Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Club to Catwalk: Music and Makeup with Steve Strange!

Hello all,

Sorry for the quietness over the past week, I've been planning and sorting out lots of things so look out for some more posts.

The V&A are currently holding the 'Club to Catwalk' Exhibition that looks at how the London club scene in the eighties impacted and influenced fashion. It celebrates the iconic styles such as 'New Romantic'  and 'High Camp' with focus on musicians like Adam Ant. On Monday I got the chance to speak with Steve Strange from the band Visage, who was one of the founding fathers of the New Romantic movement.

Having looked at his music videos and performances, and also on the Visage album art, I could tell he was a very creative man. We spoke about a range of fashion, makeup and music topics and he is an incredibly interesting man. When asked if the concept of what comes first the fashion or the music his answer was certain. "Music comes first 100%. The music industry is a very visual industry so the relationship between music and fashion is natural. The video's and cover art will affect the fashion, but music is the important part."
Steve Strange is still hugely in the music business and mentioned Goldfrapp and The Hurt as bands he is currently listening to. I asked him if, like in the eighties, the clubbing and music scene are still as as much of an influence on fashion and he rightly pointed out Lady Gaga "Lady Gaga is mad, but her looks are very striking. It draws the attention and is a form of art to accompany the music she creates."

If you look at the Visage album art, they are incredibly visual and artistic. Steve Strange has worn makeup all his career and often in very theatrical manners. "My makeup artist (who I believe is called Lara) and I collaborate and work together to create very theatrical, photoshoot makeup. Wearing or buying makeup has never bothered me."

He has had tattooed, or permanent makeup, such as eyeliner in recent years and would definitely recommend it. "If you're in this business and are creative then I would definitely recommend it. It's so easy. But do your research. I had mine done by the top cosmetic permanent makeup artists in London, whose done the likes of J-Lo. I had mine done 5 years ago and it's still perfect."
Finally I asked him if he didn't have the successful musician that he is today, where would he be? I discovered that he has another impressive talent. "I would have been an artist. At art school I had a brilliant portfolio and my teacher told me I had exceptional talent. I was offered a place on Malcolm Maclaren (ex-husband of Vivienne Westwood who he co-founded the shop S.E.X with) I had no money, but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I got the train to London, not knowing for certain if I had the job, because how could I not?!"

My talk with Steve Strange was so interesting and I'd like to thank him for the opportunity.
 Make sure you check out the new Visage album 'Hearts and Knives' that's out now and pop down to the 'Club to Catwalk' Exhibition at the V&A to see amazing clubbing costumes and designers inspired by them!

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