Givenchy had Audrey Hepburn. Warhol had Edie Sedgwick. Mapplethorpe had Patti Smith. Behind nearly every great artist—designer, painter, musician—there is a woman with a certain je ne sais quoi inspiring them to aim higher and create boundary-breaking, indelible work. To celebrate the launch of Estée Lauder’s first major fragrance in over a decade—the equally feminine (hello, jasmine…) and masculine (greetings, patchouli!) Modern Muse—we asked one of our personal-style heroes, stylist and makeup artist Stacey Nishimoto, to get into character. Well, actually, we asked her to play dress up and embody three of her all-time favorite muses via images and text, to which she replied, “So…what I do every day?” Some background on Ms. Nishimoto: an hour spent with the Los Angeleno, whether in person or through her Instagram feed, is like sitting in on a lecture at FIT—girl knows her fashion history. She also knows her way around a vintage store, is a bona fide beauty guru, and is a single, working mom to boot. When we think ‘modern,’ when we think ‘duality,’ we think Stacey, with two-year-old Gus in one arm and an iPhone in the other, snapping magazine-worthy selfies before heading to the office in a 1980s leather bustier. Take a page from her playbook: dress up, even for the grocery store. Flag a reference picture. Go for it with the liquid eyeliner. Use what you have! Oh, but—maybe pick up a new scent. This one is really, really good. Trust us.
Who: Bianca Jagger
Why: The dark-haired beauty with cheekbones that could cut glass. A stunning Nicaraguan import who was also one of best-dressed women floating around Studio 54. Bianca Jagger was high fashion. A beautiful creature in beautiful clothing. Her wardrobe—silk, feathers, gloves, veiled hats—is literally my heaven. Pure glamour, pure rock ‘n roll. Her bronzed skin and heavy onyx hair had a gentle roll in it, which made me always want to use hot rollers and sculpt my cheeks with powder. My small collection of Chloé blouses reminds me of Bianca. In fact, every time I wear silk and have extra-shiny hair, I feel expensive. I feel like Bianca.
Bianca’s good taste carried over into her makeup: shiny red lips, heavy velvet lashes, perfectly blended kohl, and airbrushed eye shadow. Girl knew how to party and she knew how to be seen. But what is so badass about this elegant babe is that in the past 30 years, she’s devoted herself to humanitarian causes and earned awards for her international relief work. Why else do I admire her? She is no stranger to a difficult life, having been raised by a single parent with two other siblings. Sounds like someone I know: me!
A Mick Jagger slayer, humanitarian-award-wining, veiled-hat-pimpin' mother with bronzed, high cheek bones. The ultimate babe. The ultimate muse.
How I Do Bianca: I throw hot rollers in my hair and fill in my brows with the Soft Blonde Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, for a full, exotic look. To get sexy, deep eyes, I blend Cyber Copper Gelée Powder Eye Shadow on my top lash line, into the outer corners of both eyes. I wear a triple dose of Sumptuous Extreme mascara, to the point of a slightly ‘crunchy’ look. Perfect.
Stacey Nishimoto photographed by herself in Los Angeles. Part 1 of a 3 part collaboration with Estée Lauder Modern Muse.