THE ORIGINATION OF A CREATIVE CONCEPT
Work in progress: Original concept board for product development of this collection. The beauty in nature.
"When was the last time you walked down the street and saw someone who looked truly eccentric?"
We're so lucky that by not following trend forecasts we can create truly unique content... being a relatively small brand our development process is completely unique and allows us such a massive amount of flexibility with what and how we decide to launch products.
Take our latest collection 'Extinct' for example. Inspiration is always from real life experiences. I'd been travelling in Indonesia and staying by mangroves on a small island. At dusk there was an influx of dark green and red beetles... they were (terrifying!) beautiful and when the sun shone on them you could see the shimmer of colour on their backs. It was magic. So when I started the development stages of our Autumn/Winter concept myself and the head of product development chose to base the idea solely around the beauty of insects and the alluring spectrum of naturally occurring colours. The natural hues are often the hardest to replicate, but the most beautiful. Even photographing them you lost the depth of colour: the blue/pink iridescence of a dragonfly's wing... or a green/purple/black of a beetle's shell.
From this point we strengthen the concept by adding a relatable narrative. Every strong collection has an equally strong narrative, so we had decided that if we’re focussing on insects it would be a great idea to discuss the threat of extinction that surrounds many of the most beautiful bugs i was referencing. Extinction as a theme was perfect for us, unlike other beauty brands we aim for more than just a pretty campaign image. Solid concept.
Then, we decided we'd explore the concept of Extinction even further, what about the idea of respective subcultures, styles, trends and movements themselves becoming extinct? One of my friends had recently asked me, "when was the last time you walked down the street and saw someone who looked truly eccentric?" Largely speaking there is a diffusion of subcultures within the last couple of decades which has meant, no one looks turn-your-head different. One of our key brand ideologies is to celebrate difference but does it really exist anymore?
And with a large amount of the beauty industry adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to what is beautiful... the Kardashianisation of beauty... so what about diversity? When was the last time a subculture truly broke-out and looked "different"? We explored punk.
"We can see the parallels between the extinction of ideas with those of species. Culture in decline is marked by conformity of opinion. Just as monocultures destroy diversity. Illamasqua has always stood against the monoculture of the beauty industry."
Joe Corré - Illamasqua Chairman
Our art team then developed looks for the campaign photoshoot which meshed the two elements together. In one make up look we fused punk inspired dark eyeliner using trails of shapes like a line of ants...
The setting for the photoshoot was a derelict stately home filled with rubbish, and for the styling we showcased some original 1970's punk clothing from a capsule collection of our chairman Joe Corré's, the last time that they will be seen publicly before they are burned in a response to the country's year long 40th anniversary celebration of punk.