6 posts tagged "Stephane Marais"
Throwback Thursday is a new feature on Beauty Counter in which we pore over the pages of our favorite glossies from decades past in search of a little modern-day makeup and hair inspiration.
The Model: Nadja Auermann
The Moment: Ear painting
The Motivation: Following a few seasons of 3-D makeup on the runway that has seen everything from sequins, rhinestones, paper cutouts, lace, and tulle double as eyeliner, mascara, and brow pencils, we’ve been semi-conditioned to think outside the box when it comes to defining the medium of makeup. But Peter Philips further expanded on the traditional idea of “face painting” by bedazzling nine models’ ears backstage at Dries Van Noten for Fall. You could say an emphasis on ear embellishment started last season, when side-slicked hair turned up at Rodarte to show off Game of Thrones-inspired dragon cuffs—although Stéphane Marais might beg to differ. The famed makeup artist gave model Nadja Auermann the silver treatment two decades ago for a 1994 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. What’s that they say about fashion—and beauty—being cyclical?
When charged with the kind of daunting task that he was given last night at Jean Paul Gaultier, makeup artist Stephane Marais brings his usual product arsenal with him—as well as a few additions. “It’s like Ben Nye,” the makeup artist explained, name-dropping the popular American professional line when describing Maq Pro, a similarly conceived company based in Paris. “MAC Pro?” we asked, perplexed, knowing full well that a fairly large, internationally recognized face-painting operation already exists with that name. “Maq Pro with a Q. They make a lot of colors,” Marais elaborated of the brand founded by the famous French cinema makeup artist Michel Deruelle. Handing us its Fond de Teint complexion correcting stick, Marais explained that he planned to take a little artistic liberty with at least one model in Gaultier’s eighties tribute band. “I’m going to give her skin a blue-black tint,” he said, motioning to a tearsheet of Jean Paul Goude’s 1981 Blue-Black in Black on Brown portrait of Grace Jones in which the photographer gave his flat-topped muse indigo contours. “Only Ajak [gets it],” Marais said of Ajak Deng, one of five catwalkers to play Grace Jones on the runway. It made for a pretty cool show highlight—and as we managed to locate the Maq Pro boutique at 2 Ter rue Alasseur in Paris, it also provided us with another “extracurricular activity” (read: shopping excursion) to add to our schedule for the week.
There were seven Madonnas backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier, five Grace Joneses, four Boy Georges, seven David Bowies, three Annie Lennoxes, six Jane Birkins, four Abba members, and seven Sades—seven!—which all but cemented the fact that the eighties R&B songstress is having a moment at the Spring shows. “It’s a variety of eighties pop stars,” Guido Palau confirmed, prepping a sea of wigs for different characters while elaborate mood boards hung against the wall. “Sup-er!” a busting Gaultier chirped next to Palau as he examined Hannelore Knuts’ fire engine red Annie Lennox crop while Amanda Leer had her hair set in rollers for a bombshell blow-out (Leer, it should be noted, was playing herself). “I buy them in new York and Josh Wood colors them in London,” Palau explained of the elaborate hairpieces, pointing out that this particular Spring beauty moment was about Gaultier’s vision, not necessarily any one product—except, of course, Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray. “You can’t forget the hair spray if it’s the eighties,” Palau joked. Humor was on Stephane Marais’ mind, too. “It has to be lighter,” Marais said of Gaultier’s latest piece of performance art. “That’s the way this house functions.” He too was working off posters lined with tearsheets of a red-lipped Sade cover from Time and a Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie snap replete with aqua-rimmed eyes, among other things, turning out 11 different makeup looks in all—which included a few costume changes that kept stress levels at a high, although no one seemed to mind all that much. “The girls love it,” Marais pointed out. “They just have fun.”
