Recently I was invited to a bloggers event in Amsterdam by the lovely Alex Cummins who is Junior Brand Manager for Illamasqua. I soon found out there were a lot of other great blogging ladies who were going to attend the presentation and I found myself anxiously looking forward to September 3rd. This was the day it was all going to happen; the presentation of their third Autumn/Winter collection to date: Theatre of the Nameless.
First let me give you some details about this great brand before I tell you about the collection and of course the event. Illamasqua is a British brand that launched in 2008 in Selfridges in London. It was founded byJulian Kynaston, who was just bored by the industry at that time as they were all just bringing out the same look – a nude lip and a smokey eye or a variation of it over and over again. He wanted to bring back the artistry in make up. He approached Alex Box - she was one of the make up artists that was really pushing the boundaries at the time. She was experimenting with make up – using it as an artform and she came in and is still with the brand as their creative director. She’s very hands on with all the products and she is the one that brings in the creative teams to work on everything. She works closely with them so she’s not just the face of the brand, a name they can drop to impress. The brand went global after 6 months, launching at Sephora and they soon became the fastest growing make-up brand in the past 20 years, which is, of course, incredible. Their mission is to provide high-performance, professional make-up to anyone who wants to self-express and accentuate their look beyond the norm. Illamasqua is for the bolder person hiding inside all of us. Their tagline after all is ‘Make Up for your Alter Ego’ and this shows in every product they’ve released so far.
The Theatre of the Nameless 2011 autumn/winter collection was heavily influenced by Anita Berber. Anita was a young firey red haired dancer, actress, writer, and prostitute from the 1920′s Berlin. A period in time when Berlin was rethinking art, politics and life itself. One of its inhabitants; Anita; was pushing it further than anyone else. She was the original wild child. She lived life fast, partied hard and people either loved or hated her for it. She could often be seen in hotel lobbies, nightclubs and casinos; she would walk around naked except for a sable fur, carrying a pet monkey and a silver brooch full of cocaine while flaunting her lesbian lovers—removing the barrier between performance and normal life. She died when she was only 29 from severe tuberculosis, a year after she had given up alcohol and cocaine, but she had already touched many lives on her way to that early grave. She was once the actress who had Leni Riefenstahl as her understudy and she had influenced Marlene Dietrich (one of her many lovers for a while) to wear a tuxedo, something women of that era wouldn’t dare to before. And now she has touched us all again through this beautiful, dark, sexy, new collection.
Stay tuned to Illamasqua: A Journey. You have two more adventures to follow in this beautiful tale.