Making Backstage Magnificence Higher | BoF

For years, my finest buddy and I’d mingle backstage earlier than a trend present with Pat McGrath prefer it was regular. As magnificence editors and reporters, we had been required to hearken to McGrath (or an underling, when McGrath wasn’t giving interviews) discuss concerning the make-up look created for a runway present that may begin in roughly one hour.

At first, it was thrilling. We might spend trend week shifting between venues, huddling backstage to look at a make-up look designed to be invisible to be able to let the garments shine. We had direct entry to a number of the most well-known make-up artists and hair stylists on the earth.

However “backstage magnificence” protection rapidly misplaced its lustre. Particular person reveals blurred collectively. A make-up artist would clarify why they selected brown eyeliner as a substitute 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 data and rapidly 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 could possibly say the designer’s desired end result was “dewy pores and skin” or “easy hair.”

Quickly, I started to surprise what the purpose was for magnificence manufacturers taking part in trend week. Magnificence corporations have sponsored runway reveals and shows for many years, it’s simply the best way it was at all times finished. Manufacturers giant and small do it for publicity; hoping their merchandise or the lead make-up artist speaking about their merchandise make it into trend week opinions and recaps. Others simply take part in trend week as a result of they assume they’re presupposed to.

However with few exceptions, magnificence stays an afterthought throughout trend week.

There are definitely methods for hair and make-up to play a extra compelling position, however right here’s another thought: possibly it’s additionally okay for magnificence to take a backseat and let trend have its second. There’s nothing incorrect with letting trend week simply be what it’s – trend 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 — anything — to launch at a time when the folks you need to attain aren’t operating to reveals, shows, occasions, dinners and events. Everybody needs extra press and social media protection, however attempting to take action throughout trend week is a fruitless train.

I’m not minimising the work of those extraordinarily gifted artists and wonder traces. Constructing a model or title for your self is absolutely arduous, and any alternative to try this one ought to take, however trend week might not be one of the best second.

That’s notably true now that the period of the celebrity 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 group. Former trend week make-up stars McGrath, Gucci Westman and Charlotte Tilbury now all have manufacturers of their very own. There’s additionally, due to YouTube, a bigger, extra democratised era of make-up artists who gained notoriety and hundreds of thousands of followers with tutorials and fascinating content material on-line. That is an incredible factor for the business and the gifted artists who wouldn’t have had a platform to showcase their skills a decade in the past.

Nonetheless, there are just a few situations the place it is sensible for magnificence traces to prioritise trend week. The obvious is when a trend 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 trend week, attempting to latch onto the notoriety or buzz of a trend model, and like several collaboration, it solely works when it really works.

Trend and wonder stay inextricably linked, magnificence usually taking cues from trend and vice versa. However throughout trend week, magnificence is screaming to be heard in an already extremely loud room. Let trend 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.

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