Backstage beauty at Mackage Fall/Winter 2012
"Excuse me ladies, Rico is ready for his makeup," says a severe-looking woman as she nervously consults a clipboard and frantically gestures behind her. Why is it she’s on edge? Enter Montreal-native Rico a.k.a the Zombie Boy (you may recognize him from Lady Gaga’s video, "Born This Way"). Rico strides into the room—rocking a spiked leather vest and baggy pants complete with an authentic gas mask hanging from his belt loop—that’s almost as stare-worthy as his body art. Covered in head-to-toe tattoos, Rico won the Guinness World Records for having the most bones and insects tattooed on a human body. In short, senior
M.A.C makeup artist Melissa Gibson has good reason to cock an eyebrow at his "ready for makeup" face. Ever the professional, she strikes up a conversation as she reaches for a bottle of face moisturizer. You may think having a tattoo-covered man in a fashion show may be a bit distracting but as designers Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy explain, Rico was the perfect model to capture their mood for Fall/Winter 2012. "We saw
Water for Elephants and it so haunting but beautiful," says Elfassy backstage at the runway show. " We wanted to capture that feeling of dark but playful and sophisticated." Looking around at the theatrical stage (decorated with hanging parasols, vintage popcorn machines and tinkling carnival lights) I can see the melancholy circus connection, and then of course there is Rico. "How perfect is he for the show?" asks Elfassy. "When we found out he was Canadian, we knew we needed to have him. Canadians need to stick together!" How then do you translate
OTT circus appeal into a makeup look?
"The clothes are just so amazing and bold that we couldn’t have makeup try to compete," says Gibson backstage before the show. "The look is all about a ‘cool girl’, she’s the kind of person who gets up in the morning and puts fresh liner over the liner that’s still on from the night before." Gibson chose not to set the makeup and instead let the
eye shadows morph with the models’ natural oils for a more “lived in” effect. To create definition Gibson avoided peach or bronze shades that would add warmth to the face, and instead opted for a slate grey shadow to contour cheekbones and give models’ a sallow appearance. "I had originally done a taupe-blush," Gibson explains. "But they wanted something more ‘unhealthy’ looking, I thought, what’s more unhealthy then a grey?" The verdict: Night of the living dead never looked so chic.