August 22 2014

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3 posts tagged "Pierpaolo Piccioli"

A Spring Beauty Look Gives an Encore at Valentino Couture



The look at Valentino’s Couture show was similar to the one we saw backstage for the house’s Spring 2014 collection. The opera served yet again as the inspiration for designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, and the hair and makeup followed suit. The face was minimal, but knowing Pat McGrath, there was serious thought as to where to place the silvery-white highlights that appeared above the brows, on the lids, down the bridge of the nose, across the tops of cheekbones, and along the Cupid’s bow. The contours of the cheeks, however, were warmed up with blush in comparison to the previous season’s paled-out complexions, lips were rosier, and instead of shimmery gold brows, models’ arches were deepened and defined.

Hair pro Guido Palau also made minor tweaks—the austere center parts from last October remained, but gone were the studded headbands and long ponytails. In their place was a coiled, chignon-like low-do at the nape of the neck. Strands were divided down the middle, combed over the ears, and held tightly with clips before each side was twisted, wound together, and pinned in back. This seamless style was one we didn’t mind seeing a second time.

Photo : Sonny Vandevelde,

Dissecting the “Language of Beauty,” Backstage at Valentino


“The braid is part of the language of the beauty here,” Guido Palau said backstage at Valentino—a language, it should be noted, that has garnered almost as much attention as Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s gorgeous collections for this house. (Red-carpet watchers will fondly remember the plaited coronets Palau constructed four seasons ago that made a seamless—and well-documented—transition off the runway.) “They really understand what women want with beauty,” Palau continued, explaining the design duo’s low-on-product, high-on-accessibility aesthetic—the “I could look like that” factor that comes with the soft, pure, innocent styles they so often request.

For Fall, Palau prepped strands with Redken’s Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion before devising a center part and weaving a simple three-section braid through extended lengths that were slung over models’ left shoulders. Referencing Flemish painters, as well as nodding to the seventies and Victoriana, he fastened a thick black leather band around the head and over the ears for a “monastic” touch.

Pat McGrath worked off Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring portrait that the designers showed her for inspiration, focusing her attention on creating “a softness but a realness” to the face. “There’s always a certain level of color here,” she pointed out, going through a greatest-hits backlog of her work for Chiuri and Piccioli, which has included exquisite lavender and gray contours in the past. This season, although nails were lacquered with two glossy coats of cherry-red polish, McGrath was working with peach, rose, and beige hues that she traced through the crease of eyes, swiped across cheeks, and blotted onto lips, often layering with foundation to “tone everything down.” Powdering complexions to give them the matte, velvety, “put-together” finish we’ve seen so much of this week, McGrath added brown mascara just at the roots of lashes for subtle definition.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/

Beauty That’s “Just Really Pretty,” Backstage At Valentino Couture


“Simple” was the word face-painting legend Pat McGrath kept coming back to when describing the makeup look at Valentino couture. Reeling off the steps she used to achieve the “gorgeous” pastel contours, McGrath broke down her approach in a single, rapid-fire sentence: “It’s very light, natural shading, a little bit of gray around the eyes and white pencil inside the eyes, a little highlighting on the lids and cheekbones, mascara on the top lashes only, a little bit of rouge on the lips, and a groomed brow with just a little bit of pencil,” she explained as models stopped by for a last-minute check. “It’s just really pretty,” McGrath concluded. In other words, “very Valentino.”

“I think [Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli] really have their woman now,” Redken creative consultant Guido Palau continued of the Italian design duo’s firmly established identity. “She’s soft and beautiful and kind of nostalgic.” In that spirit, he created a feminine, very real-world hairstyle. Prepping strands with Redken Fabricate 03 Heat-Active Texturizer to give strands a bit of a grip, Palau fashioned loose, face-framing tendrils, a middle part, and thin braids, which he gathered into a bigger braid that culminated in a casual chignon. “Skip the spray and pins. The whole point is to keep it light and effortless,” he said, pointing out that the same look is often borrowed by the Hollywood set. “It’s one of those things that’s really easy to lift off the runway”—and just in time for awards season, too.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /