In conjunction with Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, now showing at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the London College of Fashion is offering a satellite exhibit opening April 30.
LCF’s Warpaint: Alexander McQueen and Make-Up will showcase make-up looks from some of the fashion designer’s most notable catwalk collaborations with top make-up artists, including Val Garland, Peter Philips, Topolino and Sharon Dowsett. There will be 22 looks on display from 13 of McQueen’s collections, spanning 1997 to 2010.
The looks, showcased on silicone masks created by LCF’s prosthetics students, will be grouped into three themes: Amplified (facial features are obscured and exaggerated), Deviated (make-up goes beyond traditional areas, covering other parts of the body) and Stripped (a subtle make-up intensifies the meaning of the fashion collection).
“The building of the masks was a fairly lengthy and difficult process, with a lot of hurdles along the way, as things never really went to plan,” said LCF press officer Agatha Connolly, paraphrasing the students’ description of the process. “However, the experience was very insightful and allowed us to learn a lot more about our profession than we initially thought. We learned to stick to a very tight time scale and budget, and we hope that we have created a homage that the McQueen team will be proud of.
“We stippled them [the masks] with a few layers of colored silicone, and powdered to set. We then recreated the make-up looks using mostly make-up and a few extra tricks to get the most authentic look.”
The school has also collaborated with digital creative studio Holition to display make-ups that were created for runway showings of McQueen collections, including Untitled S/S 1998 and What a Merry Go Round A/W 2001, in which the looks evolved throughout the shows. As Holition’s marketing and PR consultant Fiona Spence explained, “Holition was commissioned to do a special projection mapping in the entrance space of the Fashion Space Gallery, which takes the form of a large hollow face which morphs into looks from McQueen’s catwalk shows. The face changes from an image of make-up running down the face to a face from McQueen’s What a Merry Go Round.”
And the exhibit’s attendees will be able to see what they would look like in a McQueen make-up by using one of the exhibit’s iPads to play with Holition’s Face app which, using face-tracking technology, will replicate the looks onto showgoers’ own images in the form of a real-time video feed.
The exhibition space, LCF’s Fashion Space Gallery at Oxford Circus, will also host master classes, talks and demonstrations in conjunction with the exhibit.
The exhibit will run April 30 through August 7, 2015, and admission is free. For a schedule of events and more information, visit fashionspacegallery.com.