Each season, the beauty look at the Marc Jacobs show is easily one of the most anticipated. Sometimes, it's noteworthy for not-so-great reasons; but more often, it's a triumphant display of what imaginative, transportive runway hair and makeup can be. For the designer's Spring 2019 show on Wednesday, the latter was certainly the case. This beauty look had everything: vintage inspiration, pastel hair dye, buzz cuts, egg-shaped chignons (more on what, exactly, that means in a moment), up-to-the-brows eye shadow and so on.
The most striking aspect of the look was the hair, which, for many of the models, necessitated leap-of-faith makeovers. Last season, nine models chopped and dyed their hair into dramatic bowl cuts in punk-y hues for the Marc Jacobs runway. It was impressive, to say the least. But compare that to this season's look, and that number seems paltry: Hairstylist Guido and colorist Josh Wood (both for Redken) buzzed nine models' heads; chopped the strands of 15 or so more into extreme, graduated bobs and dyed roughly 37 models' hair into a range of shades, spanning faded pastels, inky dark tones, bleached-out platinums and vibrant reds.
"Every single girl has a different color — no two are the same," said Wood of the dye jobs in a pre-show interview. "There are silver-greens and there are aqua-blues and there are paper-whites and there are these really intense reds, and each one within those groups has individuality to it." The colorist, who had been working to prep models for three days before the show, was on hand backstage to continue perfecting the tones, in some cases still making adjustments mere hours before the show.
"This is the biggest color project that I've ever worked on, so it's a very proud moment for me," he said, crediting the models' own enthusiasm and willingness to take risks with their hair for the breadth and diversity of the looks. But the vision, of course, came from Jacobs himself: "Marc signed [off on] every single color," noted Wood, who said the designer wanted the hair colors to "have history and look vintage," in some ways making them "the anti-unicorn hair."
Even for Guido, who has routinely transformed models via major chops in seasons past — most consistently giving a slew of them game-changing makeovers ahead of the Alexander Wang show — this show was quite the undertaking. "I'm always surprised how many girls [are willing to cut or color their hair]," he said, going on to describe the styles for the Marc Jacobs show as "quite complex... in their simplicity."
Aside from the models with buzz cuts, the rest of the lineup — whether they got bob haircuts or not — had their hair carefully coiffed into elongated, "egg"-like shapes. "We call it the 'egg' because it's that shape, it all goes up. It's a very flattering shape, actually, that high crown that draws the face up with it," said Guido. "That shape really came from the Egyptians, it was always very elongated at the crown." But the not-quite-Conehead-silhouette drew its main inspiration from the no-hair-out-of-place styles from the 1960's.
"It's a nod to a lot of iconic women Marc really likes, like Barbra Streisand, Lee Radziwill, the '60s women that were very 'done' and very 'salon,'" explained Guido. For the models with longer hair, the stylists used Redken Guts 10 Volumizng Spray Mousse, as well as actual foam fabric, to build up an internal structure at the crown of the head, and then added in additional hair pieces to lend the length necessary for the chignon-ponytail hybrid.
The makeup, while less dramatic than the hair, was just as varied, with Diane Kendal (for Marc Jacobs Beauty) and her team drawing from an array of 20-plus different loose pigments to create individualized eye-makeup looks for each model. "[Marc] showed us lots of old pictures, [magazine] covers from the '50s," said Kendal of the vision board for the makeup. "But doing it just kind of one wash, very sheer up to the brow, gives it more of a modern feel. Although it gives a hint to the '50s, we didn't want to take it too literally."
That inspiration translated to a real focus on the eyes, rimming them with black or brown shades of Marc Jacobs Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner (depending on the model's own coloring), coating lashes with the brand's Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara and then prepping lids with the same foundation used to even out their complexions (Shameless Youthful-Look 24-H Foundation) before layering on the tonal loose pigment. Kendal skipped blush and any sort of lip color that would draw focus from the eyes, instead using a sheer gloss for a bit of shine.
With all of that going on, the backstage beauty team harbored no illusions that this fantastical look would become a wearable, real-life trend: "I know you girls always ask me how do you do this at home," said Guido to the group of beauty editors quizzing him on the look backstage. "Well, you don't," he laughed. "But that's not to say it's not relevant, because what we're nodding to is the idea of more of a finish, an idea about dreamlike qualities, fantasy in fashion, which is so important for everyone — to dream and to have a fantasy."
Click through the gallery below to see more from backstage at the Spring 2019 Marc Jacobs show.
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