August 31 2014

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Beautiful Conformity Backstage at Lanvin


This weekend proved to be an exciting one at the Paris shows, chock-full of beauty heroics that started at Lanvin on Friday, where black wigs à la Uma Thurman’s mop top in Pulp Fiction took center stage. “The thing about a wig is that it completely transforms the girl. It’s a total fantasy,” hairstylist Guido Palau posited backstage. “They look like tough, dominatrix-y bourgeois Frenchwomen, with a nice little cartoonishness to it.” Palau talked with Alber Elbaz about a host of inspirations for the show’s coifs, including manga, but ultimately waited on the word from the designer to proceed. “Alber is brave, because he said, Let’s just go for it.” The rationale behind his decision? “We live in a time when everyone really wants to look alike, so in that sense I am just holding up a mirror,” Elbaz told before the show. To give each girl a uniform, glossy look, Palau simply steamed the $39 vinyl wigs he hand-carried to Paris from Ricky’s in New York City. (If you want to get a similar sleekness at home, he recommends a few spritzes of Redken’s Vinyl Glam for extra sheen). Makeup artist Pat McGrath echoed Elbaz’s desire for homogeny with a strong eye and a beige lip. “It’s all about them looking the same, very malachite,” McGrath said, creating a base with CoverGirl Simply Ageless foundation and then applying a custom-made nude lip and a theatrical “aged gold” eye, which she achieved using Cover Girl LiquidLine Blast black eyeliner and a mix of metallic pigments for “flashes of eyes” as the girls walked the runway. Conformity never looked so good.

Photo: Greg Kessler /

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