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What’s the gloss? A slick, sexy shoot throwing back to 00s glam

Photographer and Dazed Beauty Community member Tom Blesch debuts a high-octane series of images that harken back to yesteryear

It’s 2021, so you know what that means, it’s the perfect time for Gen Z to start fantasising about the glamour of a vintage lifestyle all the way back in....... the 00s. 

For photographer and Dazed Beauty Community member Tom Blesch, campaigns from the late 90s/early 00s were a big influence on his latest photo story – inspired by gloss. “I liked the oily skin and windblown hair in this era but we still tried to give the story a contemporary look,” he explains. “Glossy make-up can change a look within minutes. My work is very intuitive and happens in the moment this is why I was so drawn to the topic.”

Collaborating with fellow Community member Janina Zais – who provided the glossy make-up, and wet look hair – as well as stylist Leonie Volk, who transformed the cohort of models into sexy sirens with a distinct look from yesteryear. 

“For me it’s super important to work closely with the team. This shoot took a lot of prep work to make sure we would find the perfect fit for each model so Janina and Leonie and I exchanged many ideas for this,” Tom continues. “Everyone brought something new to the topic. What we were keen on was to not rehash old beauty ideals and instead give this aesthetic a new direction.”

The final result is a series of images that are undeniably sexy, featuring fashions from Balenciaga, Mugler, GCDS, Gucci, Versace, and Valentino. There’s plenty of gloss too (obviously) – enveloping a long manicured hand, drenching hair, or giving the illusion that the make-up is sliding off the models’ face after hours of dancing in the club (remember that?). 

“My work is collaborative and happens while we are creating. I photograph with different cameras and I always decide on the day of the shoot which camera sets the ‘style’ of the whole story,” Tom concludes. “It definitely shows the variety of my work – focus on close-ups, colourful lights, make-up.” 

Photography Tom Blesch, styling Leonie Volk, hair and make-up Janina Zais using Gucci Beauty, manicure Camilla Volbert, production Jesica Ley; Services United (Maidatou), photography assistant Saou Tanaka, styling assistant Louisa Klementz, models Alexandra & Hitomi @ Viva Models Berlin, Elsa & Emmanuelle @ Mirrrs Models, Lisa @ Anti Agency London, Aria @ A Management, Maidatou @ Model Werk, Emi, Awut, special thanks to Raw Box Studio Berlin and Isabel Maria Simoneth