It was my great pleasure to be invited by INCA Productions to do the makeup for the first British show from Chinese luxury brand and cashmere house 1436 Erdos, designed by Creative Director, Graeme Black. I’ve worked with Graeme on his own label and really enjoyed collaborating with him again. Sitting in the huge double height hall of the National Museum, a small group of London-based fashion editors joined a full house of Scottish fashion lovers and Chinese supporters – including Chinese Vogue’s Angelica Cheung. It was a very elegant affair, and fittingly opened Edinburgh Fashion Festival.
When I met Graeme for the show fitting, he told me that the models would be wearing layers of the finest cashmere, on possibly the hottest day of the year. I suggested that we keep the skin lightweight – a silky cotton juxtaposition. I was supported by M.A.C and their Pro team, headed by Claire Mulleady who was extremely helpful and professional, introducing me to some basic products that I hadn’t met before. We used Mineralize Charged Water Lotion, Natural Radiance, Mineralize Moisture Foundation and Concealer, Prep and Prime Loose Powder, Extended Play Mascara, Posey Cream Blush, Dirty Blonde Impeccable Brow Pencil and Brow Set.
Our work began at the Waldorf Caledonian Hotel where the lighting was thoughtfully organised to match that of the venue – daylight and beauty dishes. The makeup and hair preparation was very hands on, with massaging of skin as our first important step, a technique also employed by talented hairdresser Lyndell Mansfield (also at CLM) and her team. Lyndell’s number one, wonderful Meggie, can be seen below with one of the young men in the show (and in the background, proof that models do eat!)
The makeup was minimal – the ‘no makeup makeup’ that takes about ten products to achieve! It’s all about layering with thin veils of products, rather than one heavy application. Massaging enables you to discover bone structure and observe where the colour rises, as well as nourishing the skin and preparing it correctly for the foundation. Graeme wanted the models to look like Scottish girls who’d been walking in the Highlands, so we boosted their blush for windswept health and their brows for character. Freckles were added to give a Celtic complexion and lips balmed to keep them nourished and flushed. Lashes were well curled for an eye opening effect and mascara added to top and bottom – it helped to have the right disposable wand.
A couple of hours before the show started, we were transported to the venue which was awe inspiring. My assistants, Hannah Paul and Lucy Pearson, were told quite sternly by a security guard not to go exploring! Actually there was no need to, as backstage there were all kinds of (stuffed) creatures, past and present, floating above and around us. We checked the makeup during rehearsal which is always key, as the light dictates how it’s seen. I decided to add more blush, matching the models’ natural lip colour.
My favourite moment during shows is when the models are lined up in their first outfits (they’re in their own clothes above) and we perform our final checks, which can involve hands, feet, legs and arms – skin doesn’t stop at the neck! We also have to keep an eye on changes as that’s when different body parts are exposed and things can get disturbed. It’s a fine line between being on top of everything and not getting in the way. There’s always a little stress but it was extremely well organised by INCA and my team were very willing and capable. The result was a beautiful show and a happy designer.