June 9th, 2016
Last weekend the extravaganza of beauty and SFX that is IMATS rolled into London to much excitement. With shows around the world, MUAs know to look out for IMATS’ mix of beauty brands and SFX creations, education and interesting panels.
We swung by the show to see what was going on. On Saturday morning there was an option of a sculpting lesson with the newest Rodial make-up, or a mix of beauty and SFX from Rod Maxwell as he explained how to correct signs of ageing by first showing how the face changes when old age make-up is applied. Meanwhile on the Main Stage Danny Marie Elias teamed up with Kryolan to show how prosthetics don’t have to be off-limits when creating a high fashion look.
Taking to the Open Forum Stage, where the SFX stands were congregated, were the team behind American Horror Story in the middle of the day. They spoke of the challenges faced by the changing themes of the show, as well as demonstrating their signature slashed neck set-up. They were followed by Neill Gorton and Rebecca Butterworth, who were also teaming up to showcase how prosthetics and fashion make-up can be blended. They created a cracked effect on the face, filled with reflective gold paint, while Rebecca chose slightly ‘off’ colours to assemble her bold blue-eyed look. Over on the main stage the Bobbi Brown Pro team had a packed audience listening in on how to create flawless bridal looks.
We caught a glimpse of the Battle of the Brushes competition looks, themed around Four Decades of Star Wars, before taking our seats for Alex Box’s keynote performance/talk. Dressed in a t-shirt proclaiming ‘You Are Me’, Box created two highly abstract looks in silence while music played, culminating in dramatic splashes of paint and a celebration, before she sat down with Michael Key to discuss her latest project – The Alex Box of Cards.
Dashing quickly to the other end of the room, we caught some of the award-winning team behind TV’s biggest show, Game of Thrones. Make-up designer Jane Walker, hair designer Kevin Alexander and Candice Banks, as well as Barrie and Sarah Gower from prosthetics, spoke of the challenges asked of them as the show continues to grow, and how they collaborate and work between Belfast and West London.
Sunday brought more engaging opportunities – we particularly enjoyed the Road To Gold panel, featuring some of the most experienced names in the business. Awards are all well and good, but the appreciation and dedication to their craft was what we took away from the conversation with Leonard Engelman, Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou, Frances Hannon, Jan Sewell and Nick Dudman.
Mahealani Diego, on behalf of Royal & Langnickel brushes, was on hand to discuss the tools of the trade and how to best stock up your kit, while elsewhere Frederic Letailleur created two daring, high-fashion looks for YSL. Frances Hannon had a packed audience as she described her long and eclectic career which has seen become one of the world’s most-sought make-up designers.
From conceptual ideas to focused skills, we were delighted to catch up with Thomas Suprenant, who took to the stage to provide step-by-step advice on how to remove prosthetics smoothly, cleanly and professionally – an overlooked skill which is equally as important as application, especially for repetitive filming. Paul Merchant was on hand over on the Main Stage in the afternoon to showcase some of the latest trends and products from Kryolan, while history-making bodypainter Madelyn Greco talked competition strategy up in the Apex Room.
Finishing off the weekend there was a triumphant catwalk for the second part of the Battle of the Brushes, this time the Beauty/Fantasy category with the theme Carnival/Circus. We loved the contrasts in winner Clair Le Loup’s design. There was just time for one last panel – and what a panel! The Revenant’s Duncan Jarman was joined by some of his team, including Sunita Parmar and Tristan Versluis, to describe the challenges of working in the wilderness and the intense cold’s effect on the prosthetics.
Brands of every size, niche and calibre were there. Tools were well catered for thanks to Nanshy, Crown Brush, Royal & Langnickel and more. We spent a lot of time on the Mouldlife and PS Composites stands, checking out the demonstrations and the latest prosthetics products. MAC, Bobbi Brown, Lancôme, Urban Decay, Make Up Studio – beauty lovers were in heaven.
With something for everyone, the IMATs team deserve a hearty pat on the back for putting on such a rounded and varied show.