At the end of fashion week, you have to appreciate a makeup artist who doesn't belabor his explanation of a look with forced intellectualism. "I don't have much to say," François Nars said backstage at Marc Jacobs on Thursday afternoon. "The only thing I can say is that it's all based on black. You could say that 'black is the new black.' That could be the line of the show." You've also got to love a beauty professional who winkingly packages his quotes for the crowd of editors thrusting their recorders at him.
There was, of course, a little more to the look than that. Looks, rather: Nars and his team created six different styles for the 50-plus models walking in Jacobs's fall 2016 show, all variations on punk monochrome. On the eyes, there were clean, graphic lines; uneven slashes across one lid and a sharp wing protruding from the other; Beetlejuice-esque shadow messily patted up to the brow bone. Every model bleached her eyebrows for the occasion, a surefire way to speed past the bounds of normality.
"I think the strangeness is really what we were looking for, no matter what," Nars said. "When you shave the eyebrows or get rid of them, the face becomes more strange, which gives us a better canvas to work with because everything is almost erased." And after all, to quote Edgar Allen Poe paraphrasing Francis Bacon: "There is no exquisite beauty.... without some strangeness in the proportion."
For a touch of decade confusion, hairstylist Guido Palau complemented the '80s punk-inflected makeup with '20s finger waves from the top of the head to the ears. On the few girls with shaved heads, Palau's team painted black swoops mimicking the look and covered their hair in glitter. It looked magical.
While the high-gloss black nail polish that manicurist Jin Soon Choi used for the show was certainly the most wearable element here, those considering a streaky dark eye or an ebony lip might find confidence in Nars's attitude toward the haters inclined to cramp his creativity. "Marc follows his gut and he does what he likes. He doesn't care whether press likes it or not, which is great. I really am the same when it comes to makeup. I don't care whether you like it or not," he said, before adding kindly: "Hopefully you like it, but if you don't, it's okay."
Click through for more backstage beauty at Marc Jacobs.