Monday, September 17, 2007

George Westmore Research Library & Museum

UPDATE 5-19-09 The president of the Westmore Museum had me remove my tribute MySpace page, Westmores of Hollywood; as well as any licensed Westmore photos from this post.

The Westmore name is legendary within the makeup, hair and motion picture industry. George Westmore (1879-1931) founded the very first makeup and hair department at Metro Pictures in 1917. This was unheard of at the time as all actors applied their own cosmetics, wigs and costumes. He started off a wigmaker and hair stylist, but quickly added makeup artist to his repertoire. George was so in demand by the production agencies that he enlisted the help of his sons~ Mont, Perc, Ern, Wally, Bud and Frank~ who in time themselves would head up departments for every major studio in Hollywood! George's dedication and techniques set the standard for all artists working in the film industry, including the 4th generation of Westmore artists who still carry on his tradition of commitment, passion and excellence.

In 1981, Marvin Westmore (Mont's son) established the Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts in Burbank, CA. Billed as the 'First Name in Makeup Education', this couldn't be any more true. Marvin told me that he started working at age 16 for his uncles' House of Westmore Salon during the heyday of Hollywood's Golden Era (his mother made him do it!). Marvin grew to be an award winning artist like most of his family and is currently on the board of the hair and makeup artist's union, I.A.T.S.E. Local 706.

Nestled within the school, the George Westmore Research Library & Museum is in it's infantile stages of what will be an invaluable tool to all artists (and probably my new favorite hang out). I had the honor of taking a preview tour and chatting with Marvin about the history of his collection. Some of the memorabilia included many books and manuals on application and vintage cosmetics from the House of Westmore line, Max Factor and Marvin's own line. The products and tools were so beautiful, especially the packaging~ now that is glamour at it's finest! Adorning the walls were priceless family photographs and original advertising for the House of Westmore Cosmetic line. Also impressive were the tools for hair and wig styling. As aged and delicate as some of them looked, Marvin assured me they still work and demonstrated how they were used. He stated that back then, everyone had to learn both hair and makeup artistry. Another gem of information he shared with me was that he was planning on remaking a specific face brush, something that isn't used a lot today and that I will be first in line to get!

Marvin stated that he, and especially his niece Christy are working very hard to make sure the museum comes together. I could tell he was proud of his collection, and even though he is retired, he is still working running his sucessful school and family museum. Always a Westmore... I want to thank Marvin Westmore for being so charming and generous with his time, and to kind Christy for all her hard work on the Westmore projects! For additional history on the Westmore family, the 'Westmores of Hollywood' by Frank Westmore is a terrific read. If you are on MySpace, check out the page I made for them as well.

Sign for George Westmore's first shop, 1901

Hair-Dressing Saloon
(Next Door to the Baptist Chapel)

Begs to inform the inhabitants of Newport and neighbourhood, that he has opened the above
premises as a FIRST-CLASS

Hair-dressing, Shaving & Shampooing
establishment and hopes by careful and prompt
attention to business, combined with moderate charges to merit a share of support.



Ladie's Combings made up to any convenient design.


82, HIGH STREET, next door to the Baptist Chapel.
Opened 1901.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tamela D'Amico

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing makeup for chanteuse Tamela D'Amico. It was for her debut CD release party at the Catalina Jazz Club here in Hollywood. Tamela and I had met due to our mutual love of Old Hollywood Glamour and I had worked with her before, but I was most excited to see her perform live!

The Catalina was the perfect setting for this event~ a lovely supper club. I am not sure how she did it, but Tamela managed to squeeze her amazing big band onto the stage which did not deter their performance. She has worked with the best in the business and all of their hard work paid off that night! The place was packed full of friends, family and industry insiders out to show their support.

Tamela sang songs from her self titled CD such as "The Gentleman is a Dope" and "He's a Tramp" along with other standard favorites such as "Route 66". She also peppered the show with stories of her life and was quite charming. Her voice is powerful and lush and has a unique style that makes the standard classics her own. You can tell she is obviously passionate about her craft and has a genuine love of this genre of music and the era. Tamela has a stage presence that rivals the great songbirds of the past and has the pipes to go with it!