In Their Shoes: T.U.K. at The Gypsy Bazaar

by April Carpena


The Gypsy Bazaar is a "travelling beauty marketplace" offering tantalizing beauty services ranging from henna tattoos and elaborate braided up-dos to make-up application and nail art. Who's the head gypsy behind The Gypsy Bazaar? T.U.K. fan Michelle B. and her exotic artistry. Under a custom-made tent fellow gypsy souls can luxuriate for a moment on teak benches and embellished cushions from India while Michelle free-hands intricate henna designs.

Mehndi is the art of applying henna dye to the skin in decorative patterns as temporary tattoos. Women in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other countries wear henna, also known as mehndi, for festive ceremonies. Michelle first fell in love with the art of henna while working at a salon with primarily Indian clientele. She knew her creativity was sparked and she practiced even when she was not working. Despite its exotic origins Michelle sees The Gypsy Bazaar as "something that will fit and interest everyone. I want to keep a mixture of things and welcome everyone." Michelle was a little shy about being photographed but she has no reason to be since her artistic talent shines with inspiration. 

Her creativity is nomadic and T.U.K. suits The Gypsy Bazaar's non-traditional view of beauty. The Gypsy Bazaar is an expression of Michelle's love of other cultures, rich colors and exotic beauty. Michelle explains, "I'm everywhere when it comes to inspiration and that's why I like the gypsy thing. It's an evolving type of creativity. It just happens. I can't pinpoint it. I think Marilyn Monroe is beautiful and I think Aishwarya Rai is beautiful. It's an evolving sort of presence. It's never the same, it's not constant. I wear nothing but black but I love color".

"I pull from different cultures, Thai, Indian, Latin things. It's a blend of everything that tugs at my creativity. Most of the hair stuff I get from runway or editorial. I think of it like muses. I like a lot of vintage stuff and movies. Anything Wes Anderson and Bollywood films inspire me", says Michelle. 

A peek at some of Michelle's inspirations:

In the near future The Gypsy Bazaar will be travelling to Houston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Miami or Boston and possibly Portland. What does Michelle see in The Gypsy Bazaar's not so distant future? "I see it reaching more and more gypsy souls across the U.S", she says.

Wondering where The Gypsy Bazaar will set up her tent next? Find out on her Instagram @TheGypsyBazaar.

Michelle at the Artists & Fleas in Los Angeles - a market for local craft and food vendors to display their wares every third weekend of the month.