Backstage Beauty At Gareth Pugh; Brace Yourself

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  • The hair and make-up at Gareth Pugh’s AW16 show was a stroke of genius.

    Last season at Gareth Pugh we had Drag Queens-slash- sex shop blow-up dolls, this season we have, according to MAC make-up artist Val Garland, ‘Joan Crawford if she was Hannibal Lecter’s mistress’. Yes Val!

    Val kept skin looking velvety with MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF15 Foundation and added a custom-mixed dark plum mouth which she added a thick layer of MAC Clear Lipglass to just before the show.

    To stop the make-up looking too retro, Val crafted a ‘surprised brow’; she brushed up the brows and stuck them down with theatrical make-up glue (don’t worry, she removed the glue at the end of the show – the models won’t look forever surprised). In a stroke of genius Val used elastic from a pair of American Tan tights and stretched it under the cheekbones and secured it behind the tops of the ears, the look – though subtle at a distance – make the cheeks look like they were ‘pumped full of filler’ and lifted the top lip up so it looked a lot fuller. ‘The look is (painfully) gorgeous,’ she told me. ‘She looks like a mannequin or a forties model in a Pond’s Cold Cream ad.’ Too brilliant.

    Manning the hair station, stylist Malcolm Edwards deployed L’Oréal Paris Studio Pro Boost It Volume Mousse and L’Oréal Paris Studio Pro Lock It Extra Strong Fixing Hairspray, to create horns to suit – in his words – a ‘fierce bitch’. Built around two ponytails, the two sections of hair were twisted up and worked around something cylindrical; sometimes a glass stick or a wooden handle. There’s something a little Maleficent about it right?

    Marie Claire favourite, Marian Newman, took negative space nail art to the next level with her creations. ‘Gareth told me he wanted a ‘Gareth Pugh French’, she told me. ‘And it was up to me to interpret what that exactly looked like. I came up with a couple of options and luckily both Gareth and Katie (Grand, the stylist) went straight for my favourite.’

    So, what is the ‘Gareth Pugh French’? It’s a solid colour, in this case a rich taupe, with a section on the tip of the nail completely devoid of colour. Each nail had to be fitted and painting on to each model. ‘We couldn’t paint them all in advance,’ she explained. ‘We had to be sure that the nail perfectly fitted the finger.’


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