Elliott Sailors is Wolf + Panther’s kind of gal. You’ve seen her handsome mug on the blog before, she was the face of our Fourth of July article. She’s a strong and beautiful woman who’s been successfully modeling for years in womenswear. Now, in the next step of her career, Elliott has taken on modeling menswear. What we love about this, is that Elliott’s choice shows all of the divisions and boundaries that exist in fashion aren’t real. They are just things someone made up, got some others to agree to and then as time past the world starts relating to these opinions as law. A woman modeling menswear as a man? Why not? If she looks as good as one and the clothes look great then it’s a job well done.
Seizing an amazing opportunity to hang out with the super styled Elliott earlier this year, W + P not only had a great interview with her, but we also had a chance to do an exclusive photo shoot as a young bootlegger. Pulling from our menswear stock, Nicky Styles dressed Elliott in a slate grey/hunter green wool reproduction of a Prohibition era three piece suit. No young bootlegger would be complete with out vintage Italian brown leather boots, also from the W + P Vintage stock. W + P photographer Joe Goodman and hair and make-up artist AnaMarie Salamat helped to make this vintage photoshoot look on point.
W + P: What’s an appealing aspect of a woman wearing menswear for you? What do you like about putting on the suit and tailored pants?
For me I feel a lot more freedom in menswear. In womenswear, I like it and its pretty, but I like it when there is someone else there to make sure that its fitting me the right way, it’s moving the right way, like if there is a fan on the dress… There is a self-consciousness there. I mean there isn’t when modeling nude; my body is my body. So, in menswear there is an unlearning curve for me. There are certain stances that I can’t use in menswear that I would in womenswear… not that I can’t but they just don’t work as well. There is also a comfort now… before there were things I was asked to hide… how big my shoulders are, or how big my traps are, or contour how large my chin is. Where as now, I don’t feel the need to hide anything!
W + P: Do you think shooting menswear is helping you embrace some of the things you would try to hide when modeling womenswear?
Absolutely! There were when times when shooting womenswear I had thought I looked like a guy trying to look like a woman. So in seeing that I felt “shouldn’t I just look like a guy?”
W + P: Speaking of that how is the experience of seeing yourself in menswear as a woman who is actually married to a man?
I love it! It’s like getting to experience a whole other version of myself as a model. For so many years I have seen tons of other ways to recreate the way that I look in front of the camera; this is just a version that I haven’t explored. I haven’t been this excited about a new career move in, I don’t know how long! It’s really cool to be a part of something that is actually newer to fashion; a woman actually working as a male model is still a newer concept.
W + P: So why switch from what is obviously a super successful modeling career as traditional female model to working in menswear?
A number of things: I can work out the way I want to and not have to worry about being too muscular. Also, I don’t WANT to admit this, but I’m getting older. Most models are women with long hair and as a woman with long blonde hair the 18-24 year olds are gonna beat me out pretty much every time. What I like is, as a guy I can photograph about 10 years younger.
W + P: Do you prepare differently when you’re wearing menswear versus being photographed as a woman?
Totally! I didn’t even shave my legs today!! A lot more goes into preparing as a girl, for a photo shoot.
W+P: What’s the difference?
Well, with my hair being shorter, I don’t worry if I doing a treatment ahead of time in case they use too many heat products. On a day to day basis I don’t even think about my hair anymore, which is really nice. Though I do go every couple weeks to Decatur and Sons to get it buzzed.
W + P: What are the classic looks in menswear that you appreciate?
I completely love the whole Mad Men era. It think its really attractive. I am also a big fan of guys with the perfect stubble. The cowboy, rustic version of that is hot, or the gentlemen version with a suit and a button up. I think I also like it because its the thing I can’t do. I’m seen as a pretty boy.
W + P: What men in your life have great style?
My husband is definitely one of my favorite dressers in the world. He is the king of the whole vest look… with lots of three piece suits and the whole vest thing, sleeves rolled up… tie or not, he always looks good.
W + P: Would you share clothes with your husband?
I wear his jeans sometimes, he has more of a booty than I do. He is bigger than I am so his shirts don’t really fit me.
W + P: You said love the Mad Men era, is that your favorite design decade?
If I had to pick one for men’s and women’s fashion, the whole look including beauty, I would have to go 80′s.
It’s not so much the shoulder pads. I really like the natural eyebrows. I like how colorful it was, I like that men were still allowed to wear short shorts sometimes. The leather is my favorite part of the 80′s.
W+P: Leather on leather?
Yeah! I love rock music so the whole glam rock thing WORKS!
W+P: Do you listen to music before you prepare for a shoot? What do you need to get ready beforehand?
Not really, I don’t have a specific one thing that I listen too. It’s not a necessity. I do like to know what I am getting into. I like to know the mood, like when I did the photo shoot for Bacardi and the party was set in 1957, I literally just enrolled everyone to think we were shooting Mad Men for that day. It was pretty fun!
To get more of the amazingness that is Ms. Elliott Sailors like her Facebook page and follow her @elliottsailors on Twitter and Instagram. Her Throwback Thursdays are pretty dope.
The team we assembled for this shoot are always up to other cool things too. Find out what by following their Instagram’s @begborrowstealfilms (Joe Goodman, Photos) and @amsalamat (AnaMarie Salamat, Hair and Make Up).
And if one photo shoot isn’t enough and you’d like to see Nicky style Elliott as a woman for Cake Magazine then check this out.