This Halloween, Yaz XL transformed her muses into beasts of the deep inspired by bioluminescence Anglerfish, glowing crabs and jelly sharks
On a warm, winter All Hallows’ Eve, celestial sea creatures from the depths of designer Yaz Exall AKA Yaz XL’s imagination clambered their way from the “radioactive” shores of Formentera to The Standard Ibiza for a night of devilish Halloween debauchery.
Picture this: an apocalyptic beach brimming with mutated marine life that both XL and long-time friend and make-up artist Mathilda Mace reimagined into cunty beasts of the deep. Paying tribute to her obsession with nature’s perversions, the conventional beauty pariah curated individual looks that echoed the personalities of each of her muses. From the night’s set design to everyone’s fishy fashion including SFX by Mace, the space was transformed into XL’s rendition of a radioactive splurge.
“I actually revisited one of my second-year projects at CSM for this project,” she says about the idea behind the theme, a project that took several weeks of painstaking preparation. “When I was in Croatia conducting research, I was on the beach and had just watched the Chernobyl series and became obsessed with it. I think it’s because I love mutated things and the idea of metamorphosis. The disaster obviously mutated all the animals and marine life around it which was absolutely awful, but I was really morbidly infatuated with it. I’m just obsessed with the sea.”
Often improvising on instinct, for the make-up Mace fused silicone prosthetics and airbrush artistry with Yaz’s ghoulish aesthetic. “Halloween is like my Christmas,” XL says. She’s having the same brown blotches which are painted across her catsuit airbrushed onto her neck and face, her look reminiscent of a grungy Predator meets Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, topped off with a Britney crab claw headset. Amidst hordes of tinctures, tonics and tools that spill across the studio floor, Mace’s 3D body embellishments were the freakiest of all, including the addition of a third tit, murky water blisters, neon red sunburns and shark-like jelly fins. Just a normal day at the office.
Meanwhile, Mugler muse and songstress Eartheater made her Anglerfish transformation debut, surfacing from murky waters wearing one of XL’s ornate headpieces covered in a muddy lacquer. The creation was achieved by fraying cotton pads and gluing them onto her face topped with brown paint guised as sandy sludge – a testament to the designer’s obsession with putridity. Most intriguing of all was XL’s use of light and how that permeated each look, whether she was emulating Anglerfish bioluminescence or the glow of a chemical spill. She also used lightbulbs as installations offset with the use of white-out contacts and glow-in-the-dark face paints. “I’m a slag for a lightbulb,” she gushes, as she hacks away haphazardly at a 36-inch tangerine wig.
Attended by some of the most underground mythical creatives around, the night’s decor fed into the apocalyptic theme, complete with a prehistoric bone throne, glowing green vases that were dispersed about the interior and dangling dead branches gathered from around the island. Basically, the world is YAZ XL’s radioactive ocean and we’re just swimmin’ in it.