Mermaids: A matter of fantasy

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

WHAT if something that had always been thought to be a myth, found a place in reality?

The idea of fantasy being challenged by science was the impetus for styling group The Blaq Mafia to curate a shoot about mermaids. Creative director Edward James Castro said the group has been wanting to do a shoot since last year, inspired by the Discovery Channel documentary Mermaids: The Body Found and the follow-up documentary, Mermaids: The New Evidence. Mermaids have been the subject of fairy tales and children’s stories, but the idea of scientific investigations into their existence fascinated the Blaq Mafia group.

Intrigued by the elusiveness and mystery of mermaids, they wanted to create the feeling of accidentally finding a mermaid lagoon and catching the mermaids unaware of anyone watching them. The group teamed up with designer Barbie Alvez Calunod, as her sequined clothes were perfect for resembling scales.


Barbie’s shimmering pieces call to mind the sheen of mermaid tails catching the sunlight. The sequined pieces are translated into a coordinating crop top and high waist skirt, tops in irregular cuts, and a sleek, full-length dress with a deep V neckline and low-cut back. Contrasting these fluid shapes for a separate look was a structured jacket with full pleated sleeves resembling fins by designer and Blaq Mafia head stylist Axel Que.

The mermaid “tails” for this shoot were created on location using unconventional materials. Using cellophane sheets and floaty fabrics in hues reminiscent of pearls lends a more ethereal, fantasy effect as opposed to using brightly-colored plastic or rubber.

“Even though the mermaids and the narration of this shoot were man-made, the idea that mermaids may actually be real, and that they may or may not look like the ones we shot, brings the whole production team joy in some way,” says Edward.

Mermaids have managed to fascinate humans for centuries. Until scientific facts conclude that they do exist without a doubt, imaginations can flow as free and untamed as the mermaids themselves.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 28, 2014.


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