Runway photos courtesy of ImaxTree.com.
The security to get backstage at Vivienne Westwood’s Paris show was rather intense. But that’s what happens when a fabulous fashion spectacle is staged at the British Ambassador’s Residence on Embassy Row. Once I made it through the gauntlet of buff, tall MI5-looking men, I entered the fashion tent in the spacious backyard where Westwood’s inventive, quirky world was taking shape.
Makeup is never a simple, scaled-back affair with this British designer. “It’s about playtime,” makeup artist Val Garland explained to me, while she was painting the outline of a heart onto a model’s face. “It’s a little bit Marie Antoinette. Basically, it’s about putting all the makeup ideas into a bag, juggling them all up and seeing what comes out. It’s about playtime. Theatre!”
Click through to see backstage beauty pics & read more about the show…
Backstage with Roland Mouret and makeup artist Val Garland.
After three—yes, three—hours of “blissful” sleep, I made my way to the Westin Paris hotel, in front of the Tuileries, for my backstage interviews at Roland Mouret. I thought I was just there to chat with tanning wizard Nichola Joss, but the PR gods were smiling and I soon found myself speaking with the entire creative team: Orlando Pita on hair, Val Garland on makeup—and, to my pleasant surprise, the designer himself. Here were the four steps leading up to showtime.
Step 1: Before Pita and Garland worked their magic, Joss was on her knees polishing the models into “honey glow” perfection using One Night Only St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. “It’s not about being too dark or having a deep one-dimensional tan; it’s about the overall finish and glow,” explained Joss, the brand’s global skin-care ambassador. “I want them to be radiant.” As for her own golden hue, Joss said it’s a mix of product and time spent this summer in Mauritius, a French island off the southeast coast of Africa. “I’m not an advocate of lying in the sun,” she added. “You need to protect your skin. I use product as well because I love a tanned look. I’m Scottish, so I come from a land where there isn’t much sun. Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon has always been my reference point.”
Step 2: Makeup artist Val Garland told me her task was to create “a royal rebel—a street girl who’s really cool.” The secret, she assured me, was the “scribbly eye” done with NARS Black Moon Eyeliner Pencil, Carpates Eyeliner Stylo and Zardoz Single Eyeshadow. “There’s no mascara—that’s what gives it a modern edge. The focus is on the black stain,” she explained. The lips were kept simple (Bianca Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment) and the skin bare except for Optimal Brightening Concentrate. But the secret weapon, according to Garland, was a product that won’t be on the market until early 2013: the Light Reflecting Setting Powder. “It feels like silk,” she explained. “You get that honed-to-the-bone finish.”
Click through for steps 3 and 4 and Noreen’s PFW by numbers…
Photography by Nicole Comeau from www.theionfashion.com
The Girl: Sara Strand, blogger, www.sarastrand.no
The Location: Grand Palais Avenue Winston-Churchill.
The Look: Sporty chic in a baseball-inspired look.
Click through for more street style snaps from Paris Fashion Week!