Yesterday, Dior live streamed its 2021 cruise fashion show from the Piazza del Duomo in the Italian city of Lecce, Puglia, complete with dancers, an orchestra and a custom luminiarie made of 30,000 LED lights – but no audience. In a call with media prior to the show, Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior makeup, shared how the backstage beauty process had changed amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

While Philips says that hygiene has always been a top priority for makeup artists, he “pushed it to the extreme” preparing for the Dior Cruise show. Each of the 47 models who walked the show were assigned their own set of beauty and skincare products to use. Backstage was spacious enough to maintain social distance and makeup artists, who, like everyone else, had their temperature checked prior to entering the building, wore face masks and face shields. Luckily, the beauty look, which he describes as “luminous,” was simple: some foundation, lightly filled in brows, lip gloss and mascara.

Cruise 2021, Dior show backstage. Dior make-up created and styled by Peter Philips.

“With natural makeup, it’s important that the few things you do are well done,” says Philips, crediting a new formulation of Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara with “more naturality,” hitting shelves in September, for achieving the look. “The mascara coats each lash perfectly, and it builds up and keeps a nice separation of the lashes. It’s already one of my favourites.” (He recommends curling the lashes first.)

When it came to doing last-minute makeup touchups on models as they waited in line to walk out onto the catwalk, Philips had to get organized, calling the precision needed like a “military option.” Once the order of the models in the lineup was confirmed, makeup artists kept makeup brushes in individual cups with each model’s name on it.

Cruise 2021, Dior show backstage. Dior make-up created and styled by Peter Philips.

Cruise 2021, Dior show backstage. Dior make-up created and styled by Peter Philips.

Reflecting on how the new virtual fashion show format has changed the creative process, Philips says there will always be live fashion shows and compared it to the launch of MTV: “It didn’t kill live performances, it just created an extra platform,” he says.

“Fashion shows are a calendar, which is great for business and the mechanics around fashion, but this calendar can be adapted and have a bit more variety to it,” says Philips. “It creates much more possibility to express yourself creatively. It’s an exciting time to work with the tools we have.”


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