Braids and Makeup Made for Women at Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Debut Dior Show

“We should all be feminists”

Thanks to the frantic pace of the digital age, the average person has the attention span of a goldfish. (No, seriously. This is a fact supported by an actual study.) Seeing as the fashion sphere changes its mind even faster, we decided to provide you with a condensed report from backstage this season. As much as we’d like to pen novels in the name of lipstick and hairspray, we get it—you’re busy. Here, the beauty version of CliffsNotes (all facts, no fluff) that you can easily skim in eight seconds…because science says that’s all the time you have.

SHOW: Dior

CITY: Paris

KEY PLAYERS: Makeup Artist Peter Philips, Hairstylist Guido Palau

THE LOOK: Natural and glowy with a touch of street. “It’s very real—it doesn’t feel like a transformation or dress up,” explained Philips. “It’s about strong girls as individuals.”

INSPO: Flemish paintings and “purity.” Chiuri wiped faces (and the proverbial slate) clean for her debut at Dior, but added “skater girl”-inspired braids (a Valentino signature) up the back. “All the references were a bit tomboyish, but it’s still very feminine and pulled together in its simplicity,” said Palau.

BEAUTY MVPs: Dior Diorskin Forever Perfect Makeup Foundation, Diorskin Nude Air Colour Gradation in Rising Pink (available Spring 2017), Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade, Redken Braid Aid 03

TOP TIPS: Try Philips’ flawless-skin trinity: Apply a primer (“It almost works like double-stick Scotch tape,” he said of the formula that grips both skin and foundation) with fingers, slick on base with a brush, and seal it in with a translucent powder before dusting a glitter-free illuminator (Diorskin Nude Air Colour Gradation provides a subtle satin sheen) on cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and across the Cupid’s bow. “There’s no contouring or highlighting, there’s no transformation, it’s just enhancing and covering up slightly,” explained the pro. “It’s not a sparkly,pearly glow, or even a dewy glow—it’s a luminous finish.”

After raking Redken Braid Aid 03 through strands for “grip” and “hold,” Palau asked models to flip their hair forward so that stylists could craft three to four braids up the back before pulling the length into a pony, folding the tail in half, and wrapping the end around the base. “We’re making the braids very precise, but I think it’s charming when a girl does it herself and it’s a bit messy,” he added. “Girls do braids all the time—it’s the most common hair accessory in a way.”

WORDS FROM THE WISE: Philips’ talks about the female gaze:With Maria [Grazia Chiuri], it was nice to talk about makeup as a woman and as a mother. She has a 20-year-old daughter who loves makeup. It’s a different conversation than with Raf [Simons], Karl [Lagerfeld], or Dries Van Noten. Her approach very much [stems from] a woman who wears makeup. She told me, ‘One day I’m natural and the next I do a black, strong eye. It’s how I feel—it’s a reflection of how I want to express myself.’ She also said that  [makeup] has to feel not like a restriction, but an enhancement. It has to be comfortable and long-lasting. You have to be able to count on it. I respect that for her very first show she wanted to make this purity statement. We’ll see where we go from here.” Similar to the flats found in Chiuri’s collection, you can tell this look was created by a woman for women. “She has a very personal idea of hair and makeup. It comes from something she might like to do or her daughter does. I’ve never done anything with her that feels unfeminine or unattainable,” added Palau. 

TREND TALLY: No-makeup makeup is always a designer favorite, but this season especially so: We saw the look at Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent, and Peter Pilotto. Plaits were presented at Bora Aksu, Simone Rocha, Erdem, and Roberto Cavalli.

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