Sunday, November 11, 2012

Salon Beauties

 Beauties at every turn at the Twin Image Open House last Friday night.
I was fortunate to be able to photograph many of the models and staff at the event.
Twin Image Hair Salon and Spa truly knows how to host a fabulous party with the best food and drink, products, models and people.
Packed house! ~TKA

Modern Baroque Brunette Topiary

Classic Beauty Updo
European-inspired sock bun hat with charming peekaboo auburn bangs
Romantic blonde twist with flower

Sock bun "mohawk" post-modern mane

Friday, November 9, 2012

You Can Tell A Lot About A Party By The Shoes

Today I enjoyed shooting the Twin Image Hair Salon and Spa Open House and Modeling event. While it was a long gig 3-8, I enjoyed every moment. All of the staff and talent were dressed like a million bucks and we all loved looking at everyone's pretty shoes. Here are some highlights:

Beyond Pretty!

Power Leopard booties!

Vintage Spectator-type stunners
(this actually from last week's GSpot shoot but I could't resist!)

Everyday Feminism, An Introduction of Sorts

I don’t know about you, but when I look at my closet and everything is clean and available I breathe a sigh of contentment and say to myself, “Look how great today is going to be! I have all these options and choices!” Now, we may not all be fashionistas with a shirt in every color and style out there, but you get the point: what instinctually feels better, the freedom and ability to choose or the limitation imposed by a lack of choices and options? Even if, for you, looking at my closet would be overwhelming and you prefer your own 3 or 4 standard issue costume changes, wouldn’t you rather have access to that choice than be restricted from it? This, kids, is the beating heart of feminism thinly disguised as a reason to applaud my walk-in.

Put aside all the garbage that comes to mind when you hear the word “feminism” for a moment, and journey with me to a blissful land envisioned by participants in the feminist movements of our time: a place where equality abounds for all and where we’ve wiped out the traditional heteronormative, sex-and-gender-dichotomous roadmap and set in its place every choice our imaginations could gin up… and the critical RESPECT that would make each and every one valid, celebrated and placed firmly within our reach. Harkening back to the closet (pun fully intended!), perhaps this would leave you feeling a little overwhelmed or unsure of how the world worked?  The beauty of this new world is that you can choose the traditional IF it speaks to and empowers you… you have unlimited choice.

Feminism is a four letter word in many parts of our society, long-suffering a bum rap pigeon-holing it into the camp of radical lesbianism (you know, those man-hating Feminazis you hear so much about) and mischaracterizing it as liberation for only the ladies. I’m here to tell you that when we lift damaging sex and gender stereotypes we ALL win, both women and men. Not sure I’m right? Give it some thought… how many men out there don’t fit that mold of hyper masculinity portrayed on every billboard and assaulting you on every gym advertisement? Maybe you’re rail thin and your look is more androgynous, or maybe there’s a lot of you to love and that pair of 30 inch waist jeans would comfortably hug your upper thigh at best. Maybe you weren’t blessed with an aptitude for sports, maybe you fancy the therapeutic touch of a good cry, maybe you’d rather be in the kitchen than out chopping wood? In any of these scenarios and millions more, you just don’t fit that traditional mold and it’s probably meant, at best, that life has been full of teasing and a search for community. On the flipside, maybe you’re the linebacker who took to ballet like a fish to water or the construction worker creating gorgeous furniture in your free time but afraid to ever share it. Who did those things to us? Made one narrow band of choices the only acceptable ones and left the rest of human behavior in the junk pile?

I can see lights going on over heads. This is Feminism 101, people. Society has a vested interest in us playing the roles that net forces in this world the most money and drive us the most quickly toward that all-consuming goal of populating our planet. The game is rigged that way NOT because nature provides and shows no alternative, but because it benefits someone (or those pesky corporations who now get peoplehood status, too). Why else would the color-coding start at birth (boys get blue, girls get pink… sidebar… ALSO a recent societal invention showing our gender mores DO indeed change!)? Why else would the gender norms be rigidly enforced via teasing and corrective action that alienates nonconformists? You may not fall that far outside the “norm”, but I’ll bet even you wanted a little extra latitude at some point and found instead a redirection back to your prescribed role and behavior.

Ask yourself what the harm would be in more choice and you’ve just started your own feminist debate. Welcome to the team!

Introducing Nicky Knockout

Hello Gentle Reader,

My name is Nick and while I've only known Tonya a short time, our combined fabulousness speaks volumes! She's engaged me to contribute here on what we hope to be a regular basis... I'm casually calling this the WORLD'S GREATEST EVER COLLABO!

