Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Runway Beauty: Valentino's "Operatic" Spring Runway Muse For Spring 2014

Valentino has always been a key designing house when it comes to the ones I admire the most. I love not only the trademark rocker feminine vibe, but I also highly admire the natural style of their runway beauty looks. For this season, Par Mcgrath created the illusion of a softly contoured face. No heavy makeup, just a bare minimum. Scroll below to read the ABCs of the creation of this look.

Elegant, modern, noble—these are the words that rolled off Pat McGrath’s tongue backstage at Valentino, where the makeup artist has played a key role in helping designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli define the core beauty codes of their runway woman in recent seasons. For spring, McGrath added operatic to the list of adjectives, explaining that she had been inspired by a mood board covered in photos of legendary soprano Maria Callas in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1969 film, Medea. “[Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo] were talking about how opera was the pop music of the day,” she said. “The challenge is looking at those photos, and figuring out how that becomes the Valentino girl [now],” McGrath explained.

Her solution was to focus on what she described as “the basics of theatrical makeup”—namely, pale skin and soft contouring to sculpt the face—which she then “pared down to nothing.” That meant natural-looking foundation that was a bit warmer along the cheekbones; slightly toned down eyebrows; taupe-stained lids; brown mascara at the root of lashes only, and plenty of illuminating highlights down the bridge of the nose, on the inner corners of eyes, and along the cupid’s bow of the mouth.  

Doing his part to further the design duo’s classical take on beauty, Guido Palau was blowing the hair dry with Redken Satinwear Prepping Blow-Dry Lotion before adding extensions and making a precise center part. Skipping the soft braiding that has become something of a house signature of late, Palau set to backcombing strands at the crown for a bit of volume, then pulled the lengths of the hair into a low-lying ponytail instead. “It’s impeccable, but a bit more austere,” he said of this season’s style, which included side panels that were deliberately pulled over the ears to conceal the ends of the gold medallion-stamped leather headbands that Piccioli and Chiuri designed for the occasion. “It’s just such a Valentino thing,” he said of the undeniably pretty effect, “to express femininity in a desirable way.”

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