This series brings together images of models wearing clothes already used by others before them. In this group it's a rather well stained set of painter's overalls belonging to the Photographer Gilles Crofta.
I can only identify this model as 'Chris'. I rather like his softly contoured bulkiness and young jock look. There's a distinctly unkempt look about his facial and pubic hair that certainly fits the workman image, nice hairy forearms too, but it does make the total absence of chest hair seem a little odd. I wonder who got the job of applying those pec smears? At this stage, despite the black oil stains, the overalls look as though they might be freshly laundered. But judging by Chris's oily body they are going to get pretty dirty inside if the shoot gets hot. There's lot of scope here for identifying paint spots for comparison with other pictures for those who doubt the re-use of this item of clothing.
Nick Hird (Hirdy)
Nick Hird's face and slender, tightly muscled body don't quite match the casual, macho image of the worker's overalls but the photography itself is quite interesting. 'Hirdy' has the air of a long-suffering renaissance martyr, an impression reinforced by the bruise-like mark on his forehead. He stands with hands overhead, body unprotected, resigned to his fate (as a canvass for greasy hands and a clothes horse for dirty gear). His finely etched torso seems to grow out of the rolled-down overall top, which has taken on the appearance of an improvised loin cloth, as traditionally worn by your actual mediaeval martyr on his last public appearance. The greasy smear across his lower abdomen makes you wish you were here earlier to witness it's application.
Stuart Reardon, moonlighting from his rugby career, certainly cuts the manly mustard, facially and physique-wise but looks pretty puzzled by the spade. Admittedly, the digging implement, paint spots and oil stains are a confusing collection, covering several, quite different types of manual labour. However, he's clearly not fazed by going without any underwear, which is what really counts at the end of the day. I'm thinking of a career in abdomen smearing.
Dwayne K gets full marks for offering the most sweaty-looking, finger-marked body of them all, but he doesn't seem too thrilled at having to clad it in overalls in an even grungier state. Notice how he tries to keep the contaminated cloth away from his most prized possession, no doubt dreading the order to place his hands on his head.
Craig Bramley must have been the apple of his mother's eye, but I'm not sure she'd approve of the tattoos, or the near-explicit exposure! Craig seems to be quite comfortable with the dirtying up process and this is the best picture of the lot for my money. We never get to see these models wearing the top half of the overalls, but here it looks as though they are of a bib and brace design, which is less sexy than the chest-revealing-when-open, 'all-in-one' style. Of course you may prefer to imagine the photographer has just shredded the garment on Craig's body. His face does seem like he's determined to retain some dignity in the face of humiliation.
Danny Reeve is having none of this erotic smut, he's keeping his Calvin's on thank you very much. This ensures he keeps his gear unsullied and the overalls are hoisted up at a respectable height. You can forget about those random oily body smears too. It shows a nice male modesty, getting into character. The baby oil is less helpful for this manly image, it doesn't really pass as genuine sweat and here's another man who doesn't look as though he really knows what to do with that shovel. I'm not quite sure what to make of the chest stubble, Danny's slab-like pecs probably looked great when they were shaved a few days ago and they'll probably look terrific again with a bit more grow-back showing, but they don't look very workman-like at this point. I can imagine the photographer getting quite cross about him turning up in this state, which might explain Mr Reeve's sulky expression.
No-one wants to be the last in line and the look on Aaron Mack's face and the way he's holding the overalls away from his body suggests he's also twigged that their recent history is suspect and they ain't that clean any more. Perhaps he's also being modest about showing his pubes and is getting a tongue-lashing for his trouble (so to speak). I love to see a handsome man discomforted.
My thanks to Gilles Crofta and his delightful models
(and apologies for impugning their cleanliness!)
You can find a number of sites for Gilles using any search engine, Crofta's studio site has a gallery and Gilles on Facebook is quite interesting too, there's a plentiful selection of his images on-line if you simply do an image search.
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