"I think it's the best collection he's done in a while," Linda Cantello candidly remarked backstage at Armani Privé—and she's on good authority to say so; as Giorgio Armani Beauty's international makeup artist, the famed face painter has seen a fair bit of the designer's work firsthand. For his Fall Couture presentation, Mr. Armani focused on a neutral palette, which Cantello adopted into makeup form with a few twists and turns along the way.
Working off the show's Death in Venice-meets-Old Hollywood theme, Cantello honed in on a look that was part Tadzio from Visconti's classic film and part Carole Lombard, while also offering up an impressive study in subtlety. "He's very into nude," she elaborated of Mr. Armani's preference for toned-down hues, which prompted her to accentuate a matte base of the brand's forthcoming Maestro To Go foundation—which puts Cantello's original weightless complexion corrector into the convenience of a compact—and a dusting of its Luminous Silk Powder, with muted eye and lip contours. After treating pouts to a custom-mixed bois de rose stain, which will be called Tadzio when it is released as a new shade of Rouge d'Armani lipstick come January, Cantello set to creating an eye gloss using its light bronze Fluidsheer #2 and a highly reflective luminescent pigment that she layered on top of a diffused brown pencil. "It's harder to look for something in the exact color that I need than to just make it myself," she laughed.
If Cantello's interpretation of screen-star glamour was an exercise in restraint, Orlando Pita's was indulgent. "It's a little twenties, thirties, Great Gatsby," the coiffing star suggested of his Armani debut, pointing out that the hair was "more couture" than the designer has done in a while. "Now that John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are gone from the business, a new guard has created a kind of couture that relates to the street," Pita said with a wistful air. "It was always about fantasy; that's gone for now," he continued. But it lived again for a few short hours here, courtesy of Pita's soft sets, which were side-parted and fashioned into ridged faux bobs offering some of the most stunning silhouettes of the week—particularly as models got some fresh air on the Place du Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower providing a properly grand background behind them.