A classic look gets a modern twist
Watch the video for some perspective
Pinup is such a classic style that it gets plenty of treatment from photographers around the world. Stylists love it because they get to show off vintage wardrobe. Makeup artists love it for the bright red lips and rosy cheeks. Hairstylists enjoy the opportunity to show off their skills with styles not seen quite as often. The whole look has proven eternally popular with magazines and websites by the dozens devoted to celebrating the look.
If there’s a weak link in the chain, and the preposition is meant to cast some aspersion on whether there is an issue at all, it is in the photography. No matter how well everyone else on the team does, the excitement for the look is lost if the photographer blows it. The two most common errors are too much background and not enough light. When both are present, the pinup style is lost and the model might as well be wearing the latest Yeezy disaster.
We have to remember that pinups were originally paintings and illustrations, not photographs. Yes, they were extremely realistic, but there were certain qualities unique to the medium. First, there was rarely any background at all, and when there was it was minimal. The emphasis was on the body and nothing else. Second, they were very bright with highly saturated colors on the model and soft pastels for the background. Occasionally an artist might include a car, a bottle of wine, or some other prop, but the emphasis was always on the girl.
That’s not to say there’s no room for contemporary influence. Hair color was rarely messed with back in the 1940s and now there are as many options as a hairstylist can dream up. The original audience was almost exclusively male so poses and scenarios were meant to get their attention. Today, the audience skews more toward women and LGBTQ+ topics are popular and valued among that community.
What I like about today’s post is the contrast in presentation. The video treats the images as cherished relics of a bygone era, captured on canvas, worn and washed with age. The photos themselves are high contrast, high saturation with a life ready to jump into your own reality. Both set a mood that makes for a pleasant visit.
This is the first of two volumes of pinups we shot recently. I’ll post the second volume next week. We hope you enjoy our final look at this classic style.