We all know what a beauty queen looks like: lithe of limb, with full, flowing tresses and the brightest smile modern dentistry can offer.
DJ Nocturna may know this better than anyone because, in a former life, she was a recruiter for Miss World pageants. “That always stayed with me,” said the DJ, whose other lives include event promotion and working in the insurance industry.
But even while she was looking for pageantry’s perfection, she was drawn to alternative forms of beauty reflecting a fascination with vampires and the dark side, which began in her teens.
“I asked myself, ‘How come we don’t have a beauty pageant for women who are different and unique in their own way?’ There are so many women who couldn’t be in a beauty pageant. Maybe they had a baby or were too short or otherwise didn’t fit the criteria. They may not be perfect in that sense, but I think every woman is beautiful in her own way and wanted to give them the opportunity to showcase their beauty and talent, irregardless of age, weight or the way they want to look.”
So the Miss Vamp Hawaii pageant was born for the femme fatales among us, who blend in by day but prowl by night as vampires. On Friday, Camera Obscura, Nocturna and Lana Saldania will present the third annual event at Hawaii Theatre, with 15 competitors in talent, question-and-answer and moon-bathing segments, in which the swimsuit of typical pageants is replaced with lingerie.
Audience members are asked to dress in the spirit of the event, which will include a “Zumba in the Vampires Club” dance performance by Janos Molnar and end with reigning Miss Vamp Hawaii 2011, Tara Tynanes, passing on her crown.
With Halloween around the corner, it was time to ask the vampires the important questions, like where they shop and who will they be on All Hallow’s Eve:
Question: As a vampire, what is your reception among the living?
Tara Tynanes: Very much as you would expect: “Who is this vision of ethereal beauty?” They think, “Can she be real?” or “How do I make her mine?” It can become quite a game to read the male mind.
I laugh often. It is not difficult to conceal myself from them when they no longer interest me. I find it entertaining to lure and tease the populace with my visage. I spend most of my days indulging in games of varying kinds.
I have not yet been tempted to end this long life with the flame, so long as ennui does not embrace me!
Nocturna: The living souls are quite a handful sometimes, but they come to accept me, right before they get bitten.
Lana Saldania: It’s usually long stares from the eyes of the curious and, sometimes, an overactive glare.
MISS VAMP HAWAII 2012
Third annual vampire beauty pageant:
>> Place: Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel St.
Q: Some cities seem made for vampires, like cold rainy London or Seattle. What is the lure of Hawaii?
TT: My mother’s family was from the sleepless city of Seattle. I always feel a pull of longing to return there, maybe from parts of my blood, memories anew or simply for my love of travel. Hawaii was the blood and love of my father’s family, very different indeed. In primitive terms, a melting pot of so many people makes it easier to taste their variety.
N: It’s probably shocking for people to learn there are vampires living in Hawaii, and 15 of them are running for Miss Vamp Hawaii 2012. Hawaii is a friendly place where vampires like to roam and meet kindred spirits. The spiritual energy or the mana here appeals to vampires because of its healing effect on old souls. Vampires adapt to their adopted city. Here, they mirror the aloha spirit of warm, friendly people.
LS: The clear skies at night, stars glistening ever so bright and, most of all, the glow of La Luna’s beautiful reflection bouncing off the Pacific Ocean, creating a perfect setting for a seductive bite.
Q: Where does a vampire find appropriate clothing?
TT: Wherever I want. I may like to add a few unorthodox pieces every once in a century, but for the most part I merely keep a collection of garments that catch my eye and imagination. I can be quite indulgent at times.
N: Many of our lovely vampires, especially those involved in the pageant, are designers who love to sew. Several of them have been making their own dark garments for years, sewing fashionable period clothing, dresses, corsets, jackets, etc.
LS: I shop when I travel, especially in boutiques in Venice and London. When not traveling, I resort to a closet of 1980s clothing that I wore in a past life as a rock singer. Timeless staples are key because I’ve found fashion history often repeats itself.
Q: Obviously, you must reinvent your look every era to fit in among mortals, but what is your favorite period of dress?
