On the eve of Myer's Spring/Summer 2010/11 Parade, we caught up with the divine Alex Box, Creative Director for cult British brand, Illamasqua. Box is the makeup maestro behind the two looks for tonight's parade — Avant Garde which will turn 10 models into "sumptuous golden goddesses" and Ready-to-Wear which is a "tailored tan" look. Here she talks makeup memories, Rankin and having no regrets.
BellaSugar: You were a fine artist, what inspired you to trade in canvas for the face and body?
Alex Box: It was an organic evolution, I began to use bodies and faces as sculpture and an element of performance in my art work. These images were very stylized and arresting and a fashion designer saw them and wanted to meet the makeup artist who transformed the models into these living art works, not knowing they were artwork and not editorial fashion images. I did a fashion show with him, doing my "art" on bodies and calling it makeup, thus began my first entrance into fashion: organic and by chance.
Bella: How did you come to be involved with Illamasqua?
AB: The company's Chairman/Founder Julian Kynaston contacted me through MySpace when the idea of Illamasqua was but a twinkle in his eye — he saw in me a kindred maverick spirit!
Keep reading . . .Bella: What’s next for the brand?
AB: World domination through imagination!
Bella: Tell us about the looks that you’re creating for Myer . . .
AB: They're my take on the tan: tailored and angular, modern and minimal, offset by avant-garde pure gold ecstasy.
Bella: What’s your favourite: doing a runway show or a magazine spread?
AB: Both! They both have a very different intensity to them. One's like a massive produced theatrical show and the other's like a privately executed play.
Bella: Where do you draw inspiration from?
AB: Everywhere! It's hard not to be overloaded with influence when you look at the world through my eyes. I devour illustration books of faces drawn by graffiti artists, go to galleries, collect old postcards of hand-painted film portrait posters, watch old films, collect scraps and swatches of fabric, vintage posters, go to the national history and science museums and buy catalogues of forgotten historical poetry, artefacts, tapestries and jewellery. I'm a cultural magpie and sketch ideas all the time. I draw inspiration from life and love and the people in it.
Bella: What’s your first memory of makeup?
AB: The door-to-door Avon lady used to come to my house as a child and she used to give me the miniature testers to keep. Every teddy I owned was duly plastered in Avon makeup!
Bella: Who are your beauty icons?
AB: I believe you are your own icon.
Bella: What was it like to work with Rankin?
Bella: What’s the most common beauty question you get asked?
AB: Who are your beauty icons!
Bella: Who would you most like to make-up?
AB: David Bowie.
Bella: What are your staple makeup items/tools?
AB: Imagination and Illamasqua brushes.
Bella: Complete these sentences:
Makeup is . . . escape.
Makeup should not . . . have any "should nots."
You should always . . . have courage in your convictions.
I wish I’d never . . . I never wish, "I'd wish I'd never."
Life is . . . as extraordinary or ordinary as you make it.