It's been forever since I've posted about my talented 11 year nephew and his mannequin muse Martinique or Martini for short. As it's been an eternity, I'll try and briefly get you all caught up. My brother had a summer restaurant job at the mall in town when he was 16 and one afternoon while taking the trash out, he discovered a female-display mannequin in the dumpster area. A department store deemed her garbage. The nerve! My brother who was always in some sort of a band kept the mannequin in his room and whenever his band would play, she would be on the stage usually wearing nothing but a tie or baseball cap. The nerve! At a certain point he grew tired of her and that's when I swept in to treat her in the respectful manner she deserved. I was 10. No longer was she to be referred to as "the mannequin" as I named her Jennifer and while other boys my age were trying to perfect their baseball pitching ability or dribbling/ layup/ free throw skills, I was busy in my bedroom applying lipstick I'd snuck from my mom's purse onto her. It was something I hid at first but as time passed, I'd share with my family how I'd dressed her or if I'd executed an especially successful smokey eye. My dad would look at me with a mix of confusion and honestly a bit of disappointment as I proudly presented Jennifer in my mom's swimsuit, head scarf, and flawless makeup. My father would ask, "Don't you want to learn how to kick a field goal?" My answer was always something like, "Why would I want to do that?" As my nephew said when he was about five, "I like what I like." Amen. I dressed up/ made up Jennifer for years and years. Now it seems the mannequin baton has been passed along.
My sister's younger son has an affinity for glamor. He's glamor-focused. Glamor-centered. Glamorific. When he was 9 his mom purchased him a mannequin at a store which was going out of business. Their loss was a significant gain for my nephew. He named her Martinique and over nearly the last two years, I've been getting emailed photos of her in various perfectly styled outfits.
That's Martinique. All the photos are taken by him with his mom's iPhone. The photo quality can be a bit off with the iPhone indoors so I've boosted the colors a bit here and there. My nephew's favorite store is Forever 21 and every so often he gets to go on a small shopping spree. And then I fortunately get sent some pictures.
My sister and her two sons were in town recently and we met up at The Grove in LA-- a fun and kooky Disneyland-ish shopping area. Very L.A. Anyway, my sis and her older son went off to Nordstroms to get him a tshirt while the younger glamor-grounded son and I beelined to Forever 21. He got $25 to spend and it was like I was with Rachel Zoe or some high-power stylist as my nephew scoured that store for the absolute perfect outfit that fit his budget and sensibilities. I wish that spree was caught on camera because you all would have loved watching his design aesthetic and clothing evaluation skills in full force. In no time he'd picked: a flowery-flirty top, leggings, a head band, fake eyelashes (poor girl got no lashes), bracelets, and a nail polish all for $25. Giving away the glamor I say!!! I went back to their hotel and as my older nephew boasted about the giant dump he'd just taken (you're welcome) my younger nephew unfazed presented the new items on the bed and began the styling magic.
We took turns trying on the headbands and I said I couldn't wait to see that outfit on Martinique. The next day shortly after they returned, this photo came in........
The photo was a bit dark so I took some liberties with the lighting as I felt this looked more like a page from a fashion mag. It's just a matter of time........
When my phone makes a new email alert and I see it's sent from my nephew.....ah...... it's like Christmas. I love the few seconds of anticipation before the images open. Here's a typical photo I'll get on some random afternoon.
Amazing, right? Wouldn't you all like to be wearing that outfit? How could you not have fun in that? I'm just going to say it--- it would be the best day ever if you had on all those pieces. There was something about that photo that felt like Martinique was backstage at a fashion show just about to face the photogs so I took some photoshopped liberties.
She's so in demand that Martinique! This is also a Forever 21 ensemble. I think Martinique should be the face of Forever 21, don't you? Can't you see an ad campaign focused on Martinique's favorite Forever 21 outfits? Anyone reading this from cooperate? Let's discuss.......
This next series of photos came in today. My nephew knows how build drama.... The first photo was this.
Nice nails Martinique! Is that color called Vamp? Or maybe Glamp? The last photo was a bit of a shock but my nephew wanted to lift the veil of model perfection. Turns out this gorgeous top is really a...........
..... bodysuit! Bet you didn't see that coming, huh? Martinique clearly isn't afraid to be seen in a not so flattering light. Bravo Martini, bravo. Keep it real girl.
As I'm finishing up this posting, four new photos from my nephew just came in. It's pouring glamor and I'm happily soaked! Looking forward to sharing those images soon.
Isn't life better when you let kids be themselves?
Thanks everyone! And especially a huge glamor-drenched thanks to my 11 year old nephew for sharing his talents with us.