From classic sci-fi series The Twilight Zone to fashion photographer Helmut Newton, many beacons of pop culture have long held a fascination for the secret life of mannequins. Displaying clothes in shop windows by day; coming to life in all their haunting, exaggerated glamour by night. As Halloween looms against the backdrop of tumultuous times, chameleonic model Bryce Anderson is escaping into fantasy—as a life-sized mannequin, that is.
A natural-born shape-shifter, Anderson relates to the notion of being a blank canvas in the most extreme sense. "With my career, I dress up all year long," explains the Marc Jacobs muse, who morphs into different characters on a near-daily basis for editorial shoots. While transforming into a flesh-and-blood mannequin, Anderson looked to André Barret's 1980 photography book "Vitrines de Paris," which showcases the the City of Light's window displays. "It is a projection of me because I'm like a blank slate," he says. "I can feel attached to certain looks, and become these characters I show, but nobody really knows who I am as a person."
Of course, to defy the ordinary, makeup is a vital part of the equation, and who better than fellow wunderkind Sam Visser to fulfill the above-neck dramatics. "It's a mannequin fantasy—somewhere between a real human and a hyper-realized one," says the makeup artist, who gave Anderson poreless plastic skin and ultra-perfected features. "The creepiness and oddness of a human figure that isn’t real, but has human characteristics is unsettling," explains Visser. "There's a celluloid feeling to him, which not only conveys the feeling of Halloween, but often what people search for in their own looks in modern day America."
From sooty, kohl-rimmed eyes to light-catching metallic fuchsia lips, there's no shortage of high-impact makeup ideas. Proof positive that becoming a real-life mannequin holds boundless possibilities for larger-than-life beauty statements.
"I wanted there to be a disconnect between beauty and the costume quality of Halloween—I wanted to make it very chic," says Anderson of shaking up the holiday's status quo. Inspired by the gray scale of black-and-white photography, Visser sought to conjure the mood of classic film noir with smoked-out lids and a dark, deep scarlet red lip.
"I accessorized the face like you would an outfit—making the makeup much more avant-garde than real people wear," explains Visser, who magnified Anderson's gaze with asymmetrical winged liner and flashes of metallic along the brow bones. "Something you wouldn’t typically do on a face, you can do a mannequin."
"The makeup is creating this look of falseness and perfection," explains Visser, who conceived Anderson's "plastic-like" porcelain skin with a veil of matte, full coverage foundation. "With the mannequin skin and hairless eyebrows there’s almost a sterile-ness to the characters." To punctuate Anderson's gaze, Visser shaded his lids in jet-black shadow and accentuated the "falseness" of the look with stacks of false bottom lashes. "It's extreme glamour," he adds.
Under an asymmetrical, Vidal Sassoon-esque crop, Visser cast Anderson's features in sparkling, vivid pigment. The pièce de résistance? A tell-tale '80s metallic hot pink lip with a modern touch. "A lot of the mannequins in Paris wore iridescent makeup," he explains. "The color conveys fantasy."
Tapping into the iconography of Old Hollywood, Anderson wears a slick of vinyl-red lipstick with a fresh manicure to match. "It's like plastic or paint left to dry," says Visser of the lacquered effect. "It’s supposed to feel like something that isn’t real."
Styled by Alexander Picon
Hair: Kazu Katahira
Makeup: Sam Visser
Photo Assistant: Morgan Kranston