This blog post is a little tongue in cheek, so please don’t get offended if I repeatedly state a sightly rude reflection on my pictures. You have been warned 🙂
Alison Dale is somewhat of a legend to me. For a start, she is a really sweet person, a little rude in a wonderfully naughty way, and someone who was on my radar for a long time.
Back in the early 2000s I was firmly in the closet. I’d made the decision to put aside the frocks and frills, to make an effort at expunging what I thought was an illness, an aberration.
I was still vaguely young at that point (for all you whippersnappers I was 31 at the turn of the century. Back when Y2K was a hilariously silly thing to worry about, and the internet was still delighted by the hamster dance. It was a stupider time….)
I found a link by accident to Pandora De’Pledge’s Image Works and was amazed at how beautiful the makeovers were. I didn’t know it then, but Alison was Pandora’s partner. Sadly Pandora passed away in 2009. Alison started doing the same service as Pandora and moved to Manchester (Bury), setting up a marvellous studio and facility for makeovers. This included a number of sets, copious costumes and wigs.
Anyway, back to 2000-ish. I was hurting as it was hard to put away the concept of a femm-me, and took solace in admiring the piccies that were circulating on the web then of Pandora’s makeovers. Part of me fancied doing it but I was way too insecure and not in myself to do it then.
Fast forward to 2014. I had been brewing the idea of resurrecting my femm side for a while and, in a moment of internal madness, I found a dressing service in London. I did two sessions there, including an out-and-about session, and loved the results. I’ll do another of these ‘why I love’ about that time sometime soon.
And then I found an advert for Image Works. Stunned, I checked the website and found it was the one and only Alison Dale. Cue me booking some sessions and heading ‘oop nooth’ a couple of times.
I had a riot. Alison was ultra friendly, we shared a lot of similar mind-states because we grew up at vaguely the same time (always rude to discuss a ladies’ age, so we’ll leave it at the fact that she looks at least fifteen years younger than me), lot of the same clothes-related fetishes. She was very adventurous and did some looks on me that kinda blew me away – before her I’d never tried a blonde wig, never worn a rubber catsuit and definitely never worn a spider-web mesh bodysuit. Some I’ll never do again – a mesh bodysuit may look ultra-sexy but 1: it’s bloody cold and 2: it rides up certain cracks a *lot*. Let’s just say it was amusingly uncomfortable and leave it at that….
Since then unfortunately Alison has stopped doing the makeovers – she suffered a flood at the studio not long after she had got everything right and the joy went out of it for her. That was a huge shame – not just for the selfish reason that I really enjoyed posing in a boudoir bedroom and a dungeon, but more from the perspective that she was really good at what she did.
But anyway, life is too short to be maudlin. Plus I was a little (cough, a *lot*) fatter then. But I still loved the pictures, and here’s a couple with some explanations attached.
Does my arse look big in this?
There are so many reasons I adore this photo. The shoes were insane – five inch heels, three inch platforms, open-toed. Classic drag-queen footwear. Beautiful hell-bunny party frock, red with black polka-dots, wide belt. But I just loved the framing of this shot – this could be any girl out in a party frock, having fun. And look what the heels do to my calf muscles. Hate to say it, and I’ll say it a lot, but there’s a lot of sexy-ness in the Alison Dale pictures. She knew how to frame a shot to make it very attractive to a certain type of person (yeah, me as well as many other drooling men). Granted, it’s also bloody confusing and mildly frustrated because, and again I’ll use this phrase a lot – I’d do her 🙂
Is it sexist when it’s you? Who cares, narcissism is fun.
The office trampoline/bicycle/inject sexist statement here
A little backstory on this one. I’ve spent my entire career in a very masculine-centric industry. I very rarely get to work with women, and when I do they are often in the office-temp role. I always noticed there was one girl in every office who took great care and attention to her look, always dressed beautifully and provocatively. After a while I realised it was just gender-politics at play, but it always gave me something to yearn after.
So, I wanted to re-create that girl. The one who wears a too-short dress, too much make-up. Not overly good at her job but wonderful to look at. And here it is. I loved this dress but it was *way* to big for me, so we had to pin it up at the back. Combined with shoes that frankly I couldn’t walk in without serious risk of breaking an ankle, and we got a lot of sexy poses of her sitting down (*cough*).
I loved the pictures to pieces. Probably my favourite look of the whole bunch, because I reckon I nailed the innocent/sexy look to a tee.
I’d love to do this kind of look again. Just seeing it again almost gives me the giggles. And yeah, I’d do her.
The first appearance of the fingerless lace gloves
Detecting a pattern yet? No?
Let me explain. Nigh on all of the looks I did with Alison Dale were girls that either myself or Alison Dale found attractive. Now that’s not such a bad thing, but it made the session very funny to try and do.
This look was one of Alison’s suggestions. I had a breastplate that was seriously uncomfortable to wear but allowed me to put on some of the more revealing costumes. This one worked a treat, the combination of the ‘wench’ outfit with an attitude and a, well, leather riding whip was deliciously naughty.