TT: I do indeed dress for the times, so to speak, but not because I feel the need to fit in. The era of dress tends to reflect other important periods in history. I will not bore you with the details of my long life’s experience; however, I am partial to the Edwardian era, which is quite recent, for it’s a period of newfound wealth and indulgence for Americans, a peaceful and successful reign for England. There was quite a lot to observe in this time. Though, watching the world of man fight and struggle for living the way it wants is endlessly entertaining, it always reflects on the fashion of the times.
N: I love history and fashion of all kinds, but it would probably be a tie between the Romantic, or Gothic, period and the Victorian period. The Romantic period was a time of high fashion and literature. For me, fashion and literature work side by side. The rise of the gothic novel harked back to the medieval period. They were often set in ghastly castles with dungeons, secret vaults, dark corridors full of bats and the supernatural. I love to dress as characters found in the pages of works by Mary Shelley, Horace Walpole, Lord Bryon, Edgar Allen Poe and more. I love to sport a black cape, ruffled shirt and boots.
LS: My favorite period of dress is the 1940s, with its hats and elegant form-fitting, conservative yet sexy suits. I love this period. It was a great time to travel by train, sipping tea, waiting to get off at the next stop in a new city with the promise of a new crop of unsuspecting victims.
Q: What’s your best makeup tip?
TT: I have none. I was reborn this way. Perfect! But for a mortal? Sunscreen. Creating the perfect canvas can be just as important as what you put on it.
N: Always get a lot of rest because it helps to stay ageless, even though we’re surrounded by beaches and the dreadful sun. Our aim is to stay as pale as the moon, in contrast to the red on our lips, which isn’t always lipstick.
LS: Translucent powder, and a long-lasting gloss to mask traces of blood.
Q: Do you ever feel the desire to wear a sunny color like yellow or orange?
TT: I do at times. It brings a lot of attention with it as well. I once dressed in a lovely orange expression of one of my beloved animals, the fox, and garnered quite the reaction. And the idea of spinning around in a meadow of flowers in a bright yellow sundress almost seems daring at times!
N: Ha ha, are you kidding? My name suggests otherwise. I don’t own any yellow or orange attire. I wouldn’t be caught dead, or should I say undead, in anything resembling the sun. The only orange I allow near me and is not wearable, but edible, in the form of pumpkin pie.
LS: I never have the desire to wear a sunny color, like yellow or orange, which are only meant for safety in crossing streets or waving down rescuers when shipwrecked on an island. For this reason, I go out of my way to avoid crossing streets in heavy traffic and going on sailboats.
Q: Halloween night: Go as yourself or as a mortal?
TT: Halloween is a time for rest, I feel. I do not feel the need to dress as a mortal pretending to be a creature.
N: On Halloween night I’ll be at the ARTS at Marks Garage doing a fundraiser for Hawaii Academy of Performing Arts with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” as its theme. I’ll probably go as myself to blend in with the mortals that night. Hopefully, all the vampires will come out to protect me from the great pretenders.
LS: The darkness of Halloween puts me in a nihilistic mood to dress up for a time when Western civilization meets the end of the world. I love old Clint Eastwood movies and the idea of frontier world of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” meets “The Road Warrior.” Leather it up, belt it up, give me a shiny badge, stirrups, chaps and bandoliers. I love holsters. Happy Halloween night!
Images from last year’s Miss Vamp event can be viewed at Nadine Kam’s Fashion Tribe blog at bit.ly/Q9ilFx.
So you wanna be a vampire?
You don’t need a theatrical makeup kit to pull off a credible vampire look. Just as with daily wear makeup, simplicity can be more successful than overkill.
Heavy skin and eye makeup paired with dark lips can look too unnatural. No real vampire has to try this hard.
For quick results, try using BB cream one to two shades lighter than your skin color, and set it with a matching loose powder to mimic the pallor of the undead. Using gel eyeliner, create a fluid line with a wingtip at the outer corners. Finish with lip color in the season’s deep oxblood red.
When it comes to coloring eyes or lips, choose one as your focal point.
If you’re good at creating a smoky eye, you can opt for a more hollowed-out look, finishing with nude lipstick for a bloodless look.
Remember, a vampire’s survival depends on attraction, not scaring victims away.
——— Nadine Kam, Star-Advertiser