Society as we view it now is often hyper-sensitive to world issues because of the internet, the ease of technology and the rise in platforms. Back in the punk London of 1977 however, it was a different story. The freaks and geeks united on the street, fought tirelessly within their lyrics, their poetry and their fashion against everything they hated about the world. I wanted to revisit that today, in a shoot using Illamasqua’s new Extinct collection.
When thinking about self expression, you can create looks that command attention and challenge the unexpected, without straying far from what you perceive as the way you view yourself. You can mess with colours, with textures, and you can make a statement, by being one. The punks and skins of 70s London certainly did. Joe Strummer used to head in to the markets of Camden, buy the grungiest shirt he could find, and then do whatever he could do it to make it unique. He’d go into garages and ask them to dowse it in gross, thick oil, and chop chunks out of it. He’d paint his shirts with fake red blood splatters. He did this to make people talk about what he wanted them to, to express himself. Makeup is one of the most unisex, fearless ways of doing that.
Inspired by both the ferocious yet beautiful nature of punk, as well as the natural beauty of insects that live on this planet, Illamasqua head back to their gutsy roots, and encourage makeup lovers to embrace their own perception of beauty, empowering themselves in the process. I just got back from my first time at Berlin Pride, where I saw both men and women actively seize their voice within their makeup – and I believe this notion to be completely genderless. As a society now, we’re probably a bit more tolerant than those back in the 70s, and our diverse fashion/music culture represents that.
No longer does it need to be constrained to hashtags and armchair activism, but back out on the streets. Of course this still happens, but we as a community of equality, fair believing people need to never forget this. Signing petitions, painting statement makeup looks, writing poems and making t shirts/jackets/you name it with the cause we believe in will never end the fight. And we absolutely have to keep fighting for as long as we live, because the fire in our hearts for our beliefs is too strong to end.
Be that person who people stare at. Open up their minds and challenge normality. Never stop being you. I don’t think punk is dead, but I think we must never forget to keep it alive.
In these photographs, shot specifically to replicate Britain in 1977, i’m wearing Illamasqua’s Demise Palette on my eyes, as well as Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish in shade Remains. I’m also rockin’ in the photos with the purple lip – Illamasqua’s Matte Lip Liquid in Exoskeleton. In the photos with the green lip, i’ve used the Illamasqua Gel Liner in shade Quixotic. Never be afraid to use makeup in new and bold ways – and however you see fit.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the Extinct Collection.
This post was sponsored by Illamasqua.