Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell as story.
In any job, skill is only part of what is needed to achieve excellence. There are people in every field with impressive skills, but they are not always the one's whose work stands out. You also need a vision, a reason beyond just productivity that guides why you're doing...what you're doing. The first time I featured the work of Alwin from Fotorebelxt Photography, (Snakes & Ladders) the California photographer shared the philosophy that guides his passion for shooting.
'To me photography is a process. It is about self-discovery and how you relate to the world. It is about boundaries and how you continue to explore within the confines and beyond them.'
Alwin's process doesn't just involve how he relates to the world, but how his model relates to it as well. If I didn't write one more word, Alvin's images of John West, unveil multiple layers of how the model in front of the camera relates and inhabits the world around him.
The colors, the fashion, the creativity and fun are all important parts of John West's life and career. It shouldn't surprise to learn that John is a talented and creative costume designer and artist. Alwin's goal wan't just to capture John and his beautiful body, but also to capture his talent. The underwear, costumes and masks John is wearing are not just props, but all his own unique designs.
John got his start as Mardi Gras Krewe of Apollo, designing and building costumes for the Krewe of Apollo’s annual themed balls and for various fund-raising performances. Though his degree was in Landscape Architecture, John worked at a library to pay the bills while he continued to pursue his passion for design. In between re-shelving books and helping stressed out students finish last minute research papers, John was designing and building costumes and accessories for cabaret drag performances at Baton Rouge nightclubs.
Today, John works full time job with major ballet and opera companies in Northern California. He freelances all over the city at numerous costume shops and theatrical venues as a dresser and craftsman. John has also completed several full show sets and designs for local small theater companies.
John doesn't just design beautiful costumes and headpieces, he also handsomely wears them. I love John's furry body, great lips and beautiful eyes and how sexy and regal he looks completely naked, except for a headpiece or antique vase on his broad muscled shoulder. I also love John's sexy sideburns! John's familiarity and comfortably with the designs he is wearing also comes through beautifully in the images that Alvin captured.
Some of my favorite shots from the set that Alvin sent on, were the shots of a body painted John. I have seen many images of models with body paint, but again, John's artistic abilities are on display on each and every part of his body. I especially loved the use of primary colors in the first couple of images and green's, oranges and purples as the colors mix together over John's skin.