About me: I live and work in Chicago, and writing about fashion and politics makes me insanely happy! I've been trying to find a way to take some of my individual Facebook posts on weighty topics to a larger audience, so here I am! I have a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Women's Studies from Cornell (the Iowa one), so if you were wondering why some of these topics appeal to me... well, now you know. I'm fascinated by the human condition in all its facets and in the exploration of topics other people deem "impolite". Just get people talking and often you find a way around differences, both large and small, through respectful and informed dialogue. That's why I'm here, that's what I'm hoping to create.

Hello, world. I'm ready for that close-up!

~Nicky Knockout

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Featured Hair Stylist: JoAnn LS of GSpot Hair Design, Iowa City IA

Meet JoAnn, she does hair. Great hair. And in the interest of full disclosure, she does my hair.

Last Sunday at the catalogTKA photoshoot, for Little Village Magazine, JoAnn created a series of beautiful hair creations to accompany the make up that I did on the 5 models we were working with. 
Somehow she makes it easy for me when I am styling and doing makeup to nail the exact right kind of hair look that unifies the clothes and face. 

Magic? It must be magic.
(or probably talent and ten years of experience)
JoAnn prepares Alicia's hair for her updo.

Sassy! I told JoAnn I was thinking a mix of classic and Janelle Monae. Boom!
(Photo by Heather Atkinson)

 As JoAnn was working on the models I could see that she was using many Bumble & bumble products like hair powder, hair spray and Sumo waxes. I personally love the essential oil scent of Tonic. She usually spritzes some on me before I get my hair done because it is like a mini spa moment.
And as busy as I am, I will take a millisecond of aaaaahhhhhhh whenever and wherever I can find it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Scarf Lessons! (for charity and fun)

Want to have fun learning about scarves? Ever see people wearing them in ways that turn you green with envy? I think we can remedy that problem!
Come join my SCARVERY workshop at REVIVAL! 
All proceeds go to The Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP).

Bring your own 

scarves and/or buy some new scarves at REVIVAL! 

Revival Clothing Store(Sheila-owner) and Heather Atkinson Art will be joining me to make this the best evening of scarf tomfoolery ever! 

Call Revival to RSVP - a $5 donation will hold your spot.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Opulent Thrift: a photoshoot and Holiday Style spread for Little Village Magazine

I love creating photoshoots. There, I said it. I love crafting a theme, visualizing the end product, scheduling the shoot, lining up talent (models and hair), pulling pieces for fashion styling from retailers and designers, doing make-up on the models, styling ensembles, doing interesting things with accessories, photographing the models, bringing out the best in everyone and bouncing ideas off one another during the shoot. 

The latest shoot is for a Holiday Style 4-pg color spread to be published in the December 2012 issue of Little Village Magazine. It is no secret that I am hoping and trying to become the editor of a Style section in the magazine (currently that does not exist and I am editing Food and Dining Culture). I hope to create a "What to Buy- What to Wear- What to Gift" type of  Style section. I am appreciative of the local retailer's support in my endeavor (Catherine of Catherine's and Iowa City Pop Up Stores (Merci), Sheila of Revival, Todd of Artifacts, Cortnie of White Rabbit, Codi at Home Ec and Niki at RSVP. 

My vision for this project was to showcase a unique and diverse set of models in wardrobe that is both accessible and aspirational. (From cheap to "I want that for my Holiday Gift!")

The shoot went as smoothly as ever (although we did miss Monica, a model who is a doula and had a client going into labor so she could not participate - ok, fine - a good enough reason) and with the help of my wonderful Personal Assistant (PA), Wendy, the day flew by and we had a wonderful time. 

We couldn't have done it as well without the generosity of GSpot Hair Design for allowing us to utilize the salon for prep HQ. 

I always like to work with my best friend, Heather Atkinson (of Heather Atkinson Art and Feedsack blogs) She makes me laugh, has amazing ideas and takes wonderful photos. We seem to complement each other's abilities and she always makes work like this seem like play. We are a great team. 
(She has joined catalogTKA as an admin and will also be contributing to the blog, super yay!)

As editing and curating photos for the magazine layout is taking place, we will be posting photos that are not selected for publication to share and enjoy with all of you. Why not?!

Lastly, thank you for following catalogTKA and supporting us with your readership, sharing of posts, and thoughtful comments. 

We appreciate it! ~TKA

Alica: our classic rock star and Billie Holiday-esque beauty prepares for some close-up shots.

(credits are on each photo)

Spencer: handsome and youthful, tall - with a touch of edge - wears a custom tee by Cortnie at White Rabbit (on Facebook) and a totally custom-made tooled belt and triple-layered leather watch cuff made by Preston at Rise Above Leathers. Rise Above Leathers does guitar straps, cuffs and all kinds of custom leather work ( also on Facebook)