The inspiration for every shoot starts with a single piece. I picked up a three-tiered bustle burlesque skirt at an epic shop in Chicago–brimming with corsets, top hats, wigs, theatrical makeup–that I sadly can’t recall the name of. But as soon as I picked up the skirt, I knew I wanted to create a duo of dark, circus-y traveling goth performers.
This shoot was a bit more work than ones I’ve done in the past. Besides handling the styling for two people, I made the accessories and props, and it was my first time working with a new photographer–my long-time friend, Cassie McDonald. The weather was pretty uncooperatively rainy and goth that day, but despite that, we came out with some great results.
The necklace and skeleton marionette were handmade by me, and the bustle skirt has “creepy Halloween fabric” (yes, that’s what it’s called) layered on top. Now, here are all the deets… Corset – Heavy Red; Velvet Blazer - Iron Fist; Boots – Abbey Dawn; Top hat – Leg Avenue; Wig – Gothic Lolita Wigs; Lipstick – Lime Crime; Eyeliner – Estee Lauder; Eyeshadow – Rebel by Bloody Mary; Gloves – Hot Topic; Ruffled Shrug, Skirt, Tights – off brand.
Everything on my other model, Dennis Condusta, is off brand, with the exception of the thrifted blazer, which he altered with stripe and brocade accents. I painted his black and gray striped violin and made a filigree skull jabot (the ruffled collar, for those of ya’ll who ain’t up on your neckwear terms).
So I hope all you vandals like the shoot–feel free to leave any feedback in the comments below. And much thanks to everyone who collaborated on this!
Credits: Models – Riss Vandal and Dennis Condusta / Photographer – Cassie McDonald / Photo Editing – Riss Vandal / Additional Photo Retouching – Carlos Phillips Images