Peter Philips likes to think outside the box. The makeup artist known for his way around a perfect complexion and a gorgeous rose-petal pink or red lip is just as often referenced for mixing makeup mediums—an embroidered eyelash here, a precious gemstone brow there. Blame it on his art school education. At Fendi, it was the latter inclination that, er, stuck. “The idea was to use colors from the collection, and the best way to do that is to use the actual collection,” Philips said as he glued pre-cut fabric strips onto models’ lower eyelids.
“It was a bathing suit,” Philips explained of the neoprene swatches in peach, teal, royal blue, neon orange, tan, and yellow that he placed beneath the lash line in a three-part system: “There is black on the bottom, pointed outward,” he elaborated, followed by a color strip in the middle, and a shorter, brighter piece on the inner corner. “After rehearsal, I noticed the blue really worked,” Philips said of why most models ended up with the same royal blue center. Otherwise, faces were left bare to appear “more young and playful” and less “theatrical”—a directive that came right from Karl Lagerfeld, who dropped by to pay his respects. (“I didn’t want to interrupt you; I just wanted to say hello,” the designer said to Philips in passing). Never one to miss a nail opportunity, Philips added to the season’s neutral polish palette with a nude-salmon varnish, the result of Chanel Le Vernis Nail Lacquer in Ming, a warm, shimmering pink, mixed with white and a few drops of its Mimosa, a sunny yellow.
The same pastel colors could be spotted in a range of embellished headbands that Lagerfeld made for the show to accessorize Sam McKnight’s “sharp, aerodynamic” updos. “It’s not soaking-wet,” McKnight explained of what he ultimately deemed a “malleable, sea-wet” texture, the result of strands that had been prepped with Frederic Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Beach Waves and divided into four sections. Creating a flat bun in the back to remove excess weight, McKnight folded hair over from one side followed by the other, which was twisted and pinned down. Having left the top section free, McKnight ultimately rolled that backward, attaching it to the finished coif. “There’s about 40 pins in each girl,” he estimated, “so we’re not advising them to go to the airport anytime soon.” Zing!
As previously mentioned, blue is making a case for makeup color of the season, giving more standard applications of black liner, shadow, and grease a real run for their money. Last we checked, incarnations of the placid hue in shades of navy and aqua at shows like Altuzarra and Michael Kors in New York had made the trip across the pond, turning up at Mary Katrantzou and Clements Ribeiro in London. The color touched down in Milan this weekend at Versus, too, where Pat McGrath added a stroke of cobalt blue genius to the equation. “It’s a pop of color,” she said, singling out one of many bold shades from Christopher Kane and Donatella Versace’s collection of rainbow brights. “We tried a bunch of different colors—greens, yellows,” McGrath revealed, although blue—applied with “just a sweep of the brush”—was the clear winner. There—and elsewhere; an etching of midnight pigment appeared along the upper lash lines at Just Cavalli yesterday, and this morning at Fendi (more on that in a bit), Peter Philips played with royal blue via glued-on, fabric strips turned eyeliner. We’re gonna go out on a limb here and say it won’t be the color’s last cameo.
The words came backstage at Versace, as they so often do. “She’s a sexy, cool girl,” Pat McGrath said as she worked on a “dramatic,” shaded eye. “It’s just very much Donatella; she loves the smoky eye.” It’s a truism that can’t be denied—and one that manifests itself into similar incarnations of black-tinged beauty here each season, although for Spring McGrath served up the sultry with a noticeably lighter hand. “There’s a casualness [to the collection],” she explained—and therefore a little less smolder on the lids. Giving skin a “pretty, gorgeous, healthy” satin finish with a “sun-kissed” glow, the makeup artist smudged a layering effort of black and brown pigment through the crease of the eye, keeping it sheer and topping it with a dusting of shimmering bronze pigment. Swiping lashes with a few coats of mascara, McGrath filled in sparse areas with tiny individual hairs.
Guido Palau went so far as to call the look “much more natural” than usual. After Fall’s faux-fringe festival, the Redken creative consultant chose to keep things simple, center-parting strands and drying them with Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam mousse to simulate thickness. “Donatella likes a cool length,” he said of the collarbone-grazing snips he made into the front sections of most models’ hair, spritzing with Redken Powder Refresh 01 Aerosol Hair Powder dry shampoo as he went for additional texture before fashioning a loose bun that he took out right before the show to “create movement.” So, how did catwalkers like Kati Nescher, Jacquelyn Jablonski, Daria Strokous, and Anna Selezneva take to the impromptu shearing? “They were very understanding,” Palau said. What’s a few inches in the name of runway perfection?
