For years, my finest buddy and I’d mingle backstage earlier than a style present with Pat McGrath prefer it was regular. As magnificence editors and reporters, we had been required to take heed to McGrath (or an underling, when McGrath wasn’t giving interviews) discuss in regards to the make-up look created for a runway present that may begin in roughly one hour.
At first, it was thrilling. We’d spend style week transferring between venues, huddling backstage to watch a make-up look designed to be invisible with the intention to let the garments shine. We had direct entry to among the most well-known make-up artists and hair stylists on this planet.
However “backstage magnificence” protection shortly misplaced its lustre. Particular person reveals blurred collectively. A make-up artist would clarify why they selected brown eyeliner as an alternative of black eyeliner, hairstylists shared how hair was styled with merchandise from a model they had been required to make use of and nail artists confirmed us the polish painted on fashions’ fingers that nobody would see. My job was to regurgitate this info and shortly flip round a narrative about every present’s magnificence look. It turned a battle, as a result of there have been solely so some ways you possibly can say the designer’s desired end result was “dewy pores and skin” or “clean hair.”
Quickly, I started to surprise what the purpose was for magnificence manufacturers taking part in style week. Magnificence firms have sponsored runway reveals and displays for many years, it’s simply the best way it was all the time accomplished. Manufacturers massive and small do it for publicity; hoping their merchandise or the lead make-up artist speaking about their merchandise make it into style week opinions and recaps. Others simply take part in style week as a result of they suppose they’re alleged to.
However with few exceptions, magnificence stays an afterthought throughout style week.
There are definitely methods for hair and make-up to play a extra compelling position, however right here’s an alternate thought: possibly it’s additionally okay for magnificence to take a backseat and let style have its second. There’s nothing incorrect with letting style week simply be what it’s – style week.
Whereas there’s no draw back to a magnificence model sponsoring or offering merchandise and labour for a designer’s present, there’s additionally no actual upside. Often, the designer needs all of the emphasis on the garments, not the corresponding make-up selection.
Magnificence sponsorships, whereas useful to designers, are one thing of a misuse of sources for magnificence manufacturers. As an alternative, that money and time might be higher spent ideating and dealing on product growth, content material, charitable initiatives — the rest — to launch at a time when the individuals you wish to attain aren’t working to reveals, displays, occasions, dinners and events. Everybody needs extra press and social media protection, however making an attempt to take action throughout style week is a fruitless train.
I’m not minimising the work of those extraordinarily proficient artists and wonder traces. Constructing a model or title for your self is actually arduous, and any alternative to do this one ought to take, however style week is probably not the perfect second.
That’s notably true now that the period of the famous person make-up artist is over. As soon as, seeing McGrath backstage meant no matter make-up look she had created would turn into a “factor” — we knew that if anybody was going to do one thing wild and memorable, it was her staff. Former style week make-up stars McGrath, Gucci Westman and Charlotte Tilbury now all have manufacturers of their very own. There’s additionally, because of YouTube, a bigger, extra democratised era of make-up artists who gained notoriety and tens of millions of followers with tutorials and fascinating content material on-line. That is an incredible factor for the trade and the proficient artists who wouldn’t have had a platform to showcase their abilities a decade in the past.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of eventualities the place it is smart for magnificence traces to prioritise style week. The obvious is when a style model has a corresponding magnificence line, like Tom Ford. One other is when the wonder look is created particularly to face out or be provocative — like McGrath’s glitter lips at Versace’s Autumn/Winter 2016 present — a uncommon prevalence. Different manufacturers have tried to make use of the runway to launch new merchandise that instantly go on sale after the present, however this stays a novelty. Magnificence is caught on the sidelines at style week, making an attempt to latch onto the notoriety or buzz of a style model, and like several collaboration, it solely works when it really works.
Vogue and wonder stay inextricably linked, magnificence usually taking cues from style and vice versa. However throughout style week, magnificence is screaming to be heard in an already extremely loud room. Let style have its second. There’s your entire remainder of the 12 months to launch new merchandise, campaigns, influencer collaborations or announce that your model has joined BeReal.