For this week’s inspiration post I thought I would feature a few of the recently released photos from Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Collection for Spring 2012. What I love about Illamasqua, aside from the fact that they make stunning nail polish of course, is their campaigns. They take makeup, something that can be critiqued as a way blend in, not offend, stay young, and tow the party line of how women are supposed to look – a real vehicle for conformity – and completely explode it. Not only do they make shocking and bizarre makeup colors (and I do want the metallic eyeshadow in the collection), but their ad campaigns are so overloaded on the products as to make it almost assaultive; even bordering on grotesque.
The whole campaign (of which these are just a few photos, there is also a video worth viewing) takes the dominant paradigm of femininity and beauty as perpetuated by the makeup industry and flips it violently on its head. The techno Burning Man cyber tribal aesthetic isn’t one that appeals to me personally, but I still find this campaign inspiring for how boundary pushing it is. Illamasqua generally releases beauty campaigns that come close to making me uncomfortable, they’re so challenging aesthetically, but they do it in a way that is so smart that I have nothing but complete respect for them. Not to mention that they manage to keep it fun, but never cross the line into mockery (I’m looking at you Italian Vogue).
All of these photos can be viewed larger by clicking on them, many more are on their Facebook including ones featuring men and an older woman, I chose these four photos because they were 1) my favorites and 2) the most overwhelming.