“Black Is the New Black” Backstage at Marc Jacobs

Glitter, Gaga, and more

“Tough” was the word uttered in almost every backstage beauty huddle this week, as we saw bad girls of every designer variety bring their distinctive swagger to the runway. Adam Selman’s girl was smoking pot and running from the law; Jason Wu’s uptown lady dared to venture downtown; RiRi’s cast kept it real with inky lips; and Rodarte’s makeup was designed to say “Don’t fuck with me.” Marc Jacobs’ beauty look, however, took the trend to an even darker place.

“You could say that black is the new black,” laughed maquillage master Francois Nars, who devised six haunting looks with every iteration of the inky hue. Pencils, paints, shadows, and kohl liners were all on deck behind the scenes, as makeup artists filled in models’ pouts with NARS’ forthcoming Velvet Eyeliner in Black Moon and created starbursts worthy of Alice Cooper. Brows were bleached until they “disappeared” in an effort to add a sense of peculiarity to stereotypically pretty faces. “On the runway, we want the girl to look like a creature that’s strange and mysterious,” added Nars. (With Mother Monster stomping the catwalk in sky-high platforms and a pussy bow, there’s no doubt the goal was met.) 

Guido Palau formed finger waves with Redken Hardwear 16 gel before shellacking the sculptural set in place with Forceful 23 hairspray. For models with buzz cuts (like Mari Agory and Grace Bol), the shape was outlined along the hairline with a pencil and painted trompe l’oeil style—a technique often employed by women in the ’20s, explained the pro. To add some “pizzazz,” heads were coated with hairspray and topped with raven-hued sparkles. Palau said of the shiny addition requested by Jacobs himself: “Everyone loves glitter, right?” Indeed. When asked what it would be like to remove the high-fashion “hair” post show, Agory said, “I wish it was permanent—it’s pretty sick and very captivating.” 

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