Playing with refined lines, polished finishes and defined textures, Callum Standen’s Courtesan is a bold collection that is brought to life in a contrasting color palette of muted and intense tones.
What is a “courtesan”? It’s actually a more sophisticated way to call someone a prostitute. Women who catered to a more upper-class and higher-end clientele were given this title. So how does one go about creating a collection centered around a prostitute who lived in the 1900s?
“We first looked at Edwardian brides,” shared Callum Standen, “But we weren’t getting the inspiration we wanted so we decided to delve deeper. We wanted to add some sass and looked at high-class escorts of the time. And in doing so, we discovered Émilienne and we had our concept.”
Based off of the life and adventures of Émilienne d’Alençon, a French dancer, actress and courtesan in the 1900s, this collection is a visual representation of her past. Each photo is inspired by stories of Émilienne’s life including the time she trained and danced with snakes, the time she dyed rabbits pink, her multiple affairs and her finally settling down and marrying Percy Woodland, a well-known horse jockey (who was known to have also dated Coco Chanel back in the day). The translations of these moments in her life are modern interpretations that also pay a classic and timeless homage to cut, color and style.
This collection works with a level of versatility and it is visually inspiring for timeless style. The color palettes were inspired to be on trend with warmer tones and clean blondes. Each look is wearable and can individually be customized to a client’s level of adventure and modesty.
Hair: Callum Standen (aka The Egg)
Photography: Stuart Weston
Styling: Clare Frith
Makeup: Maddie Austin