Backstage At Dior, Models Armed For The Resistance In Rainbow Eyeliner

Luxury feminism? It's a thing.

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'Don't apologise for getting where you need to go,' says casting director Michelle Lee. We're backstage at Dior, and she's leading a timid newbie model through a throng of makeup artists, hair stylists, and photographers—a traffic jam of backstage passes. 'Just push through them,' Lee continues, 'so you can get to work.'

That sentiment—'Don't be sorry for moving ahead!'—was threaded through Dior's entire show, from the clothes to the music (a military marching tune, remixed with female singers). Even their Instagram stories were crammed with models giving girl-to-girl advice. 'You need to be focused,' says Dominican catwalk crush Lineisy Montero, 'and never stop.'


Which brings us to Dior Make-up's creative and image director, Peter Phillips, who also never stops. After creating couture tattoos in January, Phillips debuted crayon-coloured liquid liners today in Paris. Available in May, the eye candy is called DiorShow On Stage Liner, and though it looks kawaii, Phillips insists it's actually got some heft.

'If you use a pink eyeliner as a cat-eye, it will go cutesy,' he says, 'but if you're doing a blunt line, almost like a little half moon, across the upper and lower lids, then it's conceptual, cool, and ready to be taken seriously.' (For the record, Dior Makeup is often taken seriously, especially by beauty junkies who stalk the typically sold-out line of Dior Addict lip stuff.)

As for the hair, Guido Palau let the curly girls stay curly (yay!), but gave the straight strands of Edie Campbell and Gao Ying a 'slight flip' with a barrel brush and Redken atinwear Thermal Blow Dry Lotion to boost shine and movement. 'It's hair for a rebellious girl,' he explained, 'But not rebellious enough not to blow her hair out. She's kind of a bourgeois rebel, because we all know girls who can be rebellious because they're bourgeois.'

That leads us to the quandary of luxury feminism—the Re$i$tance, if you will. Designer Maria Grazia Chiuri cited May 1968 as her inspiration, even though the famous French protests of that era were partly about sex ('open your mind as much as your legs,' went one famous slogan...) but also about income gaps, fair labor laws, and Vietnam. Can we protest economic injustice, war, and repression while investing in designer mascara?


LOVE. #DiorAW18 @adwoaaboah Photographed by me, at @Dior FW18 Backstage.

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'Sometimes I think there's a bit of a grey area in terms of, 'Does this come from a good place? Is it authentic or are you just using it to sell clothes and be part of a trend?'' says show-closer Adwoa Aboah, who also founded Gurls Talk, an online community for frank female empowerment.

'But maybe that's good as well. Maybe that doesn't matter because it's adding to the conversation. But, there's nothing more brilliant than people who are promoting youth culture and change for the right reasons, and who are actually interested in what's going on, and who know the power of their platform. And I think Maria Grazia does... She's put youth culture at the forefront of this collection, and she's made this message of strength and femininity to be really supportive of young people, and really inclusive.'

Indeed, those new coloured eyeliners look fantastic on all skin tones and genders... and their formula lasts through a hard day's work (or protest march), too.

From: Elle
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