When shooting together for the April issue of Dazed & Confused, Senior Fashion Editor, Katie Shillingford sat down with the Creative Director of Illamasqua and renowned make-up artist Alex Box to talk about the realities and role of make-up in the fashion industry today. The professional beauty brand Illamasqua was used throughout the shoot, and today they're launching their new competition for a chance to win prizes including a £10,000 cash, a week-long internship on a British film, a two-week internship at Illamasqua HQ, and a day on a Dazed & Confused shoot.
David Horne, Illamasqua's Director of Product Development and School of Make-up and Art, said of the competition: "The Distinction in Makeup Artistry awards is a spotlight for talent to command attention and celebrate creativity and diversity of expression with make- up as the medium. Construction, deconstruction, symmetry and flamboyance all welcome visitors in this arena of explosive colour and style. Deviate and show us your difference".
Katie Shillingford: What was the first thing that triggered you to think about becoming a make-up artist?
Alex Box: I became a makeup artist by definition from others. My art work was on the face and body and up to the point when some one called it makeup it was art and after that point it became makeup, now it is seen as both. Definition is in the eye of the beholders.
Katie Shillingford: Who are your role models?
Alex Box: I’d say virtues are my role models, attributes of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
Katie Shillingford: How did you come up with the ideas for our recent Haute Couture story?
Alex Box: On the spot, the dresses were arriving and leaving on the hour so it was fast and furious. I react directly with the narrative of the out fit, how it makes me feel,what it makes me see,how the girl moves in it . I think about what would complete and complement exaggerate and transform the character. I also feel no mater what you do you must never lose 'the girl' sometimes nothing is as important as something, it’s a balance.
Katie Shillingford: People often speculate that Couture is a dying breed, what are your thoughts on the exclusive world?
Alex Box: I think I would be sad for couture to end because there needs to be extremes of quality and craft for people to understand what labourer and beautifully crafted pieces can look and feel like. In an age of transparency people want to know and see everything, then be moan the fact they are bored and there’s no mystery and magic left, exclusivity has never been more craved.
Katie Shillingford: Which is your favourite designer/piece from the looks that we shot and why?
Alex Box: There were quite a few things I would have loved to wear, but the Givenchy with its intricate samurai tooling and punches of neon against diaphanous cream chiffon were both beautiful and unexpected combinations. Valentino’s beautiful jellyfish dress was just so beautiful when it moved, like it encased the girl in it own atmosphere of beauty and ethereal light, and the Gaultier, because I just plain wanted it!
Katie Shillingford: What advice would you give to aspiring make-up artists who are entering the Illamasqua competition?
Alex Box: Trust the source, use the force. Have your own voice.
Katie Shillingford: Obviously you're looking for both technique and unique ideas/originality in the winning make-up artist but if you had to choose one, which would it be?
Alex Box: Image and taste and selection is purely subjective, what attracts one will repel another. I look forward to seeing peoples work and will pick with an open mind and a pure heart.i have no instructions other than throw away instructions.
Katie Shillingford: How do you think the industry has changed since you started and how do you think this effects up and coming make-up artists?
Alex Box: We live in an immediate transparent world of connection and social awareness, when I started you only knew what you and your friends and people credited in magazines were doing, there was fierce competitiveness but unless you went looking down at the bottom pages for credits or chatted with work friends and that was where the awareness ended.
Now I feel because of our culture, young up and coming people are bombarded with where and who and how their peers are doing. It’s an enormous pressure knowing that not only hundreds of thousands of people in your country want to do the same job, but you’re connected to the 'world 'and they’re longing for the same things. The pressure they have 'made it' by the time you’re in your 20s is a ridiculous pressure. When I started, an older makeup artist told me it takes at least seven to eight years to get any where in the business and it is a stayers race, it’s tough and there are casualty's and so many people will drop away... she was right. Life has got so fast and immediate people expect success to come that instantly too... it's a much slower creature. If you can take all this on bored and still hold onto the saddle straps you have a better chance of succeeding.
Exclusive prices include £10,000 in cash, a week's internship on a British film, a day on a Dazed & Confused shoot and a two-week internship at Illamasqua HQ. Visit www.illamasqua.com/professional to register as an Illamasqua Professional before 31st July 2011 to be eligible.
Photography Roe Ethridge
Styling Katie Shillingford
Hair Christian Eberhard at Julian Watson
Make-up Alex Box at D+V using Illamasqua
Models Juju at Nathalie Paris, Zuzanna at Next
Photographic Assistants David Marvier, Sylvian Serre
Styling Assistant Nell Kalonji
Make-up Assistant Louise Bryan
Digital Operator Benoit Soualle at Neon Capture
Production Alexis Bensa at Moonwalk Films