“A Little Lana Del Rey, A Little Raquel Welch,” And Another Big Sixties Shout-Out Backstage At Moschino-------
The beauty story at Moschino told itself: the teased-out bouffants, the white-rimmed lids, the loads of individual lashes—”It’s totally sixties,” Tom Pecheux confirmed backstage, shouting out the singular reference that has dominated the shows so far. “At least [Rossella Jardini] went there completely,” he joked of the designer’s full-on, swinging homage that put a “twisted, playful” spin on fashion’s reigning favorite decade.
There is something universal about the retro look, though, Pecheux insisted. “The strong brows are more forties,” he said as he filled in arches, “and the lashes are so huge they could be on [in 2012],” he continued of MAC Lashes in #35 and #33, which were painstakingly placed in between natural lashes and coated with its Haute & Naughty Mascara. The modernization of MAC’s Eye Kohl in Fascinating, a white pencil that Pecheux set with its Eyeshadow in Gesso and drew around the upper and lower lash lines, was a bit of a harder sell; ditto those “Typex” white nails and that quintessentially sixties coral mouth, which came courtesy of MAC Lipstick in Morange and a slick of its clear Lip Glass. But borrowing from the past does have its perks. “The sixties were about fun, and color and youth,” Pecheux pointed out, throwing in his two cents about why the style set is looking backward to move forward for Spring.
“[Stylist] Anna Dello Russo and Rossella [Jardini] were very specific about what they wanted,” hairstylist Sam McKnight chimed in, reciting the mix of muses he was given for inspiration. “It’s a little Lana Del Rey, a little Raquel Welch…a proper doll ‘do—very done,” he said of the voluminous, side-parted, half-up, half-down style that required a good amount of Pantene Pro-V Ultra Strong Mousse, its Ultra Strong Hairspray, and a lot of back-combing. After achieving his desired height, McKnight secured front sections in the back with bobby pins and smoothed lengths with his trusty Mason Pearson brush. “I didn’t know I had this much hair!” a surprised Cara Delevingne said as she settled into McKnight’s chair. “How do you get something like this out?” she asked. (After toiling over 33 girls and a tight deadline, McKnight let that one go with no response).
After putting on a veritable makeup clinic here for Fall that included a lesson on tricolored eyes with splashes of orange, purple, and black, Pat McGrath shifted her attention due south of models’ lids for Miuccia Prada’s Spring show. “It’s a bold, bold, bold red lip,” she said of the matte crimson color she traced around mouths. “It’s all about a passionate woman [this season] and you can’t get more passionate than red.”
Building a flawless complexion with a slight highlight on the high planes of the face, McGrath groomed brows, adding a brown pigment through the eye socket and tracing the upper lash line with a stroke of shimmering white shadow. Then she focused on pouts, which were rimmed with CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipliner in Hot and filled in with its LipPerfection Lipcolor in the same shade. “It’s all about oversized,” she elaborated, keeping the color slightly outside of the lip line and drawing a white, “illustrationlike” curve along the cupid’s bow. “[It] makes them appear bigger,” a well-educated Jessica Stam pointed out of the animated element’s effect on her own lips, showing off some impressive know-how gleaned, no doubt, from years of enrollment at McGrath’s backstage beauty school. Lashes were simply curled and left sans mascara, while toes got two coats of CoverGirl’s Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Ever Red-dy and Reliably Red, which peeked out of the rare pair of flat or platform sandals that came down the runway without a set of socks (only Miuccia Prada can make sandals and socks look cool).
Guido Palau injected a touch of “tomboyishness” with a series of classic French twists that he deliberately made more “broken.” Busying his team with the task of blow-drying models’ hair straight with Redken Thickening Lotion 06 Body Builder to create a base level of texture, Palau himself took on the task of twisting individual updos on individual models like Guinevere Van Seenus, whose strands he gathered straight back, spritzed with Redken Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray, and then pinned up, letting the ends hang over her forehead like makeshift bangs. “Designers always want fringe, but they don’t want to use fake fringes,” he explained of the deceptive technique. “[They] want a girl with character,” he elaborated of Miuccia Prada specifically, pointing out that no matter the sartorial order—”there was a Japanese stroke,” Palau acquiesced of today’s collection—”it’s always Prada.”