Maria Grazia Chiuri has spoken, and black is back. Not only present in the Dior creative director’s darkly enchanting haute couture autumn/winter 2019-2020 designs, shown today in Paris, but via the beauty look for the show curated by Dior Make-up’s creative and image director Peter Philips.
“It’s a simplified smoky eye,” the acclaimed make-up artist explained backstage of the alluring aesthetic. The smoky halo brought as much drama to the catwalk as the gowns, while being straightforward enough for all to wear in reality.
With such a strong female casting, he and Chiuri didn’t want to transform the models into retro vixens or femme fatales, two obvious associations of the beauty classic. By taking away mascara and liner and using only a black eyeshadow it read ‘smoky eye’, but in a Dior couture way. “On some girls it looks almost gothic and on others it looks romantic,” he notes. “That’s the strength of a smoky eye, it offers different ways of expressing yourself.”
Indeed, for this show he applied black shadow in a simple horizontal shape, encasing the eyes. But Philips explains that should “you wing it up, it becomes sexy, and if you take it down, it becomes almost theatrical.” Noted.
Vincent Lappartient for Christian Dior Parfums
Dior 3 Couleurs Tri(o)blique #053 Smoky Canvas, Dhs277 at Harvey Nichols, Dubai
The look came courtesy of the brand’s new Couleurs Tri(o)blique eyeshadow palette in ‘Smoky Canvas’, something Philips knew Chiuri would adore when he created it, given that black eye make-up is her signature. “I worked with the labs to create a customised palette for Maria Grazia. As this is inspired by the tote bag – with ‘Christian Dior’ stamped in the middle shade - I had ‘Maria Grazia’ stamped on it instead and gave it to her as a surprise.”
“She firstly realised, ‘oh it looks like the bag, fantastic!’, and suddenly she saw her name, and like a teenager almost she said ‘look!’ and showed everybody.” She explained she was thinking of doing a smoky eye for haute couture, and now they had this palette to work with – it was meant to be.
Other key products behind Philips’ catwalk look were the Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation (available in an impressive 40 shades), and accompanying Primer which is new. “It blurs and gives a beautiful glow, plus helps your foundation to stay,” he explains. “Most primers are colourless, but this has a little warmth without tinting the skin, so it’s great for men too.” Shop it while you can – it sold out within a week of launch in the States.
Given that the models wore sheer net veils on the catwalk, their skin was kept “pure”, without any highlighter or blush beneath – “otherwise it would read like an Ascot look or something, too made up,” Philips explains. This way the make-up looked more like a painting.
The hair, by legendary stylist and Redken ambassador, Guido Palau, continued this theme, balancing elegance with a youthfulness.
He explained to Bazaar that by adding side braids to a classic chignon, it gave ‘done’ hair an updated feel. “It’s sophisticated but in a more youthful way.”
For this look Palau straightened the hair, blow-drying it with Redken Satinwear 04 to smooth it out. “Then we did two scalp braids either side – which gives a little facelift – using Redken Braid Aid 03,” he explained. The braids wrapped around the bun, with the final elongated, elegant shape being polished with hairspray.
It seems new takes on style classics, be it a smoky eye or a chignon, is in for autumn/winter. We're already buying it.
From Harper's BAZAAR U.K