ConceptEuropeBlack Swan by Zuzu Valla

I met Olivia on stage, at a performance of anything goes, where she was playing a lead role. I was the Designer & Head Make-up & Hair Artist for Vintage Styling during the show.
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The visual concept for Black Swan came directly as a response to my model is passion for Dance

I met Olivia on stage, at a performance of anything goes, where she was playing a lead role. I was the Designer & Head Make-up & Hair Artist for Vintage Styling during the show. Oliviaís dedication to her Art was immediately apparent. Our working relationship became friendship as Olivia began to model for my Art over the next couple of years. In a form of Thank you, I wanted to dedicate a look that was specifically for her, which reflected and externalised who she is. I have worked with Photographer Zuzana many times, and knew that she would capture the look perfectly.

Olivia is passion for Ballet, and beautiful, muscular physic lent themselves to theming my design around the Classic Swan Lake. To set the look into context, we planned a location shoot. There was one small flaw to our plan; I discovered Olivia had an extreme fear of birds, especially swans. However, this would lead my designing to a natural conclusion. I asked Olivia to put into words, what Dance meant to her, and for her to explain her fear of birds.


Olivia told me Dancing is literally my Everything. When she is on stage in costume, with the lights in her eyes, and the vibes from the audience in front of her, The Adrenalin kicks in and she becomes a different person, it ís the best feeling ever! Olivia is fear of birds relates primarily to their sudden movements and flapping wings. Their unpredictability, and that they can fly up at any given moment, scares the life out of her

Combining these two elements resulted in a design that needed to reflect up-lift, and the intense energy that adrenalin produces, as both the Dance and the Birds created the same result in Olivia Fight or Flight!

Having researched various images of Swans in flight, I used the shape of the wings at lift off, incorporating large false eyelashes to create the energy and 3D element needed for the design on her face. For the colour scheme, I added some white, to enhance the black, and a touch of Orange on the lips to reflect the colours of the beak. I incorporated Feathers, both on the face for added drama, and into the Hair to recreate the swanís body shape, continuing the theme of uplift throughout the look. The entire design had a Theatrical, Prima Ballerina edge, to reflect Olivia is love for the Stage, and the performer within. [Official Website] [Make up artist:Suzanna Forrester-Beer Mua]


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