We were honoured to host Alex Box last night. As an artist who uses make-up, she is renowned for her experimental and often surreal beauty looks. Alex’s work continues to chart the correlation between art, science, nature and the magical.
Her editorial work has featured in a variety of publications including Vogue, Stylist, Numero, W, Another Magazine, Dazed & Confused and i-D. Celebrity clients have included Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Frank Ocean, Sienna Miller and Courtney Love. Working as make-up director for international fashion shows, Box has created some of the iconic looks seen in the catwalk collections by Gareth Pugh, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Chanel.
Warm, Northern and very funny, Alex had the room hanging on every word as she discussed her creative process, career and feelings about the make-up industry. For such a world-renowned talent, Alex was extremely down to earth and generously open about her life. Talking candidly about her life experiences of depression, motherhood and the catharsis of art, she explained how she works bare foot to feel more grounded.
One of the most interesting topics explored was how creativity comes from an out-of-body place, as if conduit energy passes through her while she works. This concept stuck a chord with many people in the audience as one person fainted. We think this might have been more to do with poor Tarah being unwell, but the timing was very spooky. Lots of energy in the room!
Talking about fashion, Alex was deep in her evaluation of the industry:
“Fashion is an industry that people can run to when escaping from a lot of pain. It can swallow you up and you need to always check yourself in the fashion world. Are you ok? Are you partying too much? On the one hand it’s everything, on the other hand, it’s only make-up.”
On spirituality and art:
“I do some spiritual healing work and often feel like I don’t always know what I’m doing when I work, I don’t want to know how I’ve created something, it just happens and it feels like magic. My assistants have to tell me how I create a look for a show because I am so in the zone when I work. For this reason I couldn’t do tutorials or step-by-step guides.”
On preparation for a job:
“I have a pact with myself whereby if I have a big idea and extensively prep for it, sometimes the look does not work on the face, then I won’t do it. The face and spirit repels and the model won’t believe in the make-up. I have a very 360 approach, the whole look has to be believed, and the model needs to feel it. I always think about the whole character or creation as a new person. What do they smell like? How do they feel? What have they been doing? ”
We were all so energized and thrilled by this inspiring talk. Lots of photos, hugs and positive feedback ensued before Alex was gifted some colorful eyeshadows and a promise that should she ever wish to come back, we would be delighted to host her again in any capacity.
Alex was very sweet and humble in her assertion that she could learn from every person in the room, in the same way we were learning from her. The humility and genuine love for her craft was so inspiring.
Catherine Scoble, Delamar tutor, BAFTA winning Film and TV make-up designer was a keen audience member, and she had the following to say about the talk:
“My knowledge of the fashion industry was that it wasn’t for me. But Alex is such an artist, as in a fine artist, and much more approachable than I could have expected for someone who has achieved her level of success. All the warmth and hugs were lovely.”
Leda Shawyer, Delamar Academy, Course Director:
To see Alex Box’s Performance, you must buy tickets on the Alex Box website http://thealexbox.com . This experience is difficult to describe and will be an audience watching Alex work on a model in a very creative, uncontrived and artistic way. Delamar students will receive 50% off the ticket with the code ALEX50.