Natasha Lawes is London based designer & artist, a theatrical hybrid in make-up, hair & tech-effect costume pieces.

Natasha Lawes is a London born and trained designer and artist. She trained at Chelsea Art College and The London College of Fashion and has since then worked as a make-up, hair and special FX designer for numerous advertising campaigns, film and beauty/fashion magazines, music videos and musicians.

Natasha also designs and makes tech-effect costume, creating everything from Giant angel wings, a 16th century Pompadour wig for AK damm Beer, a blossoming flower headdress for Beefeater Gin, to a futuristic inspired mask and post apocalyptic costume for musician Sylver Tongue.

Natasha has always worked with Swarovski Crystal and has made diamante and Pearl masks for Kylie Minogue, Lady Ga Ga, a crystal corset for Smirnoff, and created beautiful golden crystal pieces dripping off the shoulders of Anna Calvi.

Other Tech-Effect work examples include the ’Brintons Seasons Advertising Campaign’ where Natasha created costumes & headdresses out of Brintons carpet following in the footsteps of Vivienne Westwood who did the campaign over 10 years ago.

Natasha also takes inspiration from nature, making antlers and costume for Goldfrapp and Bat For Lashes, a butterfly mask for Kelis and Susie Bubble, also a beautiful winged headdress for Ladyhawke.

One of her recent projects was to make-up and create head pieces for 18 mannequins for Harvey Nichols and their Spring/Summer collection.

Natasha’s techniques are always innovative, using an array of materials and fabric, including leather and metal. She also uses unusual materials such as found objects, taxidermy, dried flower and leaves to create elaborate, innovative pieces.

INTERVIEW WITH NATASHA LAWES

1.  What sparked your interest in Make-Up, Hair & Tech-Effect Costume? 

My father was a scenic artist working for the theatre, English National Ballet & the Royal Opera House, so when I was a little girl, I was always surrounded with theatrical fabrics, haberdashery & props. One day he brought home some old school theatrical stage make-up, they looked like crayons. I had a great time putting it on, but it wasn’t so easy taking it off

2.  Tell me about working as a Fashion Make-Up & Hair Artist in London?

London is such a great place to be, very inspiring and amazing opportunities for work contacts. But there are a lot of people trying to do the same jobs so you really need to keep improving & promoting yourself

3.  How would you describe your make-up style?

The important thing when I do make-up, hair or tech-effect costume for a singer, performer or celebrity, is to help them bring out their own style. I create bold and beautiful looks, sometimes with an unusual twist. For make-up looks, I love a smoky, sultry cat’s eye with winged eyeliner and beautiful lush lashes. It is always flattering and makes a statement. I also like using things like Swarovski Gem stones to adorn the face. One of the most inspirational images for make-up for me is the Man-ray photo ‘Glass Tears’.

4.  How do you compare shooting in the studio to on location – any preference?

Working in a studio is much more of a controlled environment, so if you need to create & maintain a very technically challenging look, it’s always easier. On location you often have to deal with the wind ruining your hair, or the cold reddening the skin. But depending what the job is, you do get to see some amazing locations and I have no problem running after a model on a beach on a swimwear shoot in the Maldives with suntan lotion.

5.  What do you love the most about your job?

I love it when you get in a ‘creative zone’. Whether I’m in my studio by myself making a mask or headdress, or creating a make-up look, when it all comes together & everybody is happy with it, it is very enjoyable & therapeutic. I also get to work with amazing musicians, performers and actors that I have so much respect for, it is very inspiring.

6.  What are the top three things you like to do when you have free time?

I don’t have much free time, but when I do I like to watch films or theatre, go to art galleries (I highly recommend Yayoi Kusama at the Tate Modern at the moment), and go out for dinner.

7.  What is the most important factor in making a good image?

For me, the most important factor in making a good image is to create a strong, graphic composition, that tells a story in a nutshell. Make-up, hair, costume, photography and lighting all need to work together. I work in advertising where this is so important and I love album artwork and iconic images of musicians & artists.

8. Which fashion designer inspires you?

There are so many fashion designers that inspire me for different reasons and occasions. At the moment Iris Van Herpen really inspires me with form and structure (Bjork is dressed by her for her Biophilia Album). Basso And Brooke always inspire me with their amazing prints & colour.

9. Which make-up artist inspires you?

The make-up artist Serge Lutens continuously inspires me with his beautiful make-ups and elaborate, theatrical body artwork.

10. Which photographers inspire you:

Pierre et Gilles always inspire me as amazing all round images makers, the make-up, costume, the sets, the graphics, it’s like entering a magical world from another time gone by. Nick Knight is also inspirational by taking you into a surreal dimension with a sense of what the future may hold for us.  It’s all about story telling.

to see more of Natasha Lawes work, please visit  www.natashalawes.com

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