“There’s no mental masturbation with me; it’s instinct,” Stéphane Marais said straight-faced backstage at Haider Ackermann this morning when asked about that purple lip. “It’s right for the collection,” Marais asserted, “and a refreshment from all the red you have seen”—which was not untrue. Reds, corals, and pinks we have seen this season; an iridescent violet mouth, not so much.
“It could have been a disaster, but it works,” he continued of the unusual pout color, which, it should be noted, did have a way about it: When we walked into the backstage area of Paris’ POPB on Boulevard de Bercy, we crossed paths with Irina Kravchenko, whose mouth flashed with an indigo sheen in the spotlights erected backstage. That was thanks to a finger-patting of MAC Pigment in Violet, which boasts flecks of blue and lavender shimmer. “The more you polish it, the more it shows,” Marais said of the powder that he was rubbing into a mix of MAC Chromagraphic Lip Pencil in Rich Purple and its Lipmix in Burgundy. What kept the striking shade from looking “ugly,” in Marais’ estimation, was that the rest of the face was kept pure. Skin was given a light treatment of MAC Face and Body Foundation, with a sweep of its luminescent Cream Colour Base in Shell across cheekbones, while eyes got a dusting of its Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk right at the lash line to create an almost wet effect. Ackermann wanted the brows to look “nervous,” so Marais obliged him by diminishing the natural arch with a line of MAC Eyeshadows in Coquette, Concrete, and Brun, creating a straight shape akin to “the wing of a bird,” according to Marais. “It’s very rock, but chic, chic, chic,” he surmised.
For his part, Wella global artistic director Eugene Souleiman set to fixing slicked-back coifs that segued into a ponytail that was folded over itself and tied into three different sections. “It’s sumo hair for women,” he explained, pointing out that the high-shine, abstract shape complimented Ackermann’s collection. “He makes women look very handsome,” Souleiman continued, while squashing Wella Texture Touch Reworkable Clay into roots and spritzing its Shimmer Delight Shine Spray through lengths for glisten. “I am a serious lover of this look,” the super stylist said. He most certainly wasn’t the only one.
The number of hair color sightings on the runway has finally abated this season, meaning that the few instances of artful streaks and contrasting mid-lengths we’ve spied backstage are that much more remarkable in their occurrence. Guido Palau proved that he could do ombré with a twist at Prada in Milan, and he put his stamp on purposeful roots at Jean Paul Gaultier.
“We’re doing a bit of freestyling,” the super-stylist joked of the “graffiti stripe” he was spray-painting onto either side of a middle part that had been built into long extensions. Blowing hair dry with Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion, coating it with its Iron Silk 07 Ultra-Straightening Spray before flat-ironing and then adding a bit of Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist to the ends, Palau applied a heavy-handed spritz of Redken Forceful 23 Super-Strength Finishing Spray to create a base for his silver, black, pink, orange, and blue color panels. “This is quite androgynous because it’s so long, so you get a little Joe Dallesandro,” Palau explained, referencing the Warhol superstar along with seventies California hippie chicks who never cut their hair. “There’s always a sense of humor at this show.”
Stephane Marais picked up on the Warholian, seventies reference as well. “Jean Paul said to me, ‘Remember that time at Studio 54—the girls were so fucked up and they looked amazing?” Marais asked, setting the stage for “the grunge mixed with chic” makeup look he was after. This necessitated a “fucked up, beautiful” eye that he created by lining the inner rims with a black kohl pencil and then using a liquid liner to press on erratic strokes along the top lid and underneath the lower lash line, which he ultimately jostled with his finger. Then he applied a heavy grease paint to the roots of the lashes and asked models to blink, after which he used a thin painter’s brush to hand-destroy the line even more. “I’m fixing it,” he laughed.
It was a departure from the play on the “madame” archetype that we’ve seen here over the past few seasons, when classic glamour elements like red lips, perfected brows, beehives, and forties sets have been given punk details, like gray extensions, fake tattoos, and nail rings. It’s still the same vibe, though, Marais assured us. “It’s just a different madame.”