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July 31 2014

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Liner Notes, Backstage at Stella McCartney

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stellamccartneyHairstylist Eugene Souleiman said he didn’t look to the actual collection for inspiration, but instead thought more about the Stella McCartney woman. “There are a lot of florals in this show, and the prints are quite textural and light, so I didn’t want to do anything that bore a resemblance to [those elements],” he explained. The solution: A boy-meets-girl ponytail on fresh strands. “I’m a huge advocate of swamp hair, but the reaction to that this season is something much cleaner,” he said. Using zero product, he added a bit of volume with a round brush and blow-dryer, then made a deep side part, “like an old man’s hairstyle, when he’s trying to comb over a piece of hair to hide something,” Souleiman quipped. The length was tied back at the nape of the neck with a string of black elastic—a method the pro prefers over a band because it keeps the tail “tight and controlled.” Any loose bits that fell out were left alone, as they lent a notion of fragility to the strict style. The end result was a “masculine shape,” described Souleiman, with a soft, free-flowing texture that kept things feminine.

As for the makeup, Pat McGrath said it was “rebellious,” imploring graphic liner to lend some edge. The look was based on a photo McCartney saw of Guinevere Van Seenus in Craig McDean’s new book (Amber, Guinevere, and Kate Photographed by Craig McDean: 1993-2005), for which the face painter had created a winged eye. To make it runway-worthy, McGrath ran a “brown-gray” pencil along the upper lash lines and flicked it out onto the outer corners and pulled it down toward the tear duct—forming sharp points on the diagonal. The lower lashes were also rimmed in the chestnut hue. For intensity, a hand-mixed, liquid version of the liner shade was run over the top. “She’s a stronger, tougher girl this season,” added McGrath. But with the beautifully painted ceilings of the Opera Garnier floating overhead and Sir Paul McCartney sweetly playing the harmonica for his granddaughter backstage, I felt worlds away from the slightly badass image the designer had in mind.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde / Indigitalimages.com

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