Beam Me Up

Lighting designer Thierry Dreyfus lifts fashion out of the dark.

View Slideshow
Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 05/18/2007

As Mariah Carey and Barbra Streisand can attest, no makeup job will hold up if you’re not well-lit. No worries. Thierry Dreyfus is in the house.

This story first appeared in the May 18, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


For over three decades, he has been casting spotlights on divas and bestowing glow on catwalks for designers from Patrick Kelly to Yves Saint Laurent. Last season alone, he worked on some 50 shows, including Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Zac Posen and Marni.


Soon, us mere mortals will be able to bathe in his flattering light, too. The guru has also been busy designing a collection of lamps for home use, dubbed “Objects of Light,” and plans to launch it at year’s end.


“Skin is my one obsession,” says Dreyfus, who is known for lighting not only the stage, but backstage areas as well. “Otherwise, the makeup artist will work on a certain image, and on the runway, there will be another image altogether,” he says.


For this same reason, Dreyfus recommends multiple lighting systems for the home. “[During an average day] a woman will expose her skin in an office to hard lighting, then outside to [natural]  light and in the evening, in a restaurant, there will be a different  light,” he says. To avoid a makeup faux pas, he suggests outfitting your bathroom with two lighting levels minimum.


Dreyfus dabbles in cultural ventures as well. He created an installation for the reopening of Paris’ Grand Palais in 2005, during which 12,000 light bulbs shined through the palace’s glass roof.

View Slideshow