Sunday, February 15, 2009

Direct from the Runway: threeASFOUR Fall 2009

"There was a different approach to this show in that the designers didn’t want a grand catwalk show," M.A.C makeup artist Gordon Espinet told me backstage at the threeASFOUR show during Fall 2009 Fashion Week. "And we didn’t want anything over the top, grand with this. This is not a time to be going there. They even took a little bit of a different direction in terms of the clothes."

To that end, makeup was kept very light and simple but with some interesting elements added. Hair was caught in long fake ponytails that fell down the back and surrounded by intricate headpieces. And nails showed some interesting geometric elements with triangles painted at the half moons.

Get even more details and photos after the jump.

"We wanted something that gave the appeal of a fresh face. It’s not makeup, but still has a bit of an otherworldly appearance to it," Espinet told me. Using products such as concealer and Mineralize Skinfinish to make the skin look even and pretty, Espinet left freckles bare. He then used a pearl cream color base to highlight the high points of the face -- the top of the cheekbones, chin, Cupid's bow, bridge of the nose, browbone and tip of the eyelid -- and then layered the highlighter Emphasize, from M.A.C's PRO line.

"It looks really strong, all of the highlight," Espinet said. "So it almost gives them something like from a Stanley Kubrick film. It’s got this sort of synthetic glow about it, fluorescent lighting glow. But we don’t want it to look too too too obvious, we still want something kind of beautiful about it, something human. Because the clothes are so strong, and the synthetic hair."

"Initially we started off with doing all this crazy eyeliner that was asymmetrical and stuff like that, but then we thought it’s looking too theatrical. No eye makeup," Espinet said. He left the lips bare as well, swiping them with lipcolor in Soothing Beige, a brownish plum that's so light it doesn't look like color on the lips and takes away the reddish tint.

"We’re here as makeup artists not to put makeup on them, but to create an effect that would be created by light. It’s pretty straightforward," Espinet said. "Today is really all about just kind of create that image, create that effect, not necessarily worry about putting blush and mascara and eyebrows on the girls."

Nails were done by Roxanne Valinoti at Creative Nail Design. "Triangles set the mood," she told me. "It’s the only cool geometric element. Very futuristic, geometric. Very cool to have that one element on the nail. It almost looks like a claw!"

After working with the designers to really flesh out the idea of how to create this geometric nail -- at one point they thought about doing a black French manicure with one side higher than the other -- they landed on this intricate triangular design. Roxanne used black paint "because it dries faster and it's easier to detail," she told me. But a black polish can be used to accomplish the same look. She used a very thin brush -- the triple zero -- which had such a fine point it was almost invisible.

She also used two coats of Ridge Out base coat, which has a bit of opacity to it, and one coat of Serenity for a cream finish that wasn't too white or too beige. "Serenity is the backstage beige," Roxanne said, "because it's perfect!"

"It’s gonna be really cool," Roxanne said. "Netting on the pants, so futuristic with the headpieces, it’s cool." And it was.

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