Consider 2019 the beginning of the end of Instagram-fuelled aesthetic perfection. First, Alessandro Michele proved he's as disruptive as ever with Gucci Beauty's new campaign. This was no ordinary lipstick launch: featuring punk singer Dani Miller and her twisted, gap-toothed smile, the campaign showed us what we've been craving for so long: the absolute beauty of imperfection. The antithesis of the precision of Kylie Jenner's lip kits, Gucci Beauty is a celebration of painting outside the lines, a swipe of high-shine '80s lipstick here, a dab of Prince-purple across the lid there.
Now, the makeup artist behind the campaign, Thomas de Kluyver, who has a client roster including Calvin Klein, Simone Rocha, Missoni and Kenzo, is launching a photo book that confirms the shift towards anti-beauty. All I Want To Be comprises entirely new work that champions "identity politics, representation, individual expression and other buzzwords that basically add up to people simply being people (in all their remarkableness)." From hyper-shimmering skin and egg yolk shades applied in disregard of the rules, to the awkward innocence of teens wearing false lashes that are just a little too big, every shot in the book is a rallying cry for filters to be removed and imperfections revered.
Collaborating with his favourite photographers – Zoe Ghertner, Sharna Osborne, Oliver Hadlee Pearch, Fumiko Imano, Lea Colombo and Harley Weir – poet Wilson Oryema and art director Ben Kelway, Thomas created the series of images over "six hyper active months" and "made an extra unordinary book together". What's more, Thomas, who is self-taught and honed his aesthetic by experimenting with friends as a teen on the '00s rave scene, is donating his share of the book proceeds to Mermaids, the charity and advocacy organisation supporting gender diverse and transgender youth in the UK.
Beauty is dead! Long live beauty!
Published by IDEA, Thomas de Kluyver's All I Want To Be, £45, is available from 16th May at Dover Street Market, in celebration of Photo London.