Here’s a more recent tutorial of some sort on “How To Be A Femme Fatale”, with model Heidi Harrington-Johnson (I think) which, like 1955’s Chic magazine in the preceding post, would seem to suggest it’s all about what you wear. Of course, in this case, I’m guessing it’s got nothing to do with carrying a purse-sized .22, and much more about what you wear under a sleek femme fatale’s LBD. (And I’m embarrassed to admit that I no longer recall where I originally screen-capped this thing from, so I suppose none of us will find out ‘next week’.)
So lets guess about this one…
The landscaper needs to be prodded to keep the lawn mower rolling? The pool boy’s been told to finish up by noon or there’ll be trouble? Or perhaps the second floor bedroom window provides a perfect perch to pick off hubby on his way to the Mercedes in the driveway? Who knows, even if L.A. based photographer Tatiana Gerusova’s just whimsically shooting girlz with gunz for a fancy lingerie fashion pictorial.
The copy for “Streetcar Of Desire”, a 1992 Harper’s Bazaar fashion editorial, almost reads like the cover tease for a steamy noir or erotic thriller (minus all the ‘lets-sell-pricey-lingerie’ stuff). “Languorous, sexual, darkly colored, (it) could be inspired by love and lust. These are looks to feed the flame of longing and light up the shadows of a summer night (with) reflections of Blanche DuBois – silk and lace against lily-white skin”. Hmmm, listen to my keyboard sizzle. Shot by Phillip Dixon, model Tatjana Patitz is more a French Quarter femme fatale than Blanche Dubois’ fey and faded beauty, but the images are enough to inspire any noir’s doomed love affair.
The models dreamed that they were prizefighters, ballerinas, bullfighters, movie stars, gunslingers and in 1955, no less than President. So why not a private eye?
Maidenform’s iconic “I Dreamed” ad campaign was brainstormed by agency creatives Mary Fillius, Kitty D’Alessio and Kay Daly, who pitched multiple ‘dream’ concepts to Maidenform’s founder Ira Rosenthal and his daughter Beatrice Coleman who made the final selections. The successful campaign ran non-stop from 1949 through 1969. This ‘private eye’ print ad is from 1954: “…searching for clues about this most-wanted figure. ‘Arresting to look at, last seen in America’s most famous bra, and no supporting evidence!’ Why, it’s me in my new Maidenform strapless – the thriller with a secret no one would suspect!”
My own in-progress 1950’s P.I. gets underway some five years later, and with one manuscript complete and making the rounds, and its sequel halfway done, I haven’t had to specify what brands of undies or ‘foundations’ Sharon Gardner, AKA the ‘Stiletto Gumshoe’ prefers. But she does grump a bit about the way the models seem to float like angels on chiffon clouds in all the girdle ads.
Her expression leaves no doubt that she’s capable of — or even contemplating — something bad. Really bad. Though the outfit leaves little room to hide a weapon, not even a purse sized .22, I suspect this particular femme fatale has concluded she doesn’t need one. By Russian artist Yaroslav Belousov.
As a former fine arts major, I can understand traditional media: Prime and stretch a canvas, what mediums to use for what effects in oils, etc. (not that I have much use for any of it since school). Of course, fine arts majors are known to go hungry and end up homeless, so some time was was also wisely spent after graduation in community college night classes to fine tune woefully inadequate software skills…Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and all that jazz. The result: I’m well fed and comfortably housed, and blessed to be doing quite well day-job wise.
But I never, ever could get my tech-challenged head around the intricacies of 3-D graphics, whether basic CAD for engineering or specialty software for product design, and most definitely not 3D graphics for figures, gaming and CGI film effects. I’m always awe-struck by the work, even the simplest projects. I think I stumbled across these from a link at a DieselPunk site, of all places, but got a real kick out of a how-to manual for 3D graphic designers and artists for Film Noir 3D Style: Back To Black & White. And then within that same gallery, the Film Noir Femme Fatale #D art by ‘Dumor3D’. These were posted back in 2014 at the Daz3D Gallery.
Maybe it was a set-up. Maybe she was framed. Maybe she had it coming, who knows? Maybe things would’ve gone down easier if she just went along quietly.
The cops couldn’t hold onto her in Basic Instinct, but actress Sharon Stone’s not getting out of the clink anytime soon in this gritty 2008 photo suite from Ellen von Unwerth, fashion photography’s maestro of mischief and all things delightfully decadent.
Model Aladora as a retro lady gumshoe in a well styled photo by Retrorama Photography.
The ‘peeper’ private eye camera with flash, the shamus’ magnifying glass on the bed and the male victim’s oxfords poking out from underneath it…and of course, three fetching fashion models posed in their underwear and hose. From lingerie marketer Agent Provocateur, shot by Ellen von Unwerth in 2015.