Bracing the Elements, Backstage at Missoni
The last time I saw this many bluntly cut, synthetic ponytails I was watching Madonna take the stage for her Confessions Tour, wearing an equestrian-style top hat with a black horse tail attached. But instead of stallions serving as the reference for the hair at Missoni, mane master Eugene Souleiman was shown a Richard Avedon photo that featured a model sporting a braided updo that looked “fake,” he explained. To bring this idea to the runway, he attached a glossy, back-grazing extension to a ring (made by the house), rather than incorporating the faux, “plastic” strands into the actual style. “I wanted it to look like an accessory rather than hair,” he added. He reiterated the point by contrasting the pieces with each model’s natural color.
After making a side part in front, Souleiman misted the models’ real hair with Wella Ocean Spritz to create a raw texture and scraped it back into a ponytail, which was secured with a string of black elastic. The length was then threaded through the ring, folded close to the pony’s base, and wrapped once again with elastic—leaving the handcrafted accoutrement hanging from a newly formed loop.
The makeup by face painter Lucia Pieroni played off the four-elements (earth, wind, water, and fire) theme of the collection. The skin was left dewy to provide a “liquid” finish, while cheeks were gently contoured with a MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork (here lies the earth). Also inspired by Japanese girls, Pieroni traced a graphic band of Black Track Gel Eye Liner along the upper lash line, into the inner corners, and wrapped the formula underneath the eye—ending it just before the pupil. To clean up the shape, pointed cotton buds were employed by the pro. A shimmery silver eyeliner was washed across the lids and brow bones, lending a subtle hit of sparkle and Tokyo pop to the architectural look.