3 posts tagged "Liu Wen"
The backstage beauty preparations at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show yesterday started in the wee hours of the morning. But when press began arriving around ten, all of the girls had slowly started to emerge, swathed in pink satin robes, to begin their divine transformations. Except Liu Wen. The Chinese stunner went into makeup and didn’t come out again until around 2 p.m.—at which point she was covered in ink. “She’s got the exclusive bodysuit,” Saved Tattoo’s Stephanie Tamez said with a tinge of pride, referring to the “Americana flash”-themed designs she had scrawled on Wen’s legs, arms, hands, and knuckles. “She’s got ‘em on her stomach and back, too,” Tamez effused of the monarch butterfly that revealed itself across Wen’s abdomen when she stepped into her two-piece, chain-link costume. The myriad drawings, which included a series of hearts, daggers, roses, mermaids, and gothic print text, were original transfers that Tamez created with guidance from VS creative consultant, Todd Thomas. But the bright additional makeup accents came courtesy of hand-painted touches with Temptu, the airbrush makeup system that stays put. “It sticks on!” Wen insisted, rubbing at her leg. Would she be keeping the body art on for a few days, then, we inquired? “No, no. I have to work tomorrow for Estée Lauder,” the brand’s face said with caution.
What makes an icon? “Confidence,” according to Constance Jablonski. “She’s the full package,” Joan Smalls chimed in when we encountered both models last night at the launch of an Estée Lauder campaign that aims to answer that question. “I’ve always loved simplicity; it’s timeless,” global creative director Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer explained of the new visual direction for the brand, which was lensed by Craig McDean and draws inspiration from Lauder’s seventies and eighties archives, putting current spokesmodels Hilary Rhoda, Liu Wen, Jablonski, and Smalls in white ensembles. When asked about her own personal icons, Lauder named a few: “Kate Moss has great style. And Gisele—I’m always intrigued when I see pictures of her.” Lauder’s grandmother, Estée, is of course at the top of her list. The brand founder’s indelible quote, “Every woman can be beautiful,” was blown up and plastered alongside each and every ad image.
The task of painting the faces of Lauder’s icons-in-the-making went to the brand’s creative director of makeup, Tom Pecheux. “You have to pay attention not just to the face, but to the character,” Pecheux said of crafting iconic makeup. “Liu Wen is so playful; that’s why I gave her that eyeliner,” he explained, pointing out the elongated black flick Wen wears in her portrait. “Constance for me, she has that innocence,” Pecheux continued, which translated to a lot of mascara and brown eye shadow mixed with black, “so it’s not so dramatic” in print. As for Rhoda, Pecheux saw beyond her signature sporty glamour and instead chose to focus on a delicate, romantic femininity. “I can see her fragility,” he said explaining his use of rosy pigments and powders. The pictures officially hit Estée Lauder counters beginning in July, but we’ve got a preview right here. Thoughts on the new campaign?
When translated into beauty terms, the Costume Institute’s “American Woman” exhibition immediately registers as a single name: Estée Lauder. The company’s Queens-born founder built her eponymous brand from humble New York beginnings into a global empire that has undeniably fashioned our national identity. “It’s really an American company with an international face,” stylist Mary Alice Stephenson offered as she watched Lauder’s Global Makeup Stylist, Rick DiCecca, use Lauder’s Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Black Smoke to build a shimmering smoky eye on Chinese model and brand spokesperson Liu Wen at the Surrey Hotel only a few hours before red-carpet festivities got underway this evening. Lauder’s other new face, French beauty Constance Jablonski, sat alongside Wen, waiting for her turn in Dicecca’s chair. To bring it all back to the U.S. of A., Stephenson made a point to dress the Met Gala newbies in designs from local talents—a hand-stitched, beaded Naeem Khan number for Wen and a feathered sleeveless Jason Wu shift for Jablonski.
And what of Hilary Rhoda—perhaps Lauder’s most recognizable face and the woman designer Prabal Gurung calls “the only true American model working right now?” Tweeting, of course, in the suite’s adjacent room, where makeup artist Kaoru Okubo was crafting a seriously dark eye and nude lip to compliment Gurung’s structural black and red double-faced satin dress. Rhoda is tall and athletically built, with strong brows and tan skin—you immediately understand Gurung’s assessment when in her presence. Having been to a few Met balls in her day, she took liberties with her glam squad. “I know my face,” Rhoda said, reaching for Lauder’s Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara and its Double Wear Eyeliner in Onyx to apply additional pigment over Okubo’s base of Pure Color Eyeshadow in Black Crystal. She also opted for Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer. A high-and-tight slicked-back chignon that hairstylist Rudi Lewis created using a glycerin-dipped comb completed Rhoda’s tough, edgy beauty look. “American fashion allows you to see the woman first, before the clothes,” Rhoda said as she headed toward the car that would take her to the museum. We’re guessing there was nary an onlooker who could keep their eyes off the 23-year-old from Maryland as she walked up those 26 steps.