On the Thursday of Milan Fashion Week something unheard of happened. Make-up maestro and all round nice guy, Tom Pecheux left the looks in the models’ hands, allowing each of the girls to choose their own shade of red lipstick from five punchy Mac colours.
‘I didn’t want the girls to look like soldiers marching down the runway,’ Tom explained, ‘I wanted to celebrate their individuality, so I invited them to be a part of the make-up process and asked them to choose their favourite shade of red lipstick.’
This might not seem groundbreaking as such, but this small yet poignant act just shows how the catwalk is leaning ever more towards embracing each model's individual style, quirks and idiosyncrasies.
In case you’ve ever wondered how backstage beauty looks usually come to be, let us break it down for you…
Usually one to two days before the show the designer and their chosen hair and make-up experts will meet in the fashion house’s studio – the designer will give them a first look at the new collection and they’ll all creatively chip in to decide on the best beauty look to enhance the clothes and all-round mood they’re hoping to create.
Said beauty gurus then go off, round up their teams and come show day they’re prepped and ready to recreate the look on the models. Technically, they should have around two hours in total to do this, but more often than not a model will run in from another show 15 minutes before catwalk call time and it will be all hands on deck. Quite literally.
As for the models, most of them are used to rushing from back-to-back call times. They rock up – often on a Moped as this is the quickest mode of transport to avoid traffic – are plonked down in a chair in a manic backstage area and stay dutifully quiet and still to allow the beauty team to get to work.
It’s practically unheard of that they get any say on the beauty front, which is why the Max Mara show was a real breath of fresh air and something we hope to see more of in this movement towards championing the individual.