This rather strange combination is by a Russian photographer who seems to divide her time between Princeton, New Jersey, and Moscow – Anna Ksenzenko. The strangest part is that it’s for Stella Cove (click for an interview with Anna) – so I presume it’s a one-piece swimming costume with what looks like a crinoline/hoop skirt support for a wedding dress placed over it – reminding me immediately of 3D sculptor Eric van Straaten‘s Caged Girl series:
…..it’s infuriatingly difficult to get crisp shots of his sculptures, for some reason: the second one is only clear since it’s still just a render that he has yet to physically produce in 3D – he describes it here (either to be called “The Medal” or “Profile”, as she’s holding a medal with a profile of her own face).
Anna’s model is Libby K – who has to remain semi-anonymous, since her Instagram is private, and you have to log onto her agency site (New York Model Management), to see the models’ profiles: understandable with the age group, but it doesn’t really work for professionals who need media exposure in order to survive. I took the portrait on the right from her Instagram bio page.
Anna is clearly seeing Marie Antoinette parallels in the shot, given her hashtags (on the image link below) – while I think self-confessed fetishist Eric has more this in mind:
……the ancestors of crinolines were farthingales, back in the 16th and 17th centuries – but the idea of giving skirts and dresses more volume seems to have been around forever: every other post I do seems to feature a girl (or girls) in tutus – basically the same idea, but using stiff or multi-layered fabric to get a similar effect – albeit with a much shorter skirt. To indicate the strong allure tutus have for little girls I’ve been known to quote (Tutu du Monde founder) Andrea Rembeck‘s depiction of her daughter:
“…..my daughter is a very girly girl and ‘practical’ is not in her vocabulary. Since she was 2 years of age she has refused to wear pants, claiming they are for boys only. So she’s happy to brave the elements in a tutu dress and a pair of tights.” (Andrea Rembeck)
The quote comes from one of the posts linked to above – for the Australian Dollcake brand – here’s one of their tutus (see post for links to Andrea’s quote and for possibly the most gorgeous gallery of dresses on the blog):
As I noted, Dollcake‘s designs for girls’ dresses are taken from vintage sources, and more from Victorian and Edwardian underwear than outerwear:
…….leading to this beautiful crinoline homage: and yes, it necessarily plays with the sensuous possibilities of semi-transparency – but if she’s dressed sensibly under it, it remains just a pretty, girlish conceit.
One big difference between the various outfits pictured goes back to the previous post and the “mini-me” girl’n’doll styles of Little Gloriana – twirlability (or lack of it). Clearly their dresses are perfect for twirling and dancing: volume plus movement. Volume was particularly important in the ‘fifties:
……..and while you can just read that this pattern is for “Girls’ Crinoline Slips and Petticoats” – the “crinoline” effect would come from the petticoats, not from hoops – and the skirts were perfect for movement. Real crinoline styles, however, are more like this:
…….a beautiful outline, and good for a genteel swish and swirl, but not really for a pirouette…….
Anna Ksenzenko is clearly producing a complete session for Stella Cove, and we’re just getting the bts teasers – the brand doesn’t only do swimwear – look at the header featuring fellow-New Jersey resident Teagan Parker (it helps for a model to live near a prolific photographer) – her reposted image below and the Smudgetikka Tumblr link at the very end – that’s no swimsuit that I’ve ever seen……
Here she is with Anna (now that is a swimsuit), and finally blowing kisses at us all (but you have to click on it to get your special one):
So grateful to have been part of this amazing shoot for @stellacove shot by @annaksenzenkophoto. Thank you for sharing @smudgetikka 😘😘Repost from @smudgetikka using @RepostRegramApp – Stunning shot from @annaksenzenkophoto for @stellacove featuring @teaganparkernj #marieantoinette makeup and hair by @jayarianemakeup #kidsfashion #kidsphotography #coolkids #kdmodel #kidstyle #stellacove #fashionkids #ministyle #juniorfashion #paperflowers