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Makeup in Fashion

Photographed by Joelle Beauchamp of Arianna Diccico & Skylar Seccia

By Joelle Beauchamp

While garments and fashions are the focus on the runway, there are many other factors that come into play in order to create the flawless presentation and runway presence that we know and love.

Makeup has always been a major player in creating the vibe and aesthetic on the runway. Many designers choose to do simple, clean makeup looks to draw more attention to the garment, however, the designers that can create makeup looks to add to and compliment the garments created truly steal the show. Fashion houses and designers are focusing their attention on makeup now more than ever, from retailing to runway.

From Dior to Savage X Fenty, designers have been using makeup on the runway in order to portray their vision, and are now expanding the makeup on the runway, as well as in their stores. Makeup allows for a certain type of expression that cannot be achieved through clothing; it can create a vision and carry along the brand image through color, application, and special effects.

In 2016, after the passing of the beloved David Bowie, Maison Margiela honored the late star in the Spring Couture line through makeup. One model had bold black lips with a red triangle in the center, and an eye covered with 3D metallic stars. For Givenchy Spring 2016, several models were adorned with lace and beaded appliqués covering their faces, leaving out only their eyes. This use of adornment and makeup on the face helped to push along the frilly, lace-covered, nightwear vibe of this collection. One of the most iconic runway makeup looks that always grazes my mind while on the topic is from Valentino’s Spring 2019 couture collection. The models walked the runway with long petal-like feather lash extensions. The feathers protruded from the top and bottom lashes, and matched the garments worn. With every blink, the feathers floated along the models' faces, and gave an overall glamourous and luxurious feel to the entire show.

The three looks above were all planned and executed by Pat McGrath, coined the ‘Mother of Makeup’ by anyone who knows runway or print fashion. McGrath is such an incredibly innovative, ingenious, and creative makeup artist, it is no wonder she has rightfully earned her title. McGrath famously said, “Makeup is an extraordinary tool that allows me to share my inspirations, my fantasies, and my vision with the world.”, which is exactly what she has done throughout her 60+ high fashion runway shows every year.

As well as on the runway, makeup also offers a way for people to feel more connected with high fashion houses, through the retailing of makeup. For those who cannot afford Dior handbags and shoes, their makeup and skincare offer a taste of the designer, without the price tag. Even Dior cotton pads come in semi-luxurious packaging, giving those a taste of one of the best parts of buying designer- the packaging and unboxing. Even in store, while simply browsing at the expensive shoes, handbags, and other items; seeing an item by a designer brand that is in one’s price range, whether it be cotton pads or lip gloss, is always tempting and often taken advantage of.

Makeup holds a large place in the fashion industry but is often forgotten. Makeup allows one to transform and take hold of a new identity, a new look, and a new feeling. Whether the makeup is used on the runway, or in a storefront, or even at home, it has a great effect on the wearer and the creator behind.

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