Monday, July 25, 2011

Hairdresser on Fire

Van Smith is the artist behind John Water's diva actress Divine's costumes and hairstyles. He created Divine's iconic look for the film Pink Flamingos that consisted of a receding hairline, white clown make-up, and eyebrows as well as eye make-up extending to the back of the forehead. She was supposed to be a mix of Jane Mansfield and Clarabell the Clown (from the Howdy Doody show, a 1950's children's television program). In the 1998 documentary "Divine Trash" Van Smith claims that he raised Divine's Hairline because he wanted her face -like a blank canvas- to have more space to apply make-up. Around the time Divine's look was introduced drag queens were just female impersonators with a conservative look. Divine's revolutionary look changed appeal for decades to come, drag queens continue to emulate Divine today. 
Female Troubles (1974)
Van Smith created Divine's look for John Water's Film Female Troubles a film about cults and brainwashing where Divine plays Dawn Davenport a feeble-minded house wife that becomes involved in various crimes with the surreal ideas imposed by two facist hairdressers Donald & Donna Dasher (Mary Vivian Pierce & David Lochary) that beauty is crime

Divine's see-thru gown tailored for the 300 lb actress
Female Troubles (1974)
 Edith Massey's catsuit from Female Troubles
Female Troubles (1974)
Mink Stole and David Lochary as Connie and Raymond Marble in Pink Flamingos (1972)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
 Van Smith was considered one of John Water's Dreamlanders- John Water's film crew for his independent film studio Dreamland productions work that consisted of his friends- he created the amazing costumes for all of John waters films from Pink Flamingos to A Dirty Shame until his death in 2006
Jean Hill Desperate Living
Mary Vivian Pierce Female Troubles (1974)

Female Troubles (1974)
Melanie Griffith Cecil B. Demented (2000)
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
Cecil B. Demented (2000)

Other works include:
Desperate Living (1977)
Polyester (1981)
Hairspray (1988)
Cry Baby (1990)
Serial Mom (1994)
Pecker (1998)
Cecil B Demented (2000)
A Dirty Shame (2004)
-Amanda Jacques

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