Backstage at Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2016

Backstage at Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2016

Delphine Achard

Makeup and hair at the most recent couture season in Paris skewed toward the bold and the beautiful — from the ruby lips at Atelier Versace to the eyeliner variations at Dior and the Rasta inspiration at Jean Paul Gaultier. Here, the creative minds behind the looks discuss their inspirations.


Atelier Versace

There was a rock ‘n’ roll vibe to the beauty at Atelier Versace this season.

“It’s all about the wing done in a really metallic baby blue,” explained makeup artist Pat McGrath, referring to the bold dash of color jetting out from under models’ eyebrows. “Then you’ve got an incredible jewel-incrusted mouth.”

For this, she coated models’ lips with red sparkles.

Their tresses were raked back into a “punky-ish updo,” as described by hairstylist Guido Palau, who was working with Redken products such as Guts 10 Volume Boosting Spray Foam and Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray.

He crafted a ponytail at the back of models’ heads and then twisted tresses around, leaving parts jutting out in loose spikes.

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The models at Dior were given individual eye treatment.

“It’s very haute couture,” said Peter Philips, the house’s creative and image director for makeup. “It is personalized.”

He crafted on most models black wing shapes of various shapes and dimensions, sometimes on their top lid, sometimes adorning their bottom lid — or both. In other instances, Philips used gold.

“The idea is actually very much inspired by the collection, which is black and white with a touch of gold,” the makeup artist described. “It is all variations on eyeliner.”

Philips used products such as Diorskin Forever Foundation, Diorshow Art Pen and Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara.

Hairstylist Guido Palau dubbed his style “Deneuvelike,” referring to the iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve. It involved “a messy center parting and tresses swept back and clipped together with an oversized Dior-created golden barrette Deneuvelike.”

“It’s very French, a sort of simple elegance, a natural texture,” he said. “It is easy — like modern couture.”

Palau employed Redken products, including Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray.

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Giambattista Valli

In contrast to Giambattista Valli’s embellished fashion collection, the beauty look of the show was given an androgynous gloss, evoking Nineties breakout model Stella Tenant, said hair stylist James Pesce, who slicked models’ hair back into low-slung ponytails.

Another reference was Alexander Sokurov’s film “Russian Ark,” which was shot in one take over 96 minutes and features a ball in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum.

“All sorts of people are there, wearing all sorts of different ballgowns, little shorts, Sixties dresses,” said makeup artist Val Garland, who was working with MAC Cosmetics.

She wanted all of the models to seem fresh-faced and boyish. Brows were a particular focus.

“Where there’s a brow, there’s a bit of a strong brow,” said Garland, adding in other instances they were bleached.

She called described the look as being very natural and clean with a dewiness.

“It is tomboy beauty,” summed up Garland.

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Giorgio Armani Privé

A black-and-white photograph of a woman with short, wavy hair served as inspiration for the Giorgio Armani Privé beauty look.

“It’s like an elegant kind of women in the Armani style,” said Linda Cantello, Giorgio Armani’s international makeup artist. “Eyebrows are still always very important for [the designer].”

These were emphasized on models using the brand’s High Precision Brow Pencil, while Smooth Silk Eye Pencil was smudged on the outer corner of their peepers, then white matte Night Light shadow was blended in the center of lids. On lips, Cantello applied Lip Magnet and Him/Her Lipcare balm.

Hair stylist Orlando Pita wetted models’ tresses then scrunched them by hand to get a more contemporary aspect than if they were traditionally curled, he explained.

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Elie Saab

Models’ hair and makeup at Elie Saab took a cue from Hollywood of yesteryear. Think Rita Hayworth.

“We decided to do something very, very glamorous,” said Tom Pecheux, who was working with MAC Cosmetics. “It’s a very couture makeup.”

That’s primarily thanks to how models’ eyes and lips were treated. He swept a pink-gold eye shadow across their lids, then in a diagonal from a peeper’s inside corner to the outer, upper lid drew a bold black line. The space between the eyelashes and outside corner was filled in with gold eyeliner.

Mouths were painted a vivid red. Otherwise, Pecheux added to skin a bit of contouring and highlighting, plus loads of mascara on to top lashes.

Hair stylist Orlando Pita gave models’ tresses a wave.

“It’s slick and back,” he described of the look, adding that for it he used some products from his Orlando Pita Play line, including The Great Inflate Air Whipped Styling Foam and Body Breakthrough hairspray.

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Jean Paul Gaultier

“Rasta” was how hairstylist Odile Gilbert called the inspiration for the beauty look at Jean Paul Gaultier’s show, where she coiled most models’ tresses (almost dreadlock-style) into voluminous buns trailing from neat cornrows.

“We have a natural feeling of the hair,” she added.

Makeup artist Sam Bryant, working with MAC Cosmetics, took a cue from earthy, woody tones.

“They’re based on mahoganies, browns, rusts and gingers,” she explained. “Each girl is having a slight tailor-made look.”

She was referring to models’ eyes, which were swept around with different hues. The unifying element was everyone’s dark lip, which came in tones such as Bordeaux or chestnut.

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