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Fancy Free

Hairstylists and makeup artists for this season's couture allowed their imaginations to take flight, abandoning commercial viability in favor of sheer fantasy.

Haute couture has always been the stuff of dreams. And this was no truer than during the fall 2007 shows held in Paris last July. Backstage at the shows, hairstylists and makeup artists worked their magic, weaving together disparate themes and materials. At Jean Paul Gaultier, for instance, hairstylist Odile Gilbert created crowns out of real hair—true extensions of models’ coifs that ended in ponytails. More morphing took place at Christian Lacroix, where she orchestrated undulating, faux jewel-, ribbon- and fur-bedecked dos. Gilbert said she took a cue from former Empress Sisi of Austria and from Africa. “You don’t know if it is fur or hair,” she said bemusedly. Makeup, too, belonged to the realm of fantasy, especially around the eyes. They were the focus on numerous runways, including Chanel, Armani Privé and Dior.  At Gaultier, where models’ eyes were encircled with color, makeup artist Tom Pecheux gleaned his inspiration from textile prints. Stéphane Marais, meantime, swept hues across eyelids at Lacroix, saying that with such an accent, models seemed “possessed.” Not so at Givenchy, where makeup artist Aaron de Mey said he was inspired by Catherine Deneuve for the “light, beautiful and sophisticated” look he created. Each fashion house might have had its own vision of beauty, but altogether, the women of the season looked strong and sophisticated.

Givenchy
Hairstylist Luigi Murenu created crimped bangs and slick chignons. “We always do soft, long hair for Givenchy,” he says. “This time, it has a little more of a punk attitude.”

Armani Prive
Makeup artist Aaron de Mey’s smoky eye with invisible brows offset Giorgio Armani’s masculine/feminine
collection to perfection.

Gaultier
Created by hairstylist Odile Gilbert, crowns entwined with hair created a spectacular extension of coifs ending in ponytails at Jean Paul Gaultier.

Lacroix
Makeup artist Stéphane Marais designed a “very strong, smoky eye” at Christian Lacroix, an accent, he said, that made the models looked "possessed.”

Chanel
Makeup artist Peter Philips created an enchanting winged look for the model’s eyes, using whimsical sequins and feathers as decorative elements.

Elie Saab
Slicker-than-slick chignons with side parts, created by hairstylist  Franco Curletto, combined with  makeup artist Gordon Espinet’s smoky eye and pale mouth quietly complemented sophisticated sequin-encrusted gowns.

Dior
Celebrating his 10th anniversary with the house, John Galliano’s extraordinary Dior collection was inspired by painters, illustrators and photographers. Makeup artist Pat McGrath and hairstylist Orlando Pita followed suit, creating individual looks for each model based on her persona. The result was as magical as it was beautiful.