56 posts tagged "Sam McKnight"
“It’s about purity of line,” hairstylist Sam McKnight explained of the sharp and minimal look he crafted at Fendi. “Karl sent me an illustration with a very small head.” To keep strands compact, McKnight employed a lot of Sebastian hairspray and made two side partings on either side of the face, dividing the hair into two small sections near the crown. Next, he folded the sections over one another, tying each off into a ponytail with a piece of elastic. “It’s like a basket weave or origami,” he noted of his technique. Then the sides were scraped back to cover the elastic and gathered into a low pony, which was later wrapped with a piece of the tail to hide the band. While the style appeared seamless, it required “pins and grips” (which were pulled out after the hair was set into place) and at least two pros per model to create.
Playing off the linear elements in the hair, face painter Peter Philips opted for cinematic highlighting and shading over a “proper makeup statement.” Seeing as the collection was filled with stark contrasts—tough fabrics and delicate orchids; fluffy furs and shiny, sleek jackets—he wanted to keep the look strong but simple, so as not to clash with or overtake the clothes. A full-coverage foundation was used to perfect complexions before it was powdered to a semi-matte finish. Then he applied a pure white Mehron CreamBlend Stick on the cheekbones. Philips said he tested out a pearly illuminator but found the result “too pretty,” and these girls needed to be “tough.” A taupe, matte pigment was run along the hollows of the cheeks, and eyes were given a graphic feel with a blend of two brown Make Up For Ever shadows (#17 and #165) just on the outer corners. Not wanting a cat-eye effect, Philips concentrated the color on “the spot between the socket and the eyeball,” angling it downward, “like old photos of Marlene Dietrich or seventies Guy Bourdin makeup.” Lips were topped off with transparent gloss. “It doesn’t look natural, but 50 percent of the makeup will blend in with the light on the catwalk,” he explained. And Philips was right. With drones buzzing overhead, the intense, almost-theatrical contours disappeared—all that remained were models’ perfectly chiseled features as Cara Delevingne kicked off the show, a Lagerfeld-like Fendi bug daintily dangling between her thumb and forefinger.
Makeup artist Peter Philips confessed that this season’s beauty look was built from the ground up—literally. Those hand-embroidered sneakers by Massaro conveyed such a new attitude in themselves that playing with iridescence in terms of makeup became self-evident. “I wanted to do something that stood out with lightness but at the same time was elegant and couture,” he said. Mission accomplished. Philips started with Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation (launching in March) to create a matte finish, “because all the shine had to come from the eyes,” he noted, and dabbed a touch of powder blush in Espiègle on cheeks and across the chin. Then came a stroke of black Ligne Graphique liquid liner and ample coats of mascara, which tempered the hologram glitter in various sizes that he applied under the otherwise unadorned lower lashes. “The eyeliner makes it chic and iconic, but then you’ve got the sparkle that feels relaxed and fresh yet creates magic,” he noted. To finish it off, Philips reached for Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in Satisfaction (out next month). “It’s a great color, because if models’ lips are naturally too red, it tones them down; if they are too pale, it brings in just the right amount of color,” Philips explained. For a bit of discreet sparkle on nails, he opted for Le Vernis in Frisson, a rosy iridescent lacquer.
Asked about his inspirations, hair guru Sam McKnight reached for his iPhone and fished out a few sketches Karl Lagerfeld sent over a couple weeks back. “He specifically said he wanted something kind of undone and asymmetrical.” McKnight’s solution: extensions that matched each model’s hair color attached to headbands (shown below). The faux strands were flatironed to stand at attention, creating the impression that the girls had just tied up their hair and left the spiky ends out. “You could say the hair had to correspond to the sneakers, too,” he said. “It had to capture an attitude, it had to be a little sporty, but it had to be a look—for couture, it couldn’t be nothing.” Ultimately, he quipped, “what it became is a version of nothing.” Not exactly much ado about nothing—the finished product was as fantastical as the footwear.
The women that walked Chanel Pre-Fall last night wore their war paint well—baring cheeks, lids, and temples that were burnished with gold and silver cross-hatching, inky black mascara and liner on top lashes only, and natural, pink-toned lips. To complement the makeup created by Peter Philips, Sam McKnight tucked double-C stamped feathers into select models’ wind-tousled low ponytails, while others sported a Lady Gaga (the early years)-style bow comprised of actual strands. Who knew playing cowboys and Indians could be so chic? Well, I suppose Karl had an idea.
This past season, one of the most impressive runway displays was the double-C branded “art gallery” at Chanel. It was dreamed up by (who else?) Karl Lagerfeld, and makeup guru Peter Philips took his cues for the painterly eyes from the freestanding sculptures and canvases flanking the catwalk. Hairstylist Sam McKnight was also influenced by this world, but instead of the actual pieces hanging on the walls, the flared-out wigs were inspired by the women that buy and sell them: “In my head, I was thinking that [the models] should look like those expert art ladies who are dressed in all black and slightly eccentric,” he explained backstage. With so much creativity coming into play for Spring 2014, we asked the beauty pros for the cultural hot spots—ranging from ballet to Basel—they’ll be hitting this holiday season and beyond in this month’s guide.
Karl Lagerfeld turned the Grand Palais into a double-C-branded gallery, complete with a Chanel No. 5 robot, a canvas dripping with pearls, and a towering sculpture of the female form comprised of the chain-link leather straps that normally hang from the house’s signature handbags. But the girls who walked the runway were no starving artists, a point made clear by their luxe, textural suits and quilted cream and black leather portfolios.
“In my head, I was thinking that [the models] should look like those expert art ladies that are dressed in all black and slightly eccentric,” said hair guru Sam McKnight of the “downtown New York” and “slightly eighties” muse. Similar to Fendi, the models were fitted with architectural black, blonde, and brunette wigs that he described as “a cross between Darth Vader and a seventies flick.” The faux strands were bulked up with extensions and prepped with a wave-maker, industrial-strength hair spray and gel to give them a stiff, paintbrush-like quality. On site, the hair was tailored to each girl and flared out using a flatiron, then polished off with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray to lend a flat finish.
The painterly eyes by Peter Philips were inspired not only by the colors used in the pieces that flanked the catwalk but also by a print shown to him by the designer. “It looked a bit like a sample card for a paint company,” he said. To create a blank canvas, he instructed his team to even complexions with Chanel Vitalumière Aqua foundation. The brows were elongated and given a more angular shape with Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil. And before sending the models along, lashes were curled and coated with black mascara, and lips moisturized with Rouge Coco Balm.
Then the lead makeup artist went to town, framing the eyes with thick swatches of black liquid eyeliner that extended past the outer corners, and topping the stenciled arches with the same formula. Next, he dipped a #21 brush into vibrant cakes of theatrical paint in pink, lavender, sky blue, yellow, green, and coral—employing short, uninhibited strokes of contrasting colors across the lids, above the brows, and along the lower lash lines. While the swatches appear to have been placed at random, there was a method to the madness: Philips used only one hue at a time and blotted each with a tissue before applying the next shade—being sure to leave space between blocks to prevent them from running into one another. In addition, only two colors were applied near the tear duct. “There’s a symmetry to the look, but also calculated mistakes,” he explained. As a finishing touch, a BIC lighter was employed to disinfect and soften the tip of the Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil in Noir before running it across the waterline. The end result was nothing short of a makeup masterpiece.