girl.”
(Rachael) “Is this testing whether I’m a Replicant or a lesbian, Mr Deckard?”
(Deckard) “Just answer the questions please.”

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(Rachael) “You think I’m a Replicant, don’t you? (silence) Look. It’s me with my mother.” (Rachael holds out a photo but Deckard ignores it)

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(Rachael) May I ask you a personal question?
(Deckard) Sure.
(Rachael) Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
(Deckard) No.
(Rachael) But in your position, that is a risk.

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A Toast to Trousers!

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“The silhouette is the most important thing in clothes. Every French girl knows that. High-waisted trousers give you long legs and a pretty bum which, after all, is what we all want.” ~ Lou Doillon

I must confess about my love of 1940s trousers. Which is why I am raising my glass in honor of trousers; women’s trousers specifically. Because they’re just so damn awesome. 🙂

My mom once told me that when I was a kid my family called me Cindy Lauper. Simply because I insisted on dressing myself and would throw together quite an eclectic ensemble. As I evolved as a teenager, my eclectic-ness grew to gothic, hippie, preppy and vintage. My high school photos are evidence of this. But of all these different styles, vintage was one that was always the constant as I always included something vintage in my style or wardrobe.

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As an adult, I continued my love for vintage style and its pretty much been how I dress myself. I even compare vintage clothes shopping as if I was planning an exquisite trip. It’s a big deal and something I thoroughly look forward to. I’m more inclined to wear a vintage or vintage re-production dress or skirt, although, I do done the occasional pants as well.

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Over the past several years I’ve closely abandoned wearing jeans. I do occasionally but not frequently. I hate hip-hugger jeans as I think they do quite the opposite as to what they were invented to do; flatter. Because, sorry (not sorry), I have hips. My natural waist, on the other hand, I’ve grown to love. Wearing your pants at your natural waist while growing up in the 1990s was a fashion faux-pas. Because, as mentioned before, hip hugger jeans where all the rage and anything else was jeans taboo. But if you’re a vintage clothing aficionado like me, you’ve realized that vintage clothing and the natural waist were a match made in heaven. I’m so glad because I’ve learned how much more flattering it is to wear your bottom separate pieces there and not like a hula hoop around your hips.

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So like anything else I’m determined about, I set sail on the internet’s vast ocean to find the perfect 1940s trousers. My search didn’t take me too long as I came across a United Kingdom company called Vivien of Holloway. I hit the jackpot because this vintage clothing-inspired UK company carries a plethora of 1940s women’s trousers. Here are a few pictures of one of the pairs I own (I’m quickly acquiring a collection).

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These terrific trousers are the most flattering and best of all, comfortable! The high waist, side buttons, front and back ironed crease and cuffs at the bottom scream sophistication. They are the epitome of an androgynous style. Which I’ve always considered my style androgynous. You can wear them with an array of tops and mix and match. Vivien of Holloway has a great collection of colors. These pants aren’t just for the colder seasons either; there are many colors that can be worn in the spring or summer seasons too. So go ahead and step into a pair of these vintage-inspired gems!

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Wanted: Old West Enthusiasts

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Grab your saddle and trusty horse pod’ners and get ready to discover the Old West. I’m not talking about visiting a museum either. I’m talking about the fully-operational Pioneertown in Southern California.

Yes, you read correctly, Pioneertown. The place where all your Western dreams come true. If you’re a fan of the Old West films and television shows, this unincorporated community village is your slice of heaven. Nestled in the high desert in the Morongo Basin region of Southern California, Pioneertown came to fruition in 1946.

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The town’s purpose (other than being so totally cool) started in the 1940s and it was to serve as a live-in Old  West motion picture set to the Hollywood stars. Makes sense, considering Los Angeles is only a couple of hours away and the surrounding land is perfect for a western film set. The entire set was designed to look just like an 1800s western town but with live-in capabilities to accommodate the stars while they filmed. Many films were shot here during the 1940s and 1950s. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry are among the famous that were responsible for this Old West Town. Roy Rogers was one of the original investors of Pioneertown.

As you walk down the “main street,” you completely get the feel of a western town. Complete with saloon, bathhouse, undertaker business and livery, just a name a few of the buildings. You’ll be humming the Marty Robbins tune, “El Paso” as your spurs kick up the dirt underneath your feet.

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If you get the chance to visit this place, don’t feel like you’re too far off the beaten path if you need to rest your weary bones. On the property there is the Pioneertown Motel that will give you a place to rest your head. You won’t be sleeping in a tent either. This small yet charming western motel offers rooms with a bed, bathroom, kitchen sink, and microwave to travelers. However, I must heed a warning: be ready to live up to Pioneertown’s way of life. You’ve heard of no shirt, no shoes, no service. Well, be ready for no t.v., no radio, no service, as in internet service. My husband and I did have the pleasure of staying here and I must say, it was quite refreshing to unplug for a while. So if you’re okay to forgo the electronic entertainment we’re all use to, bunker down for a night’s stay in this unique place. Just make sure you bring a book or companion to keep you company. And just remember, you’ll be “sleeping” with the stars as this is where they lived and worked.

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Don’t be imagining you’ll be counting tumbleweeds blowing by as your only source of entertainment. On the property is a live music venue called Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. And if you’re hungry, they’ve got you covered with their full menu. The venue has changed hands a few times since it’s inception in 1972. But the current owners have kept the 1982 owners’ names on the bill and have brought in musicians such as Robert Plant and Vampire Weekend.

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One cool fact among many about Pioneertown is the bowling alley on  the property. I mean, the famous stars had to have activities while they worked, right? Apparently, the bowling alley is one of the oldest in continuous use in California.

So if you’re passing through these parts, I highly recommend  you take a gander at this western wonder. Be sure to soak up the entertainment, stay for a spell and imagine you’ve been transported back into the historic American Western frontier.

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Futuristic & Film Noir Forties Style Inspiration

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What does Indiana Jones & Rick Deckard have in common? Okay, I know you’re already saying, both are played by the same actor. Which is true. And also true, one of my favorite actors (just give me one second to stop blushing from all the Harrison Ford hotness). Also, both movies came out in the 1980s, with one coming out in my birth year (I’ll let you guess which one). So all of the above is true BUT not what I’m getting at. Both have two leading ladies in the films that I’m currently pining over their style.

Let me introduce you to Rachael, one of four replicants in the movie Blade Runner, and Dr. Elsa Schneider, Indy’s fellow artifact-finder turned Nazi-sympathizer in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I bet you weren’t expecting that. I’ve seen both these movies individually many times. Blade Runner is such a beautiful film and oddly enough, takes place in 2019 Los Angeles. Which is kind of strange considering we’re just a few years away from the year the movie takes place. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade takes place during the late 1930s, just as the Nazi regime was starting.

Interestingly, in both films, the leading female characters wear similar styles. However, taking place about 80 years apart. I’d like to think about the decade we are in now that we’ve evolved back to a 1940s film noir style. But, this is not necessarily reality. Although, I’m no stranger to not caring what the current trend is and just wearing what ever the hell I want. Blade Runner does futuristic well. I have always disliked films made in the 1960s, mostly 1970s and some in the 1980s that are set in the future or past. The reason is the costumes are never done well. The 1970s version of the Great Gatsby is a prime example for me. It still looks like the 1970s rather than the Jazz Age it’s suppose to represent. So when I initially watched Blade Runner many years ago, I had to give this film credit. Sure, some of the electronics are no where near what we have today. And the film does advertise Atari which has gone the way of the Buffalo. But overall, it does the early 21st century well.

Okay, now back to Rachael. Maybe I’m weird but I love her style in the movie. Except for that odd fur coat thing she wears when she saves Deckard from the not-so-cool replicant, Leon.

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Not only do I want that black suit she wears as Deckard plays “20 questions” with her to determine if she is a replicant or not, but I am also digging her sheik red lipstick and ode to the forties hair style.

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The black suit is my number one favorite but I’d rock the grey striped suit as well.

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And I love the dialogue between Deckard & Rachael as he’s asking her questions and slowly figuring out her true existence.

Deckard:  You’re reading a magazine. You come across a full page of nude photos of a girl.
Rachael: Is this testing whether I’m a replicant or a lesbian, Mr. Deckard?
Deckard:  Just answer the questions please. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall.
Rachael: I wouldn’t let him.
Deckard: Why not?
Rachael: I should be enough for him.
Now let’s move on to Dr. Elsa Schneider of the Indiana Jones claim to fame. With her business suits and dashing hats, she charms her way into Indy’s heart but later falls (literally) victim to Indy’s infamous slogan: “fortune and glory.” Such a shame because this girl had style.
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Even when they’re galloping across he desert, she doesn’t shy away from showing us she was fashion elite.
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Her style was so spot on, I forgive her, just a little, for betraying heartthrob Dr. Jones. There is a scene when Indy and Elsa are underneath the historic church turned library and making their way through rat-infested tombs and corridors. During one of the scenes you catch a glimpse of her shoes. And all I can think to myself is how many ladies would kill for those shoes today. They were the epitome of art deco footwear. And there she was, treading through sewage and petroleum-filled waters as I mourned over the loss of those bad-ass shoes.
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So there you have it, my current style obsession. Rachael and Elsa are the two leading ladies that have currently won my style-obsessed heart. Now excuse me while I master the perfect forties coiffure.

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His Girl Friday: A Fabulous 1940s-inspired Photo Shoot with And How! Imaging

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love photography. I admire it and truly think it’s one of the best inventions. We’ve spent over a century documenting moments in our lives and photographs have preserved those moments long after they have passed.

I have to say, I’m a lucky gal to have some really talented photographer friends. I love coming up with concepts and different looks for a photo shoot and it’s super swell when these talented friends bring these ideas to life. I recently did a photo shoot with my good pals of And How! Imaging. My husband and I worked with them before and you can view the photos here. They are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet and their work is fantastic. They are a wife and husband team, Amy and Chuck Rouyer, and live right outside the Music City capital of the world, Nashville, Tenn. Amy is the photographer and her husband assists her on the photo shoots. Although their work doesn’t stop there, they put a lot of time and care into each photo shoot and the post-production. Then Amy delivers the photos to you like a perfectly wrapped birthday present. And when you open it, your eyes fill with delight. The photos just instantly invoke happiness!

I had the concept of a 1940s look and talked to Amy about this. They had tons of terrific props for the setting; as they did for the first shoot I did with them. They gave lots of creative direction with poses and the different looks for each picture. They took time to make sure the lighting was just right. I appreciate when someone takes time to study these things each time they get ready to capture the photo. You can tell they have done their homework because they always pass the test flawlessly when you’re working with them.

I always think we should pamper ourselves and when we think about this, our minds go to a massage, pedicure/manicure or some other spa-type treatment. But I truly think a timeless way to pamper yourself is a photo shoot. Hire a professional and let them do their work. And once they’re done, you have a spectacular product (your photos) that you can cherish for decades. So I HIGHLY recommend you contact them and book a photo shoot. What are you waiting for?? Jump on over to their website and check out their work! ☞ And How! Imaging. You can also like them on Facebook or Instagram. 🙂

Now, feast your eyes on these fabulous photos from our forties-inspired shoot!

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