August 22 2014

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Sophia Loren And A “Crowning” Achievement In Beauty, Backstage At Dolce & Gabbana


There are few designers who are as unwaveringly loyal to their core house codes as Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and like clockwork, their twist on classic Italian glamour was very much on view for Fall. “They don’t need to reinvent [their woman] every season, because they really understand how a woman likes to look,” Guido Palau said backstage. “They bring back all the little tricks to beauty that in years gone by we’ve thrown away,” he continued, working on a slightly deconstructed updo.

“It’s all things that really flatter,” Palau explained of the style’s subtleties while prepping hair with Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam mousse and its Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray, which he spritzed onto the crown before adding a bit of height. Creating deliberately short center parts, Palau gathered two front sections that he crisscrossed in the back of the head as he swept up lengths into something of a free-form twist-turned-chignon. “It’s as if they did it themselves,” he suggested of the look, which was kept deliberately flat to create a specific silhouette. “If you have volume up top and with the bun, they fight each other,” Palau pointed out, affixing eighteen bejeweled, Byzantine-inspired crowns to the heads of select models, including Kate King, Bette Franke, Karlie Kloss, and Jasmine Tookes.

Pat McGrath got the same brief as Palau—which included nods to the gilded mosaic tiles in Sicily’s Cathedral of Monreale that were reproduced on a series of dresses—as well as the mention of Mr. Dolce and Mr. Gabbana’s “favorite” actress, Sophia Loren. The beauty icon’s face was pinned up all over the makeup area, her signature crimson lips and black cat-eye serving as the ultimate inspiration for McGrath’s own interpretation of the classic combo. “It’s quite different because there’s no highlight, no hint of blush, no contour, but it’s still very effective,” the makeup artist explained of complexions that were kept purposefully powdered and velvety with Dolce & Gabbana’s new Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation, rather than kissed with hints of pink and apricot blush, as is often customary here. Coating the inner rims of eyes with its Crayon Intense Eyeliner in Black, before drawing on thick flicks with its liquid Glam Liner in Black Intense, McGrath treated lashes to multiple swipes of Dolce & Gabbana Intenseyes Mascara in Black. Then she started in on those mouths, which were built more than they were painted. Covering the entire lip surface with Dolce’s Precision Lipliner in Ruby, McGrath blended a mix of its Classic Cream Lipstick in Ultra and Amethyst, thus fashioning a berry-tinged scarlet shade that she subsequently blotted and powdered for a flat finish. “It’s a real process,” she joked of the technique, although if ever the “anything worth doing, is worth doing right” adage applied, it’d certainly be here.

Photo: Michelle Morosi/

Backstage Reviews