23 October 2009

Alex Box By Rankin - The Fallout

Several of us are nursing Champagne induced hangovers today - always the sign of a great night - and have been gossiping about the Alex Box by Rankin book and exhibition launch all morning.

Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo fame, Talita from theglossgoss, Helen from Helen and Sheenie's Nice Things, Ian from Diary of a Fashion Mister , Sophy Robson, the gorgeous Tricia Woolston, Johnny Blue Eyes, Anouck Lepere, Rankin, Tuli, Erin O Connor, George Lamb, Jefferson Hack, Gareth Pugh ... lots of familiar faces were present to witness Alex's finest moment - a collection of stunning images that she has been working on for over two years. I felt very priviledged to witness Alex's special moment... but I'll start at the beginning!

The plan was to leave at 6. . .

... the plan was to leave at 6. . .

... but girls being girls in an office full of make-up ...

... so at 7pm [!], Kate, Katie, Halimah and I hailed a cab and were whisked off to the gorgeous contemporary gallery/ studio space of the one and only Rankin , the newly built Annroy Gallery in Kentish Town.

As you walk up to the gallery, you are confronted with two images that seductively lure you in to the gallery - as it is all glass fronted, we could see that the crowd inside was already pretty big and it turns out we arrived about a minute after Alex has made her grand entrance!

She looked her usual kooky glam self in skintight Gareth Pugh and top hat and what I suspect were those headlining monochrome Chanel tights...

After grabbing a quick glass of champagne [which seemed to magically stay full for the next three hours....hmm] I managed to grab a few words with all the bloggers that I had invited to come along - everyone seemed genuinely thrilled to be there and be a part of Alex's triumphant night. I can't begin to comprehend how stressful the past few days must have been for Alex!

After about half an hour, Gareth Pugh made a grand entrance with a bunch of red balloons and after congratulating Alex on the exhibition, he handed the balloons over to her. She spent the rest of the night holding them so you always knew where she was!

I spent most of the night chilling with Gillian, Francesco and Mika from the Selfridges Oxford St counter and the Head Office staff - Julian, Illamasqua's Chairman and his PA Jo even made it down so it was lovely to see them, as well.

So a bit more about the images! To understand the full magnitude, I suggest you get down to the exhibition - which runs until 22nd December - or check out the book which is available to buy from today.

By using a variety of different mediums - including Illamasqua make-up, pigments, poster paint and post-its! - Alex pushes the boundaries of make-up application and conventional techniques and uses the face as a canvas with which to create innovative, thought provoking and sometimes radical art. No rules, so to speak.

You can really see Alex's art school [not make-up school!] trained obsessions about fantasy, science, environment, fashion and illustration jumping out at you from the canvases - it's powerful stuff. From strongly sculpted, directional images to impressionist-like images, there is something here that will make even the most jaded art critic go "wow!"

So what sort of gossip do I have for you? Well, there was some cracking outfits, funnily enough! There was also lots of directional make-up. Kate, Halimah and I rocked the new coloured lashes that are to be released on 31st October - in time for our birthday celebrations! We have three sets; one that is shot with purple 22, one that is shot with green [no. 23] and one that is shot with pink [no. 24] I had so many compliments on them [even some girls on the tube on the way home!] that I think these may soon replace number 19s as my favourite!

How cute did Katie look? Halimah created her look for the night and it looked stunning. I'll ask Halimah to do a look break down at some point!

Mika was modelling his new undercut...

I also saw a girl with a painted face mask and crystals around the edges which looked terrific - unfortunately I didn't take as many photos as I should have, something to do with the lack of canapes and abundance of champagne I am inclined to think!

Johnny Blue Eyes [from the House of Blue Eyes] turned up dressed as Jesus [!] with a full-on crown of thorns and stigmata!

I had a really, really great night and would like to thank Rankin and his team for pulling together and hosting a wonderful event.

Alex will be at the Illamasqua counter in Selfridges Oxford St on the 5th November to sign copies of Alex Box by Rankin.


  1. Was amazing to see you last night (even though it was only for a few min :( )
    Great event.. the space was amazing!! Not to mention the amazing work on display!

    Also LOVE your eyelashes..cant wait till they come out!! Im finally getting the hand of falsies!

  2. Great review - I love the photos.

    The event was brilliant and thankyou again for inviting me. I agree that anyone interested in buying the book should try to get over to the gallery and see the images there first.

    Totally agree about the lashes - they looked amazing!


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