"A modern-medieval face" is what the tip sheet James Kaliardos was passing around to his team backstage at Rodarte said, but there was more to it than that, of course. "The collection feels Dungeons & Dragons to me, not Joan of Arc," Kaliardos elaborated, referencing the austerity of old religious paintings and "getting rid of the Kim Kardashian look—forever."
That meant skipping those familiar, heavily bronzed contours and focusing instead on a paled-out complexion that was treated with NARS Skin Optimal Brightening Concentrate and a light-handed application of its Sheer Glow Foundation just in the center of the face, "because once it gets on the cheeks, it actually looks like foundation," according to Kaliardos.
There wasn't much visible product on the face at all, really, save for NARS' Triple X Lip Gloss, which was swathed onto mouths and eyelids and applied through girls' brows as well, including show-opener Jessica Stam's. "Can you fix me," Stam beseeched Kaliardos, who added a little fullness, too, at the model's request.
Odile Gilbert was working off the proportions of Kate and Laura Mulleavy's designs. "When they showed me the clothes, I thought [the girls] needed something long," Gilbert said, referring to the hair, which she made "strict and straight" to accommodate a dragon earring cuff clipped onto models' left ears. "It's like the girls are shaved," she explained, slicking strands with Kérastase Ciment Thermique for a pre-blow-dry polish, and dividing them into three sections: two in back—one hanging straight down over the other—and one in front, which was combed all the way over to one side and coated with its Elixir Ultime for added shine.
The finishing touch came from the most conceptual neutral nail we've seen this week. "It took 200 man-hours," CND manicurist Michelle Huynh said of the three-dimensional polish-on-polish basketweave tips that showcased a blended base of its varnishes in Desert Suede and Frosting Cream. Nude, it turns out, doesn't necessarily mean boring.