"I don't want to create jealousy," Tom Pecheux said backstage at Altuzarra, "but [Joseph's] definitely in my top three." The famed face painter was so transfixed with the designer's Spring collection, in fact, that recollections of the makeup test were a little fuzzy. "I don't 100 percent remember [Joseph's] exact words [at the test] because I was hypnotized by his clothes," Pecheux admitted. He did manage to retain a few key objectives, though. "We wanted the girls to be extremely sophisticated and perfect, but in a simple way."
This translated into a classic Catherine Deneuve-meets-Yves Saint Laurent face treated with MAC Face and Body Foundation and emphasized with a "very French" accent in the form of a navy, not black, stroke of eyeliner. "It's royal blue, and I think it's so chic," Pecheux clarified of MAC's Technakhol Pencil in Auto-de-blu, which he drew along models' upper lash lines. "No wings," he reminded his team of the lines' elongated ends, which he wanted to be straight rather than turned upward. "I didn't want any retro feeling," Pecheux explained.
When asked why minimalism is emerging as an early trend at the shows in New York, Pecheux noted that "you don't want anything feeling too heavy, because life is anything but light right now," referencing the American and French elections and the European financial crisis. "In a way, people want to do less." Paul Hanlon was on a similar tip, as he became one of many voices to reference Helmut Newton's special brand of nineties-era minimalism this week, which he mixed with clean, precise equestrian- and Japanese-inspired lines. "But it's very simple," the coiffing star stressed of the sleek side parts he prepped with Frédéric Fekkai Full Blown Volume Styling Whip, gathered into a low ponytail that he coated with its Sheer Hold Hairspray for a flat-lacquered effect, and wove into what he called a "half-bow," not a bun. "A bun would've been a cop-out."
Hanlon concurred that requests for a certain kind of subdued beauty have definitely been bandied about by designers so far this season—which is a good thing for people looking for an entry point into the world of high fashion. "Sometimes, when there's a reference in the look, it can be a bit untouchable; when it's simple, it makes you believe you can be that woman"—a woman, it's safe to say, everyone in attendance was envisioning themselves as by the time Altuzarra's finale hit the runway.