Following from my last post on what it’s really like backstage, I feel I should add that not every backstage is brimming with frazzled madness; some are, on the contrary, rather well-oiled machines. Of all those we witnessed, one of the calmest was the backstage at Louise Amstrup, whose show produced that rare combination of clothes which were at once both beautiful and exceptionally crafted, and desirable to the modern woman.
Chatting to the designer before the show, she spoke of how an initial inspiration translates into a collection. From pop culture depictions of the American desert and its barren landscapes sprung the notion of a strong girl walking through the dusty plains. She is at once determined and masculine, yet sensual and feminine; her makeup melted, her hair sweaty, and her clothes bleached by the midday desert sun.
Like a theatre production, the hair and makeup artists then translated this vision to create a complete mood and feel for the show: the costume, if you will.
Let’s begin with the makeup. Imagining the show’s heroine to have been out the night before, her once flawlessly-applied makeup is now slightly melted and disheveled from the scorching heat, but still very sexy. Using Dr. Hauschka, lead make up artıst Lucia Pica prepped the skin with a cleansing milk (which leaves skin softer than a gel cleanser), toner and three different face creams to create a super glowy base.
She used only a liquid bronzer to even out the skin tone and. instead of blush, blended a taupe/bronze lipstick on the cheeks. Having smudged a combination of smoky grey and purple eye pencils all around the eyes, she finally dabbed lipbalm over the eyelids, cheekbones and lips to give everything a sheeny finish.
To translate this look into everyday wearability, Lucia suggests using the same techniques (only with a lighter touch) and to use makeup in unexpected ways: for the perfect smoky eye, try using only an eye pencil (rather than a shadow) smudged all over the lid and blended with a brush or fingertips, or use a lipstick or lipbalm on the cheeks and eyelids for a lovely dewy sheen (just be sure products contain only skin-friendly ingredients if using in this way – Dr Hauschka’s lip balm is perfect for this).
For the hair, lead stylist James Pecis drenched the hair in texturising spray + salt spray and blow dried roughly with the fingers. Once dry, he “aggressively massaged” the hair with Bumble & Bumble grooming cream, scraped the lot into a low ponytail and messed everything up a bit more with the fingers to give the heroine a “swampy, beachy” look. For a more wearable version to try yourself, James suggests loading your hair with grooming product at nighttime before bed, rather than in the morning. You’ll wake up with gorgeously messy hair.
The final look
* Briony was backstage at Louise Amstrup courtesy of Dr. Hauschka