Photographer revisits femme fatale styles of the 1940s –
Just what is it about the allure of those female stars of the 1940s film noir era?
Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not, Rita Hayworth in Gilda, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Veronica Lake in Blue Dahlia, Joan Bennett in The Woman in the Window, Gloria Grahame in the Big Heat, Ava Gardner in The Killers, and many many more.
Through a combination of sensual clothing from some of Hollywoods finest costume designers such as Adrian and Vera West, beautiful cinematography, and makeup that seemed even more alluring on black and white film, the era has left an indelible mark on the art of female beauty.
Canadian photographer Faya recently explored this era.
Before taking up the camera, Faya’s focus was on quantum physics and aerospace engineering, then in to sound engineering, and from there to the lens !
Originally from the volcanic island of Mauritius, Faya has shared her time between the two highly influential Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal since 2004.
So why film noir?
” I had just completed a Jazz album cover, and I hated tearing the set down, so, with the creative juices still flowing, I decided on doing a film noir shoot. I decided to use continuous light rather than the industry norm of flash. I wanted contrast, I wanted shadows, I wanted light play – ah wait, it’s been already done, and it’s called ‘film noir’ !”
Well the result is just beautiful. Using clever 1940s noir lighting style, model Camille moves from flapper to sophisticate to femme fatale with ease. The photos remind me of the portrait studies of Edward Steichen in particular.Why aren’t all fashion shoots like this?
I would certainly recommend Faya as a fashion /glamour photographer. Maybe we’ll be hearing more from this woman in that regard. Will she take up the movie camera next?
The era of film noir peaked with the triumphant return of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. originally a model herself for Edward Steichen – Swanson proved that age only adds allure to a woman.
Note costume designer Edith Heads clever use of accessories such as sunglasses, which Barbara Stanwyck also employed to devastating effect in Double Indemnity. In both cases, the wearing of the shades “protected against the truth!”
Costume designer in Ridley Scotts classic Blade Runner Michael Kaplan said that “after reading the script we definitely felt that Blade Runner was of that film noir genre. His dressing of Rachel, which was directly inspired by the costumes of Adrian, and the lighting genius of cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth brought about a 1980s revival of 1940s styles.
Visit TheFaya.com – home of photographer Faya.
More classic Film Noir Femme Fatales.