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July 30 2014

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Conic Cornrows and Owl Eyes, Backstage at Alexander McQueen

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mcqueenLashes and cornrows—two of the trends we’ve seen time and again this season—were taken to breathtaking extremes backstage. One could say that pushing things to the max was a signature of the late Alexander McQueen: “This was something Alexander really liked—it feels like a classic code of the house,” said Guido Palau. The never-ending plait dreamed up by the mane master and executed by a team of braiders was no doubt “severe,” but the long, flowing extensions that caught the wind on the runway gave the “silhouette a certain softness.”

“It’s futurism mixed with nature,” Pat McGrath said of the two gasp-inducing looks she devised for the show. “We decided to do the owl world in a punk eye makeup way.” Black spiky feathers hand cut and designed by the face painter were painstakingly glued one by one onto the brows and top lashes. “When would I ever make it easy?” she quipped of the dramatic maquillage that took nearly four and a half hours to complete. Her second creation (worn by the majority of the models) played with shading and light in lieu of plumes—using brick red, silver, and gold metallic pigments to lend a “futuristic” feeling to the face. The end result not only incited a frenzy of flashes from photographers (particularly around the catwalkers with those phenomenal “mothlike” eyes), but also perfectly captured the “McQueen world of innocence, romance, and darkness” with a sensitivity and boldness that won’t soon be forgotten.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde; Indigitalimages.com

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