Meet Alice Hurel, The Model Boasting The Beauty Of Baldness And Alopecia
In the series titled ‘Alice’ I’ve focused my creative eye on retelling the story of one individual’s identity: Alice Hurel. Having worked with Alice multiple times prior to the creation of this body of work, there was a deeper understanding between myself and my subject.
Over the months prior to the shoot I learnt about Alice and how she deals with her condition, Alopecia. Themes of contradiction have always been reoccurring ones within my work so it was of no surprise that Alice’s story inspired me to create; beauty rising from what could have been tragedy, and challenging the expected.
The condition of Alopecia, which causes an individual to experience an abrupt loss of hair with different levels of intensity, was something fairly unfamiliar to me prior to our encounter. However, ‘Alice’ is less about Alopecia itself, and instead focuses on the model’s experience. In most societies, hair, especially long hair, is seen as an important factor of establishing the female being. The lack of it could easily cause someone to break in confidence, or try to hide a side of themselves with wigs and accessories. The way Alice carried herself so confidently; strong, gentle, and proud felt very special
Another important factor was Alice’s bond with her sphynx cat, Montgomery. A very specific breed of cats, often used to declare a certain status. In this case, however, it appeared as a true companion and perfect extension of the model’s personality, rather than a statement.
Bald women are often underrepresented, and if represented at all mainly come with a statement attached to it. The visuals that come to mind are dark, aggressive, edgy, mysterious. To the other extreme they can become the subject of victimisation. Often seen in a hard, contrasted or dark light, or with a heavy creative concept, very little representation appears to focus on the people and their complex nature. With this series, I take the focus away from this approach and offer something new.
The challenge was to create an organic body of work that looks and feels natural, where the act of using a bald woman becomes unnoticed and the individual becomes primary. The atmosphere created follows the subject’s gentle, intriguing and feminine nature. These elements are mirrored by the minimal usage of styling: pearls, fine jewellery, soft fabrics all used to reinforce the model’s subtle elegance.
The feline and its regal associations, are both strongly complimenting the subject’s delicacy and elevating her dignity. The movements are abstract and smooth, focused on specific details that draw the viewer in and entice them into wanting to see more.
Follow Alice on Instagram at @alicehurel
Jewellery by MIRA