Skip to main content

Abstract Expressionism Backstage at Proenza Schouler

WWD went behind the scenes at the fall show.

Some would say that the Proenza Schouler beauty look entailed more than usual.

Case in point: There was smeared eyeliner, a leather hair accessory and an actual color on the nails rather than just nude.

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez told Diane Kendal for MAC Cosmetics that the inspiration was abstract expressionism, specifically the artwork of Helen Frankenthaler. Kendal referenced the artist slightly in the main focus, which were the eyes. She applied black Chromacake with her forefinger in the inner corner of the eye and then flicked it across. For a flawless complexion, she massaged Mineralize Charged Water onto the face and worked Face and Body Foundation into the skin. Then, Kendal dusted Sculpt & Shape powder in Emphasize above the arch of the brow and across the cheekbone and bridge of the nose. To finish, she curled the lashes, groomed the brows and topped the lips with Lip Conditioner.

“The whole collection is elegance undone,” said Anthony Turner for Bumble and bumble. “The idea is that we’ve deconstructed it. Basically, what we wanted to do with the hair is bring a sense of youthfulness.” The designers noted that they wanted the hair to be extremely matte, with absolutely no shine. First, Turner mixed Thickening Hairspray and Prep spray, then drenched hair with it in sections. He dried everything back with his fingers to make it look aerodynamic. Then, he applied Surf Spray to make sure hair was very matte, and again dried it back. To finish, Turner sprayed hair with Dryspun Finish and put a leather headband at the top of the head. “The whole thing feels very rough and organic,” he said. “It’s punky in a way with all the spiky strands.”

For the nails, half the models wore a custom-mixed dark gray and the other half wore a neutral sheer tone. Michelle Saunders for Essie layered a black color called Licorice with a creamy sheer white called Allure to match a specific skirt in the collection. For the girls wearing no color, Saunders applied Au Natural and topped it with Ridge Filling Base Coat to soften.