The make-up trend that has made the biggest impact, of late, has been Givenchy’s bleached brows, complimented with graphic eyeliners. It’s very simple, authentic and brings the most beautiful focus to the eyes in a sophisticated way. Also dewy skin with a gloss eye or lip has been the star of shows from Stella McCartney, Marni, Versace and Missoni. I feel this look is likely to resonate well with Indian complexions. For Manish Malhotra’s Grande Finale at the Lakmé Fashion Week, Lakmé and I, had created two distinct looks across 40 models. It was deep blue gloss eyeliner with a peach gloss semi-nude lip and a ruby red gloss lip with dewy skin complexion. It was wonderful to see gloss make such an impact! We ensured the looks were authentic for the runway and accessible for to-be brides.
On and off the ramp
The runway needs to have everything notched up a level. Most of what you see is designed for inspiration, not for emulation. Take what you like and apply it. While bleaching your eyebrows isn’t the most practical, knowing what textures are ‘in’ will certainly keep you fashionably ahead of the curve. So keep it glossy not matt, keep it ‘you’ not model-esque and keep it fashionable, not trendy. Runway make-up is not practical for day-to-day wear, yet runway hair is for everybody.
Within a few days of a show, you’ll start to see new hairstyles talking the streets of Paris and Milan. This season, it’s all about the mixed textures. Playing with classic styles like the chignons, braids, quiffs and ponytails. This season, I collaborated with Tresemmé and Rocky S to create six unique hairstyles across 28 models in one show, including our showstopper, Diana Penty. Here the challenge was to create looks which fitted Rocky’s 1940s inspired collection, which could easily be worn on and off the runway, something Tresemmé believed in passionately. In keeping with the mixed textures, we created sleek to texture side braids, wet-look to dry 40s waves, while for Diana, we carried out a live hair transformation going from a structured upto to long flowing ethereal waves.
Applying runway trends in your salon
Make it your own, take pride, be relevant and own it. I firmly believe, be it with hair or make-up, it’s vital there be an aesthetic to whatever look you create. If the look needs wild frizzy hair, make it beautiful wild frizzy hair. If the make-up needs to be strong and overpowering, it must still remain beautiful as well as be strong and overpowering. The skill and what you’ll be remembered for is making unconventional look great.
Deciding the look of the models
Before I can work on a show, I need inspiration. It’s crucial to understand the designer’s vision, their journey and appreciate the feel of the collection. By looking at each garment and from the seeing the fittings, you see the story the designer is wanting to tell. With the music, the lighting and being able to recognise the women, the designers wants to sell to you and understand so much more.
The process of understanding allows me to be inspired and crate the looks which I believe will help sell his/ her vision on the runway. The one thing to avoid is replicating another design. You are part of the designers team, you’re there to translate the designer’s vision across hair and make-up. It’s vital that you be original authentic to deliver the designer’s vision.
Skin tones and runway make-up techniques
Practically, make-up looks are created for a collection and not the models. You may only know a few days before a show the models you’re working on and many times, only a few hour before, the show some models are changed.
Biggest faux pas
Understand your designer. Understand the lighting you are working with and be true to the designer’s collection and their creative vision. There are no runway make-up faux pas, there are just out of place make-up looks. There is also a fear if the make-up isn’t strong it will be not make an impact. The beauty is in the detail, be it on the gown or make-up. Bleached eyebrows fabulously open up the canvas to create very special eye make-up. I love it, but most models aren’t so keen on it!
Iconic moments on the ramp
My most scary, exciting, enthralling and I think iconic moment was the live hair transformation of Diana Penty. Tresemmé and I devised the hair folding technique which allowed us to crate a structured updo, partly held in place with a silk turban. When Diana removed the turban, it allowed her hair to naturally fall down showing off her ethereal waves. This live hair transformation was designed to illustrate Tresemmé’s new Hair Spa range. It was a highly conceptual show and it worked magically.