New York Fashion Week Fall ’12. Backstage at Libertine.

February 9, 2012 • Beauty, Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows, New York Fashion Week Fall '12

For AW12, Libertine designer Johnson Hartig and the M·A·C Pro team were inspired by the idea of a wanderer, a cultural vagabond whose world is surrounded by extraordinary artifacts, rich color, and intense visuals.

Because of this, the M·A·C Pro Artist Chantel Miller wanted to focus on a simpler beauty look — one that would still stand out, but wouldn’t detract from the vivacity of the clothing. This, of course, starts with the skin:”The most important trend of the season is always going to be the treatment of the skin,” Chantel noted backstage before the show. “But for this season it’s going to be how the skin works with the rest of the makeup. So if we’re still using metallics — in this case, it’s a very metallic eye — the skin needs to be very minimalistic and matte. The makeup and the skin need to complement each other and not compete with each other. I think we will see the more matte ochres and greys and plums, and I think with that we may see the dewier skin. The products you use to push or pull the highlights are going to be key to how you use the color.”

Chantel explaining the techniques she used to create the looks.

This begins with a very raw face. Chantel said that unless it was necessary, the models had absolutely nothing on except for eye and lip makeup. “Most of the girls have absolutely nothing on. And then the lip is just a simple nude matte, and it’s set with powder. So what we don’t want is this texture of lipstick, and by setting it with loose powder it makes it look like her lips are stained this color. I really want the sheen on the eyes to be the texture that stands out. The lip is there to set a tone that lets your eye travel around the face.”

Before watching the looks under the lights in a dress rehearsal, Second City Style had a little one-on-one with Chantel to talk about her inspiration and what most excited her about the looks the M·A·C Pro team had created.

SCS: “What really inspired you about the collection when you were designing these looks?”

Chantel: “All of it! We walked into the room last night and saw those clothes on the racks and my jaw hit the floor. It’s just like, ‘I want to be this girl.’ It’s also a great mix of textures, so what you’re seeing are tweeds and twills and tartans that have been sequined by hand. So it’s again that same sort of something rough and something very organic with something very shiny and futuristic as a treatment. What’s nice about the collection is that it’s so colorful and so texture-heavy that I could have done enormous makeup. They would really work well together. But there was something in my gut that said “take the texture story and play with it, instead of the colors.” And the hair is more raw, as well. When I’m in places like Mexico and looking at native fabrics and instruments, you see a lot of color and a lot of texture. And the people tend to be more played down with their own sense of style. I think that really works, and I think we’re working to create a modern gypsy in every sense of the word.

SCS: What are you hoping will stand out most when people initially see the full beauty look?

Chantel: I hope that the texture of the eye stands out. I hope that people can see from the runway that it is not a traditional smokey eye in texture or in shape.

SCS: What’s your favorite technique you used on this look?

Chantel: I really feel quite clever about putting the black liner over the glittery pigment. It was something we were playing with, and I think, inspired by the designer using things on top of each other and having pieces that serve as the background and pieces that serve as the highlight. I think I was really taking my cue from his approach to design, and so I feel like the approach to this makeup was more industrial than makeup artist.

SCS: Is this the first time you’re using these techniques with the pigments?

Chantel: It’s the first time we’re using pigment in general. The test was the first time I ever touched such a thing. But then the color wasn’t quite right, so it was a bit of an experiment gone right. It’s a good start to the season…talk to me in three weeks and we’ll see how it’s still going!

— Amanda Aldinger

Photos: Second City Style












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