“You’ve got your mother in a whirl, she’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl”. (Rebel, Rebel, 1974)
The moment David Bowie sang those iconic words; a line was drawn amongst a generation of dreamers. It was a taste of liberation for teenagers everywhere, tuning in from the comfort of their suburban bedrooms. While Bowie paved the way for pretty boys back in the day, male beauty is shifting towards a new paradigm. London-based photographer Annemarie Sterian captures Timmy and Robert at Nii Agency. As two boys in the midst of this change, both the innocence and strength of masculinity fluctuates between beams of dreamy light.
Tradition is redefined in a spectrum of dandy eye shadows and glossy lips - it’s self-expression in a cohort that shuns the rigidity of gender roles. Crafted by make-up artist Sophia Gunev, the abstract meets the contemporary, sleek gentleman with the dew of highlighters and rosy cheeks. Stylist Claudia Gusella blurs the line between clothing and the wearer; with soft velour and knits in fresh-faced tones.
In the age of Ru-Paul’s Drag Race and hyper-femme Gucci boys, gender-bending has become engrained in the global psyche. Yet still, the simple act of wearing make-up as a male becomes fiercely political by default. It would be ignorant to assume that this is a trend, rather than the evolution of a feeling across centuries. From the parlour of Louis XVI’s court to the Victorian Bohemian, men in make-up is nothing modern. It’s clear that the same optimism for the future is resurfacing, it’s just a little more polished.