But it’s the gloves that did it for me. I grew up in the 80s and all the cool chicks wore them, and my entire internal definition of what makes a woman sexy is based on the mad heavy metal era of that time. Fingerless gloves are a big, big turn on.
So yeah, I’d do her. In a heartbeat.
So yeah, this.
‘Go down on all floors and crawl across the floor towards me’
So wrong, but so right. I was going for a ‘going out’ look here, lovely little floral LBD from Debenhams, red-head wig, good old-fashioned ‘f*ck-me’ black patent heels. And then we decided to do the ‘down on all floors’ look.
I’m not even going to pretend I don’t adore this photo. Again, it’s not so much an exercise in cross-dressing as it is dressing as the kind of woman I find attractive.
I’d do her. As long as she stayed down there of course.
The first tea-dress….
I so loved this frock. It was a floral tea-dress from Viv of Holloway, very expensive and didn’t really fit, but it was first time I’d tried on that kind of 1940s style fashion. We did it with the breastplate, which was uncomfy, but it generated a nice bit of cleavage and I really, really look like combination of my cousin and my sister, which was a serious mind*ck when I first saw her in the mirror at the studio. Took my breath away. Now I have *loads* of tea-dresses, but I have a soft spot for the first one I got to wear.
I’d do her but only after a long and shy courtship routine.
The American Swing-Queen
I actually have a blue version of this frock that I am going to take to my next Cindy session, so expect to see a more demure, house-wifey version of this Sarah sometime soon.
We used a real drag-queen style necklace to try and accentuate the boobage here, and I really love the effect it gave. Also I look a little like Jennifer Saunders in one of French and Saunder’s sketches (the one where they did ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’) which ticks one of my long term crushes nicely.
This was a proper swing-dress and I always had the fantasy of eventually going dancing in it. Which was always going to be a fantasy because I can hardly walk without tripping over my excess of leg, so dancing is never going to be elegant. Plus I’d need to find a 6ft6in male partner and they are very rare.
I’d be too shy to do her.
Oh yes, *that* rubber catsuit and knee-high leather boots.
Umm, yeah. This was Ali’s idea. It took us a good twenty minutes of silicon spray and a lot of grunting and squeezing to get my frame into that shape and that outfit. Throw in a pair of knee-high leather boots, the riding crop, and then pose the rubber-encased sex object on top of an S&M cage and et voila, either my worst nightmare or someone’s best fantasy.
Seriously though, this one was a little….odd. I can see the appeal of rubber but wow, it’s a lot of work. And even if you want to do something sexy after, how on earth do you go about it? After a while it feels like a second skin, one that you know will be an absolute chore to get off.
Still, Alison liked it.
I wouldn’t do her. I’m too scared.
Full-on sex object.
If you look closely I’m actually shackled to the wall on my left wrist.
Whilst this was undeniably fun I’m pretty sure this photo is aimed at a different audience than me. And yeah, it’s a nice little thrill to see this.
Dammit, I’d definitely do her. Repeatedly.
Hmm. The bedroom.
Well, we were starting to find our groove now. Stay-ups, lingerie, fingerless gloves, bedroom eyes. If I said I wasn’t actively flirting with the person behind the camera I’d be a bare-faced liar.
Would I do her? What do you think.
My other half’s priceless comment.
“Would you be offended if I said you look like a prostitute in Amsterdam waiting for her client?”
Err, no idea how to answer that one.
Pretty sure I can’t afford the charge of doing her.
And yet my other half had no problem with this…
I loved this uniform. It ticked all the sissy-style boxes and combined with knee-length leather boots and the dungeon set it was a lot of fun to do.
My other half had no problem with this look which raises some interesting questions.
I think my other half would do her.
And lastly, a little seriousness
Alison Dale was a riot to work with on these looks. For this one we did a combination of two wigs to give it some real volume, some sensible shoes (I cannot describe how comfortable these were. These are the kind of heels you can wear for hours and not get the crippling pain I normally get with heels), a lovely cute pink frock with the kind of collar I really go for, and some butterflies.
Chuck in some butt, a little sexy wiggle and some legs to die for and yes, this was the background image on my private machine for a long time. Until Cindy did her magic.
So that was the fun I had with Alison Dale. It was great, and there was a serious sexy edge to it that I found intriguing. All of the looks and poses were crafted especially to incite a certain way of thinking, which is why I have the urge to talk about ‘doing her’ with every photo. Except the last one.
And now consigned to history.
The main difference between the person I see in these photos, and the person I see in Cindy’s superb shots, is that the person Sarah has become is more confident and comfortable in her role. In some ways I think I was trying too hard with Alison to create the ultimate fantasy. And yeah, we kinda achieved that in some of the looks.
Dammit, I want to have sex with most of the old Sarahs. 🙂
Stay beautiful people, abnormal service will be resumed imminently….