July 29 2014

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Pop Art And Plumage, Backstage at Jason Wu


When makeup artist Diane Kendal caught wind of Jason Wu’s Spring collaboration with legendary graffiti artist-turned-painter and designer KAWS, her path was clear. “It’s pop-art inspired,”Kendal said of the makeup, which centered around a super-saturated matte red lip. After skincare guru Sunday Riley administered mini facials on site using her Ceramic Slip cleanser and a combination of her Good Genes and Skin Adrenaline serums, Kendal spot-treated complexions with MAC Studio Finish Concealer, dotting its Gloss Texture along cheekbones to create contour with shine. Then came those mouths, which Kendal lined with MAC Lip Pencil in Redd before painting on a precise coating of its new-for-Spring lipstick in Scarlet Ibis. That extra vivid, powder-y quality came from a finger-pressing of MAC Pigment in Neon Orange—”it intensifies [the color].” Kendal eschewed mascara and instead brushed MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack onto the lash line to “define the eye without making it look made up.” “Mascara can look too normal,” Kendal advised. “This is a fresh, more modern approach.” Nails were a retro throwback, adhering to that common fifties practice of matching lips to tips with two coats of OPI’s Monsooner or Later, a bright crimson.

Coiffing star Odile Gilbert took a similar decade-spanning approach with hair, sculpting it into a Grace Kelly-like smooth quiff in front and a more “boyish,” messy updo in back. Prepping strands with Kérastase Double Force Controle Ultime hair spray, Gilbert created a ridge above the hairline before pinning up sections haphazardly in the back. “It’s grungy, but haute couture—the feathers make it a sophisticated kind of punk,” she said, weaving thin black quills through models’ tresses. As for colored feathers’ ubiquitous presence of late, Gilbert was quick to point out that the play for plumage all started at couture—with some of her own handiwork at Jean Paul Gautier and Alexis Mabille, no less.”It’s not something new,” she said. “It existed in the seventies. Everything in fashion recycles. This is just a new generation seeing it differently.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Backstage Reviews