Smoke And Shadows Backstage At Chanel
“It was clear that we would put the focus on the eyes,” Peter Philips said of the smoldering lids he conceived for the house’s Spring show yesterday, inspired by a Karl Lagerfeld sketch that was heavy on the smoke. The shadow Philips used backstage was more intricate than mere shades of layered obsidian pigments, though. “The color came from the black-white-green French garden that was re-created in the Grand Palais,” Philips, Chanel’s global creative director of makeup, told us. Hence the luminous, emerald-tinged onyx shade from the brand’s Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Regard Perle that he dragged up to the brow bone and underneath the lower lash line. The resulting “glow” was meant to mimic the black, gray, and white pearls in the presentation’s bounty of costume jewelry.
Chanel’s Le Crayon Kohl eyeliner pencil in black and a few lashings of its mascara added drama to the look, which was softened by clean skin highlighted with touches of Chanel’s Poudre Lumiere Perlée, a finishing powder with a touch of shimmer. A “dewy” lip came courtesy of Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, a rosy pink. To add a graphic, unexpected element to the whole thing—a Philips signature that we appreciate season in and season out—the face painter drew a thin, precise black line down the lengths of hairstylist Sam McKnight’s middle parts with L’Ecriture de Chanel, its best-selling liquid pen liner (supers like Stella Tennant and Carmen Kass got side parts while longtime Lagerfeld muse Inès de le Fressange’s fringe and bob were left to their own devices). It’s a technique we already saw once this season at L’Wren Scott, where Aaron De Mey dusted vivid shadows onto models’ scalps, but the precision of Philips’ stark line had an entirely different, polished effect. Manicures with Chanel’s shimmering asphalt polish, Black Pearl—the new-for-spring cult color that you likely already want to own—added to the intrigue, which, for the record, managed to hold our attention as all 80-plus models worked the room.