With all the hype around Alexander Mcqueen's epic retrospective exhibition Savage Beauty, we weren't surprised when satellite odes started to pop up around London. But if, like us, you can't be bothered to queue for tickets or you just fancy sandwiching in an extra piece of couture between seeing James Phillips' McQueen play, then this latest offering is right up your street.
Warpaint: Alexander McQueen and Make-Up at the legendary London College Of Fashion is the first ever exhibition to explore McQueen's catwalk make-up. Unravelling the process and inspirations behind the exotic and fantastical collections through key beauty looks, the exhibition draws on McQueen's most trusted make-up artists and their now historical work.
From Val Garland to Peter Phillips and Sharon Dowsett, the beauty industry's experts take you behind-the-scenes revealing the devices and techniques used to realise McQueen's unique and highly conceptual vision. Think everything from feathers delicately tessellated around eyes to create an owl-like effect to hair moulded into two alien-esque ridges.
Displaying twenty two looks from thirteen collections, including 1997's La Poupee and McQueen's final collection Plato's Atlantis, and giving visitors the option to see themselves in a McQueen make-up look using Holition's specially created app, FACE, it's the most exciting exhibition to hit London, since, well…Savage Beauty.
So what do the experts have to say?
Val Garland -
‘Lee was obsessed with a skeletal kind of beauty, he had this ‘otherworldly’ idea of perfection that was skin-deep. Rather than add, he would take features away to make the bone structure more prominent.'
Sharon Dowsett -
‘To achieve the look for Untitled (Golden Shower, SS98) show, I made eyelashes from feathers and shaped them to resemble bat wings and fish fins. A team that worked on the Star Wars film was applying prosthetics to models’ eyebrows, creating a very mannequin-like look. Halfway through the show, water started dripping onto the catwalk to the tune of ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’. Lee wanted the models' make-up to look 'destroyed' - to look like their mascara had run. We were running around backstage adding black tears while the show went on.’
A must-see for beauty buffs and fashion obsessives everywhere, the exhibition is also free. Yup, you heard us, completely free. Sorry V&A, LCF gets our vote this time.
Warpaint: Alexander McQueen and Make-Up opens at London College Of Fashion's Fashion Space Gallery on 30th April - 7th August 2015. Entry is FREE!
By George Driver