Karl Lagerfeld is never one to stage a boring runway show, and at Chanel's Métiers d'Art 2019 show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Tuesday evening, that tradition held true. Presenting the collection in the storied Temple of Dendur was a strategic choice for Lagerfeld, who wove the Egyptian theme into various aspects of the show, from the styling to the designs themselves.
The Egyptian-inspired aesthetic also extended to the runway presentation's beauty look, which included "wet"-looking hair, graphic, kohl-like eyeliner and — easily the most surprising of all — lots of gold body paint.
We'll get to the body paint in a moment, but first, hair. To create what hairstylist Sam McKnight describes as "sculpted, wet-looking waves," he and his team prepped the models' hair with lots of pomade for hold and a gleaming finish. Then he set the style in place by blow-drying it with a net and a narrow-nozzle dryer. See a glimpse of that technique which McKnight posted to Instagram, below.
While the effect was one of slick, brushed-back hair, it was neither straight nor pristine — from the front of the head, visible comb strokes and curl patterns remained noticeable. While the models got their makeup done, the styles were held in place with clips, which were removed before the show.
Makeup artist Lucia Pica, who is Chanel's global creative makeup and color director, couldn't let an Egyptian-inspired theme take hold of the evening without paying homage via a strong eyeliner look. Egyptians dating back to 3,100 BCE are believed to have worn kohl pencil, and it was a graphic liner look in this vein that Pica adopted on Tuesday. She kept most of the models' faces natural looking, groomed their brows and then focused on creating an exaggerated cat-eye with thick black, white blue and (in one instance) gold liner.
Connected at the inner corners of the eyes and then extended in a large almond shape to bring in a cat-eye effect, the liner floats just beneath the models' lower lash lines and above the upper eyelid creases, narrowing in at the outer edges, but leaving a half-centimeter space between the upper and lower lines. With the slicked-back hair and not much else in the way of makeup, it's an impactful look.
But the models' faces weren't the only thing that got adorned in makeup. For some, like Grace Elizabeth, body paint got into the mix. She and several of the other models who appeared to be wearing metallic hosiery were in actuality wearing gold body paint. Gold body paint!
As British Vogue points out, the gold painted legs on the Chanel runway may have drawn inspiration from the 1944 film "Kismet,: in which Merlene Dietrich's character Jamilla wore them. Apparently this is an enduring (if not exactly practical) aesthetic choice. Can we expect Chanel Beauty to add a gold body paint to its product lineup? To be determined.