07 October 2010

Box News Flash Special: Art of Darkness Interview

Wow, do we have a treat in store for you today! Creative Director Alex Box is back in town after hectic Paris and London fashion weeks [and a weekend trip to New York] so I pinned her down to speak AW10 Art of Darkness, emotional make-up at Gareth Pugh and why everyone should rock a blue lip ...

Welcome back from Paris, Alex! Let's start by talking Art of Darkness. How did the idea come about?

It began with the idea of alchemy, which is something that we have always had at the back of our mind at Illamasqua, the idea of creating and experimenting. The alchemical procedure of creating precious materials out of base materials is something that fascinates me. It's so medieval - we explored the idea of the Renaissance, Carravagio, Raphael, Titian etc. Those dark, alluring colours and the rich symbolism within the paintings were inspiring, the idea of a story within a story.

But how can that translate into a make-up collection visually?

That was the challenge. We discussed banquets and bringing characters together that represented different elements, emotions. We had a lot of fun with it. [our mood board below]

Which is your favourite Art of Darkness character?

Androgyny. He is the essence of Illamasqua; a creation as opposed to a definition.

How did you go about creating the skin effect on the Androgyny character?

Over a base of Rich Liquid Foundation, I sprinkled on Pure Pigment in 'Static' and then layered on different shades of greys. I then airbrushed over the top through lace, punched leather etc to create a variety of interesting shapes.

Why did you choose blue Lipstick for the Dark Angel? How do you think this expressed the personality of the Dark Angel?

The mouth is so sensual and blue has been misconstrued as being "gothy". It's not, it can be very beautiful. I think that it suited Dark Angel the most as her skin and eyes were monochrome and I wanted to inject some colour. With the pale base the lips just pop. It's angelic. Everyone needs to re-appropriate the blue. That's why we called it Disciple; it will have it's dedicated followers.

What has been the most exciting thing to come out of ths seasons run of Fashion Weeks?

Establishing what I call emotional make-up. It's about feeling make-up as opposed to just seeing it.
At Veronique Leroy in Paris, we used make-up to create beads of sweat to create a real sense of moment as opposed to it all being dissected at the end with the "lip of next season". I want my make-up to speak to people and to encourage emotional feeling by giving it an element of theatricality.

The beautiful face shading on Gareth Pugh from last season was very unique. How did Gareth and yourself identify this look and bring it to life?

Gareth has been looking at veils and what they do, what they respresent. We then worked with how to achieve that representation with make-up. It was all very film noir; the lashes are so thick [and upside down!] that they throw shadows over the cheeks like a canopy. Very beautiful.

Thanks Alex! For a look at Alex's ShowStudio collaboration with Nick Knight, click here. 


  1. Amazing. Great to hear from the horses mouth!

  2. Alex is absolutely revolutionary. VIVA!

  3. Hi! for days I've been trying to contact Illamasqua and all my e-mails fail :s whats happen? Can you put me in contact to Alex for bloggers? (my email lostinmoon@hotmail.com )
    thank you very much!


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