[Image Description: Photo of me dressed up and posed as Irma Vep (Musidora) from Les Vampires (1915-6). I’m wearing black from head to toe standing with a defiant posture in front a wall with floral wallpaper.]
Louis Feuillade’s Les Vampires (1915-6) serials were made at a time when the cinematic forms of genres were crystallizing into the conventions we know all too well today. Les Vampires is a macabre crime-drama serial, often retroactively labeled horror.
The film follows Philippe, a newspaper reporter, as he investigates a shadowy gang of criminals called The Vampires. Starting with a decapitated police inspector, each successive episode sees Philippe get closer to unraveling the labyrinthine world of The Vampires while alliances shift and the body count rises. Irma Vep (Musidora) is a member of the gang who moonlights as a cabaret singer. Over the course of the series, Irma emerges as the true lead, though she never repents or renounces her life of crime; a quintessential vamp.
Derided by contemporary critics, but beloved by audiences, Les Vampires is classic pulp. One film critic expressed his feelings toward Les Vampire thusly in a 1916 issue of Hebdo-Film:
“That a man of talent, an artist, as the director of most of the great films which have been the success and glory of Gaumont, starts again to deal with this unhealthy genre, obsolete and condemned by all people of taste, remains for me a real problem.”
It’s understandably divisive that Feuillade ignores accepted filmmaking “rules” here and there. But the reading that Feuillade’s rule-breaking is strategic is certainly valid. The viewing experience is destabilized to create tension but not in ways that sacrifice narrative clarity. Feuillade will subtly skirt the rules by making unexpected cuts or switch within a scene from sequences that follow (what would later be termed) “invisible editing” standards to flat tableaus. Taken together, the audience is unsettled without necessarily knowing why. (Yes, 1915 audiences were already accustomed to these standards of visual storytelling!) It’s a great companion to the macabre events depicted in the films. A century later, The Witch: A New England Folktale (2015), directed by Robert Eggers, employs some of the same strategies.
I know seven hours of silent-film viewing might seem daunting but, unlike other serials from the era, Les Vampires’ installments are fairly self-contained stories. (My favorite is the fifth episode “Dead Man’s Escape.”)
Musidora’s Irma Vep (yes, that is an anagram for vampire) is an archetypal vamp, in characterization and in aesthetic. Irma’s a master of disguise who can assume practically any role to further the aims of The Vampires and her loyalties change almost as often as her costumes.
The iconic Irma Vep look is her black catsuit, which is even referenced in a ballet about The Vampires within the film. Irma is a clear predecessor of Catwoman (not the only inspiration Batman pulls from Feuillade’s crime serials btw).
For the closet-cosplay (or work-appropriate version), I went for an all black outfit with lace-up dress shoes.
I don’t own a black catsuit, so I made do with black tights and a black turtleneck top. Planning ahead for the costume, black hoods are easily found on amazon. I, however, don’t have a hood in my closet, so I put another pair of (clean) black tights on my head and simply wrapped the legs around my neck and tucked the ends into the back of my sweater. Voila!
Musidora’s Irma makeup is only occasionally as dramatic as other film vamps. When Irma’s not performing on stage, her makeup is more muted, a great basis for a wearable closet-cosplay makeup look.
For the base, I applied an even layer of powder a shade slightly lighter than my skin tone and concealed under my eyes. (Obviously Musidora would’ve been wearing more face makeup and you can too! I stuck with powder to stay true to the era. ) I didn’t bother with blush or contouring since I didn’t find it necessary.
The eye makeup is dramatic and emphasizes the shape her eyes. Since this is meant to be a more wearable look, I used brown shadow create an elongated smoky eye, (1.) blending a light layer from the lashline to just below my eyebrows and smudging what’s left on the brush all along my lower lid. (2.) Then I built up the shading around the lashline by using a wet brush in the same shadow. (3.) Then I added a little extra darker brown shadow very close to the lashline. Since this look isn’t much about the lashes, I just painted on a layer of black mascara.
If you think this makes your eyes look too small, run liner in your lower waterline that’s either white (more striking) or a bit lighter than your skin-tone (more subtle).
Her eyebrows are slightly rounded without much of an arch, roughly mirroring the shape of her eyes. I used a brown pencil to get the shape and softened it a bit with a cooler brown powder.
As for lips, you may be tempted to go for a purple-y wine shade, but based on how contemporary cameras captured such detail around her lips, I’d wager Musidora used a medium shade. Just dark enough to create a definitive shape. Musidora’s lips are on the smaller side so, think underlining instead of overlining to make straight, sharp lines on both upper & lower lips. I carved out the lip shape with cream concealer then used a deep pink lipstick shade.
Shifting to the FULL COSTUME, you can follow the same basic steps but switch to dark gray and black for the eye makeup. I went into the waterline with black liner but, as with the daytime look, if you think it’s shrinks your eyes too much, line the waterline with white or a neutral shade just a bit lighter than your skin tone. Block the eyebrows out with a more solid line rather than keeping them natural. For the lips, I also went darker to match the high-contrast effect of the eye makeup.
Hope this inspires you all in putting together your costumes this year!
All of this moving and adulting has really drained me of my creative energy! Ugh.. anywho… I enjoyed this look because it’s super soft and wearable. normally my makeup is extra intense- so this was a nice change. Also stay tuned for a special announcement later!!!! :D
1) Prime eye with white eye shadow primer and follow up with applying a light coat of white shadow
***Tips*** Applying a white or skin tone colored shadow on the lid will help you blend your shadows more easily.
2) Apply “Cake” from the UD Alice Through the Looking Glass palette on the crease of the eye.
