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Celso, "a lady never reveals her age," makeup artist and performer, Chelsea
Her personal style: "Exuberant and embellished but always under control. Onstage, my outfits are flashy and meant to draw attention. During the day, I like to keep a low profile: clean lines, weather-appropriate, yet with a chic and streamlined aesthetic. I'm often in black and very fond of vintage-style hats."
Her inspirations: "I pull my inspiration from various sources and couldn't possibly name them all! Though I do have my favorite makeup artists and designers—most of whom predate the '90s—the advent of social-media marketing and networking has blurred the lines between originality and inspiration. Most of the time, they are completely overshadowed by social amnesia. With billboards and Internet ads showing the latest this or latest that, it's difficult to completely avoid outside influences creeping into your work. In the end, my personal muses inspire me to dive deeper into the depths of my own ideas and to lose any inhibitions about bringing them to life."
Favorite stores: "All of my stage costumes are handmade, so it's safe to say that I spend the majority of my time in the Garment District. Two stores I love to shop at are Halloween Adventure (104 Fourth Ave at 11th St; 212 673-4546, halloweenadventurenyc.com) and Gothic Renaissance (108 Fourth Ave between 11th and 12th Sts, 212-780-9558). Halloween Adventure's makeup counter has something for everyone, and Gothic Renaissance is simply a treasure trove of unique and fabulous pieces, often from local designers."
Her signature items: "Besides my geisha-like charms, I am known for elaborate makeup and ornamental outfits."
Favorite designers: "Garo Sparo's designs are as fabulous as they are original (garosparo.com). He's been a force to be reckoned with since 1995. Another local favorite is fellow performer Hector Perez, orchestrator of AlieNatioN (thealienation.com), whom I work alongside with at Webster Hall for Circus Saturdays. The work of these designers is part of what's keeping the pulse of New York City's originality alive."
How her style has evolved through the years: "The design of a costume, or a 'look,' is all relative to the occasion. Under the tutelage of Shane Savant (shanesavant.com), creative director of Webster Hall, my style has become much more refined, detail-oriented and more complex. He has played a key role in my development as an artist over the past few years. He's always pushing me to broaden my perspective and strengthen my skills in costume design, makeup artistry and as a performer. I am the Beatrix Kiddo to his Pai Mei, and I encourage any young artist to seek the guidance of those more knowledgeable around them. Students must have teachers and masters need apprentices; the synergy created in this relationship promotes the evolution of the arts."
SEE CELSO PERFORM!
Catch Celso voguing with the Casa De La Blanca performance group during BANZAI!!!!! Art and Performance Bash, on Saturday 28 at the Red Lotus Room (893 Bergen St between Classon and Franklin Aves, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; muffinheadland.com; 8pm–3am; advance $10, at the door $15).