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July 28 2014

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The Bold And The Beautiful, Backstage At Kenzo

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More often than not this season, we have heard the words “She’s a strong woman” uttered backstage by hair and makeup pros to explain beauty looks from New York to Paris. To wit, Fall’s full, boyish brow has been everywhere, often complemented by contoured cheeks and sleek, barbershop coifs to complete the vision of a girl who embodies beauty because of her disregard for its conventions. And so it went at Kenzo, where makeup artist Tom Pecheux had two specific defiant muses in mind, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe. “Not so much their work, but the kind of women they are—powerful with a strong mind but at the same time sophisticated,” Pecheux explained, making a point to disregard the obvious references. (“We’re not doing unibrows,” he quipped.) He was, however, applying pigment and powders “not like makeup, but like an emotion.” Translation: blending everything with fingers instead of brushes, for a smudged, lived-in effect that included a wash of MAC Cream Colour Base in Khaki on lids and below the lower lash line and its Eye Pencil in Taupe, drawn in between individual lashes for definition without the use of mascara. Mouths were covered with MAC Lip Pencil in Bordeaux Line, a dark berry, which was jostled to blur any lines. “A perfect purple lip would translate with too much attitude,” Pecheux explained. “Here, it’s more about inner beauty.”

Wella global creative director Eugene Souleiman added Hailee Steinfeld to the inspirational mix. “They’re Amish/True Grit braids,” he said of the “ornate and arid” plaits he was creating from slicked-back sides, crossing one over the other and sewing (yes, sewing) them together below the napes of models’ necks before fastening them into a fluid loop with more needle-and-twine action. “I wanted to mix Frida Kahlo with Diego Rivera,” Souleiman said of the overall style, which included a mannish quiff above the hairline that was prepped with Wella Ocean Spritz for a matte texture and left hanging toward the back in a long tuft. For a finishing touch, a few girls had flower bouquets woven through their hair.

As models lined up for their first looks, we couldn’t help but notice that they all bore a striking resemblance to Arizona Muse, whose bushy arches and chiseled, androgynous features may as well have inspired the look. Muse didn’t need any help from pencils or powders, though, of course. ” I do them myself,” she revealed of her well-groomed brows, removing her headphones to chat. (On her iPod: Florence and the Machine’s Lungs.) The runway star did reveal that she too has struggled with over-plucking at one point in her life. “I recently saw a picture of myself when I was 14. It was awful!” She currently only plucks to clean up strays. Let that be lesson to the tweezer-happy among you.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri / GoRunway.com

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