August 21 2014

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53 posts tagged "Eugene Souleiman"

Keeping It Real, Backstage at Stella McCartney


stella“I want to give them a look that isn’t a look—that’s Stella’s thing,” said Eugene Souleiman. “It’s like the hair real girls do before they go out and they’re in a rush.” (For the record, my hair has never looked like this when I’m running late.) After Souleiman made a center part, strands were misted with water to revive each girl’s unique and natural texture. The length was then scraped back into a low pony at the nape, the elastic pulled down for a more voluminous, billowy look. Some of the tails were then tucked into the pieces in the collection with high necks or underneath the collar of a jacket. “I don’t want them to look like models, because I think Stella designs beautiful clothes that real people buy,” Souleiman explained of the low-key, wearable style.

Pat McGrath received the same brief but was sure to account for the early morning call time. “It’s about no makeup, but just a little added freshness,” she said. After all, everyone—even those who are genetically blessed—needs a touch of foundation, a wash of taupe around the eyes, brown mascara, and a hint of blush before 9 a.m.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde;

High-Strung Brows, Backstage at Haider Ackermann


haider-ackermann“Simplistically complicated” was the oxymoron Eugene Souleiman used to describe the sleek, sculptural heads at Haider Ackermann. “We’re looking at hair as a medium and a fabric, not a hairstyle.” A wig wrap was crafted before a black cap was slipped over top. Next, three black hair bands were interspersed with three ultrasmooth hair extensions glued on from various directions. The end result—”Constantin Brancusi meets Greta Garbo”—wasn’t necessarily where Souleiman started. “I’ve done four fittings for this show. When the collection changes, I change—and I changed at two this morning,” he explained just a few hours later, coffee in hand.

“Everything in this collection is quite big and can be interpreted as slightly heavy, and I don’t want the beauty to feel that way.” This was the brief face painter Yadim received from Ackermann. The ultimate solution: “brows that feel as if they are being lifted by tape.” The makeup artist borrowed bolts of taupe and black elastic string from Souleiman to craft quite expressive arches. It was one of the first elements he noticed upon looking at reference pictures of “eccentric society women somewhere in the realm of Diana Vreeland” with the designer. “They all had these smug brows,” he noted. “Cold” skin served as the backdrop for this defining feature, which involved taking both lighter and darker complexions to extremes. “Haider was obsessed with the girls looking pale,” he noted, which was done using MAC Face and Body Foundation in 1 and 2. On the flip side, girls with darker skin tones had their complexions deepened with Studio Finish Skin Corrector in a chocolate shade tinged with blue—similar to “Alek Wek shot by Herb Ritts in the nineties, or Grace Jones.”


Up All Night, Backstage at Missoni


missoniMakeup artist Lucia Pieroni described the woman at Missoni as “a cool girl who’s been out all night, she’s got her boyfriend’s coat on, and is waiting for the bus around six in the morning.” In the case of today’s show, that coat would involve chevron stripes and vibrant tangerine trim.

The focus was primarily on the eyes—particularly the lashes, where “tons and tons and tons of mascara” was used from the iris to the outer corners on top and bottom to create a spidery, “haywire” effect. For an even more imperfect finish, lashes were pinched together to make them “a bit crooked.” (Some models with sparser fringe received a set of falsies for thickness, just on the outer half of the eyes.) To intensify the clumpy effect, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack was applied from the middle outward on the upper and lower lash lines in a soft square shape, then blended with a matte, ebony-colored shadow.

“It feels like she’s done her hair herself, but not in front of a mirror,” Eugene Souleiman said of the “imbalanced” topknots. (The Missoni girl likely crafted this while she was waiting for the bus to pull up.) The style was simple enough to create: Loosely secure a ponytail with elastic to create “bagginess,” then pin in place. Since multiple models were dashing from Dolce & Gabbana via car and moped (no time to wait for public transportation), “necessity became the mother of invention,” Souleiman explained. “I love it because it’s a five-minute hairdo.”


Beauty Time Warp


doutzenThe sixties are alive and well this season and everyone, from New York to London to Milan, is getting in the spirit. Eugene Souleiman channeled Françoise Hardy at Peter Som; Pat McGrath was inspired by Britt Ekland at Gucci; Mia Farrow was the icon on Paul Hanlon’s mind at Moschino; and today at Versace, Guido Palau crafted a slight bump in the hair—a surefire marker of the very groovy decade. When it comes to appliances, however, we don’t usually expect a throwback. White Sands, a haircare company, developed an attachment for your blow-dryer that acts like the “salon hoods or bonnets” of yesteryear, setting curls or locking in moisture from treatments, hands-free. Model Doutzen Kroes even appeared to be wearing a similar contraption on set this week. Will the concept take off like Mary Quant’s miniskirt or the bikini post-Beach Party? If the runways are any indication, going back in time just may be the wave of the future.

Photo: Instagram

All Lacquered Up, Backstage at Donna Karan


donna-karan-crop“It feels a little bit punky, yet at the same time it’s got a futuristic element,” said Charlotte Tilbury of the makeup at Donna Karan’s 30th anniversary show. She began by running MAC’s Eye Kohl in Phone Number (a pewter shade) along the upper and lower waterlines, then smudging it onto the top and bottom lashes. A gunmetal cream shadow was tapped onto the lid, and to “pick up under the lights,” a platinum pigment was blended with Mixing Medium, dabbed around the tear duct, and buffed up toward the crease. For extra sheen, Tilbury glazed over the eyes and tops of the cheekbones with a clear gloss.

The hats created by milliner Stephen Jones inspired the sleek wrapped wet sets. “They’re like the fifties biker caps that Marlon Brando wore in The Wild One…or like Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter,” backstage pro Eugene Souleiman explained. Mimicking the shiny sides and “dusty matte” tops of the headwear, Souleiman sectioned off the hair at the crown, made a side part behind the ear, and began shellacking strands around the base using a tint brush (normally employed to paint on hair color) and gel (lots of it). The mane master continued up and around past the forehead—completing the circle. To lock in the shape, he took a blow dryer to it for 15 minutes. The dry section previously cordoned off was finally swirled and pinned in place, making it look as if the hair was “melting.” “The girls are loving us,” Souleiman said condescendingly of the rock-hard style. Good thing it was the end of the evening, as this was one ‘do that will require some time (and a shower) to unravel.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde/