Model for the Day: The Non-Nude Photo Shoot with Victor

Photo Shoot with Photographer Victor Giarrusso
Hair: Elizabeth Peterson / Makeup: Tess Wheatley Cash of Blush

My parents will swear I never met a camera I didn’t like. They said I used to “turn it on” whenever there was a camera in the room, always dialing in the next pose. And for as long as I can remember, I was the girl who always toted a camera around documenting school trips, dances, pep rallies and without fail – cute boys, strangers included. But, I took a bit of a hiatus as a shutterbug right around the time my sister took to calling me “Zit City.” Thankfully, my pimples eventually became less debilitating right in time for my Glamour Shots debut at sweet sixteen, but I still recall the struggle of getting a decent senior portrait.

In college, I minored in photography and spent countless hours in the darkroom before digital photography took center stage. I still have a passion for taking portraits and documenting just about everything (“Hello, my name is Jess and I am an insta addict”) , but I prefer to focus on the backend – creating the feeling of a photograph through the clothes, which has become my medium of choice.

My friend Victor Giarrusso is a costumer on TV and film by day but spends every free hour of his time tracking down rare vintage cameras, taking portraits and perfecting the light in his at-home studio.

You might remember the “Winter Wonderland “photos he took of me the time we actually got snow or the summer shots of Dakota and I frolicking in Wallace Park. Eventually, Victor moved most of his photography indoors shooting stark and beautiful black and white images of young women, most frequently nudes.

He still asked that I shoot with him but I told him to get back to me when he got tired of shooting beautiful women in the flesh. Righhhht.

In time, he said he was getting a little burnt out on the same old, same old and wanted to do a vintage shoot reminiscent of some of his favorite Old Hollywood photographs.

Now, he was speaking my language.

The week of our slated shoot, I happened to have lunch with another talented friend in the film industry, Marthe Pineau. Marthe is a set decorator with an amazing eye for detail. Her Pinterest is beyond wonderful – brimming with inspiration, eye candy and her own brand of je ne sais quoi. From vintage workwear to Japanese art to vintage chintz and mosaics, it’s a beautiful life:

Martha also happens to live in an idyllic farm house full of antiques and tchotchke, the setting of a shoot I styled for Focus on the Coast magazine several years ago. Even though Martha and Victor had worked on the same film at least once before, they had never officially met so it was a great excuse to collaborate and make some new connections.

Tess Wheatley Cash and Elizabeth Peterson at Blush made me feel like a starlet from a bygone eara with glamorous waves and mink eyelashes for good measure. I pulled together some boudoir pieces – my favorite 1920’s hand-painted kimono and silk slips paired with my cozy oversized cashmere cardigan (my sleepwear of choice) along with an elegant look I wore at my first Gatsby Gala and a Marilyn Monroe-inspired vintage dress I hope to wear one of these days.

Joel and Dakota joined the fun while Marthe stepped in as part art director and part domestic goddess offering us a spot of tea, warm baked goods and a hearty stew to keep our circulation going (of course we picked one of the coldest Sundays of the winter to shoot).

Above and below are the results. I have a feeling Victor will be back to the nudes soon enough 😉
Happy Fashion Fix Friday!




Spring Fashion Preview returns with a Mad Men theme (in honor of the last season premiering April 5) Presented by Wilmington Dermatology Center

Wednesday April 22nd
@ Bakery 105 (105 Orange Street)

More details coming very soon…























Victor in the zone – captured by Joel Finsel.


Marthe setting the scene. How lucky are we to have a professional set decorator in our midst?


Can you spot Marthe ready and waiting with my coat to bundle up in?


Dakota decided Marthe’s door stop must be a toy just for her.


Thank you Marthe for your gracious hospitality. Such a lovely way to spend a Sunday!





Coming Soon!

Signed the lease and got the keys to the new Style Girl Vintage studio / showroom at 21 Market Street (second floor) in Downtown Wilmington. EXCITED!

So far, the space has gone from yellow to lavender (the same Amethyst Sky color we just had our house painted!) And, Rob Minton and his crew at The Minton Design & Construction Company have been hard at work transforming the space with new fixtures.

Grand Opening / Opening House
Wednesday April 1st
@ 21 Market Street (2nd floor)

And if you don’t live in Wilmington, don’t despair! I will be listing the majority of my collection on my Etsy shop (click HERE) very soon. I also have a rack of vintage at Aqua Fedora Lumina Station so please visit Jenna this weekend!



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