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Punk Band Injects "Shock Value" Into M.A.C. Beauty Event

M.A.C. Cosmetics hosted a party at Milk Studios in Los Angeles that drew the inspiration for its unusual look and feel from a collaboration with the cult punk band the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. The annual event, also held in New York, is called Pro-to-Pro, a designated networking event for professional makeup artists. M.A.C. creative director James Gager wanted something new and inspiring, instead of the standard beauty launch with pretty cocktail party.

M.A.C. director of artist relations Christian Mitchell and administrator of global event strategy Yanique Shim took that direction and moved to oversee the project. The group found Kembra Pfahler of Karen Black, who performs covered in body paint and a giant teased black wig, to get involved. Stoelt Productions, led by Matt Stoelt, was on board for the set building, fabrication, and technical production.

Black, who creates creepy little dolls as art pieces, painted and decked out models the same way for live visual drama at the event. The actual dolls, known as “The Horrors,” were given away in a raffle.

“It definitely is not the typical pretty-faced creatives we're all used to and definitely adds a shock value to the project,” said Jennifer Truc of Stoelt Productions.

After the decor and set pieces—lemonade and cupcake stands, makeup stations, high-chairs, stage decks, and large props—arrived from New York, a team of set builders at the Stoelt studio painted and rebuilt them on site in L.A.


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