The seductive allure of luscious red-stained lips has always been hard to resist. This undeniable symbol of glamour and sex appeal -- whether puckered in mid-kiss, slightly parted or poised with a slender cigarette holder ala Audrey Hepburn -- has defined style and fashion trends for more than a century. Lipstick continues to be one of the main weapons women keep handy in their makeup arsenals for fashion emergencies.
Author and fashion innovator Alice Harris’ new photo book “Blow Me a Kiss" illustrates the power and fascination with lips of all shapes, sizes and poses with 80 color and black-and-white images spanning the last 100 years.
The history of lipstick and memorable lips can be traced to the heart-shaped "cupid's bow," popular with 1920s flappers, moving on to the sensual dark reds of the 1950s and continuing to the black and greys that defined the goth and grunge scene of the 1990s.
You'll see no puffy duck-faced selfies in these pages but rather a collection of classic works by acclaimed visual artists and photographers such as Andy Warhol, Man Ray, David LaChapelle, Lillian Bassman and Roy Lichtenstein that have graced the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, been exhibited in museums, on album covers and in unforgettable onscreen moments such as Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s prelude to a kiss.
Legendary lips in pop culture, including those of Mick Jagger and Tina Turner, are highlighted, as are those of Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities who will forever be linked to iconic moments when their famous smackers took center stage.
The New York City-based Harris has also authored books on the history of white T-shirts, blue jeans and wedding albums. Continuing her philanthropic tradition, all author royalties from “Blow Me a Kiss” are to be donated to charity.
Blow Me a Kiss
PowerHouse Books: 120 pp, $35Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times