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BCBG Beauty on the Runway

Lubov Azria’s exacting eye naturally extends to the beauty aspects of the brand’s ready-to-wear collections.

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Lubov Azria’s exacting eye naturally extends to the beauty aspects of the brand’s ready-to-wear collections, noted the leading hairstylist and makeup artist who help create many of the brand’s runway looks.

This story first appeared in the April 30, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I have been working with Lubov and Max for a few years now and it has been the most enjoyable experience,” said hairstylist Laurent Philippon, who has keyed the hair at BCBG’s runway shows for the past several seasons. He noted Lubov “can decrypt the mood of the season, that ‘air du temps’ and catch exactly what the girls are going to go for next season. That’s a gift and just for that, it’s exciting to work beside her. She works with Laura Ferrara as a consulting stylist and it is just a perfect stylistic duo. Reinventing the codes of the house every season, Lubov has her fabulous designs and Laura brings the cool factor.”

“Lubov tells me who her woman is for that particular season, she shares her inspirations with Ferrara, Laurent and myself, and together we collaborate on what we feel the beauty focus should be for the show,” said Val Garland, lead makeup artist for many of BCBG’s rtw shows. “For BCBG, our woman is always empowering, strong, self-assured and most definitely chic.

“Then, Laurent and I will prepare two models with different aspects that we feel promote the look Lubov would like to see; sometimes we get the look straight away, other times we have to search for an ideal that sums up the beauty look that befits the clothes for that particular season. It’s all a process and that’s what I enjoy — the process.”

See All of WWD’s Coverage of BCBG Max Azria on the Runway >>

As for the hair, “it is always my priority to make the girl look sexy, stylish and cool,” said Philippon.  “I think the BCBG girl is style-conscious, sexy and knows how to look effortless. Hair is such an important part of a look; it brings sensuality and connects to all women. I particularly love what I did for the spring 2013 rtw show. It was all about the texture, that kind of windswept feel, but with a slight Sixties vibe. The hair was separated in the middle and body on the crown of the head was created with a soft backcombing and a cloud of hair spray, I also love the look I did last season. I took Françoise Hardy and Patti Smith as references. The first one, for the kind of fringe that was formed with a deep side part and tucked behind the ear into an invisible braid, and the second one for the rock ’n’ roll nonchalance of the texture.”

Added Garland, “Always with BCBG, our woman is effortlessly chic. She feels very now, always in the moment. It’s important that one feels the whole woman that is BCBG. It’s paramount that the beauty look becomes part of the woman. You should never notice the makeup for makeup’s sake — it’s all about the total package.

“I really loved spring 2014 — it stands out for me because it was exactly how we want to look in summer: sun-kissed, naturally glamorous. You can’t really pinpoint the makeup — she just looks gorgeous. It’s all about a fabulous skin quality with clever contouring and skin highlighting. This look epitomizes everything that is the BCBG woman.”

Garland also appreciates Azria’s ability to roll with the moment. “Sometimes [the style] I produce in the showroom looks perfect and then you look at the same makeup during the rehearsal and I know it’s gotten a little lost under the lights,” said Garland. “So you have to tweak the look in the hectic last half hour before the show starts. There was one time when I thought the girls needed something a little extra and time was running out, so in the lineup, just before the show, I daubed a pink stain on to the girls’ lips, even though that had not been part of the preshow brief. Lubov came up to me after the show and said ‘Nice touch Val, the lip really worked.’ Whew! That’s what makes my job magical.”

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