3) To add depth, add a small amount of “Jezebel” from Juvia’s Place the Nubian II palette to the crease of the eye- focus this darker shadow more on the outer v portion of the crease.
4) Lightly dab “Luscious” from the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette on your lid using a flat shadow brush.
5) Using your finger, apply Nyx Ultra Pearl “Mania” Loose shadow on the center of the eye.
6) Apply liquid eyeliner to the top lid and pencil liner to the lower lid.
7) Using a smudge brush, smudge “Jezebel” into your lower lash line.
* On my lips I am wearing Nyx Lip Lingerie in Exotic
Face: Nyx Eyebrow Gel- Chocolate, Black Radiance
BB Cream in Honey Amber, Face Studio Master Concealer in Medium 40, Ben Nye Banana Powder,
Laura Geller Gilded Honey Illuminator, and Black
True Complexion Contour Palette (Medium to Dark)
Jean,Bertholdt,Connie,Eren,Levi,Armin and Erwin as youtube beauty and makeup guru's???
Eren is a wizard with makeup. Most people can’t replicate his looks that well, but he does a good job explaining everything he does. Eren also likes to use affordable products because he knows not everyone has that much money. He’s pretty popular, especially around Halloween time.
Levi usually sticks to natural make up looks and health videos. He talks about healthy life styles, makes videos on different food recipes, and talks about good ways to make sure your hair and skin is healthy. His YouTube channel is very professional and usually helps out many people.
Jean probably wouldn’t wear much makeup beside concealer or powder to neutralize his skin tone, but he’d make tons of videos explaining how to take care of skin and hair. He also likes making sit down and talk vlogs because he really likes talking to the people that support him.
Connie doesn’t really do wearable makeup looks, more so over the top woah-how’d-he-do-that kind of looks. Most people don’t replicate the looks he does unless it’s for Halloween, which he has a special series for. He also gets into SFX products a lot. (If you’d like to know who I’m comparing him to, check out Glam&Gore on YouTube. They’re amazing.)
Bertholdt is more of a sit down and talk vlogger with the occasional make up video. He does hauls, empties, and natural, easy makeup looks. Even if people don’t come to his channel for makeup, many find his videos to be calming due to his nice personality.
Armin is like Bert, his channel isn’t centered around just make up. Sure, he’ll post a tutorial or two, but he really revolves around fashion and vlogging, with the occasional make up video. Many people like his channel because it revolves around the life style of an ordinary person and people find he’s super easy to relate to.
Erwin happens to only update his channel occasionally, but he still has a schedule. It’s more of a hobby than that of a job, and he only enjoys sitting down and making a video at random times. Doesn’t like make up that much so he sticks to health and life style things.
Some Halloween looks? (I know they’re not perfect don’t hate me im not a makeup artist and none of these were actually planned out I just winged it) I’d originally posted the full skeleton look but I didn’t like it cause it’s messy so I replaced it with the more “wearable” skeleton sorry!
Inside Capitol Couture: Oh-So-Wearable Makeup Inspired by Effie
Ready for something truly fabulous? Today, Chloe Morello, a top YouTube makeup artist, is sharing with us a wearable makeup look that is simply to die for. From the silver hair to purple eyeliner to the signature winged eyelashes—it’s flattering, it’s fierce, it SCREAMS “Effie Trinkett”. Plus, Chloe’s step-by-step instructions make it easy to weave this look into your daily makeup routine. Whether you wear it to lunch or to the theater—it’s a clean and commanding look that will make you shine anywhere. Brava!
Show us your ode to Effie with a photo or video tagged #INSIDECAPITOLCOUTURE and you may find yourself in the pages of Capitol Couture.
Spring 2014 Wearable Makeup Trends: Be Cool, Still Look Normie
Every spring and summer, I see 4,000 makeup lists from magazines that scream POP O COLOR!! and just scream pop o color at you until you melt into a tiny fear puddle. A lot of the suggestions look really great on the runway or in editorials, but also look really alien and looney tunes when you’re say, meeting a friend for drinks or leaving the house at all. They’re not particularly wearable for people like me, who love makeup but are also sort of scared of people looking in the eye. Now, of course, what’s “wearable” is swimmin’ in the same pool as “bikini body” ie “put a bikini on your body, it’s a bikini body” and “if you’re wearing it, it’s wearable.” Basically, put on whatever the fuck you want and I approve. However, if you’re looking for some help or some trendy makeup looks that don’t jump straight into neon orange cheeks and green eyeshadow, I’ve compiled some more normie makeup looks for you. These are still “on trend,” but can be worn by pretty much anybody, anywhere:
1. Mermaid-y Ocean Eyes:
Elf Studio Cream Eyeliner in Teal Tease (3.00, elf stores and Target)
Stila Smudge Stick in Turquoise (20.00, Sephora)
Listen, the moment it gets hot I want to look like a mermaid, but there’s only so much sea salt shit I can spray into my hair before I just dump buckets of ocean water on my head and call it a day. This is a much simpler look and it beats wearing a clam bra, as I imagine they hurt and smell, much like me on my period. All you gotta do is smudge some turquiose, ocean blue, or teal eyeliner on your lower lash line. You can build it to be as subtle or as obvious as you like, and you can fool around with it: you can put midnight blue in your waterline and turquoise on your lower lash line, you can do a teal cat eye, or you can leave it as one simple smudged line. This also works particularly well for girls with glasses, as it makes your eyes stand out from beneath those beautiful, nerd-goddess frames. I’m kidding, don’t fetishize women with glasses just cuz they CANNOT SEE!