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Backstage At Milly Fall 2011 — Creamy Red Lips And No-Fuss Straight Hair


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When designing the pieces shown at the Milly Fall 2011 show, designer Michelle Smith was, as the Skittles slogan goes, “tasting the rainbow.” Smith’s palette brought to mind an expert artist swirling dabs of acrylic paint on her wooden palette, dipping her brush into one dollop and then the next, swirling the mixture around and marveling at the resulting shade, then brushing it onto a blank canvas, creating a surprisingly coherent and picturesque work. The beloved designer, then, mixed emerald green, cognac brown, charcoal-tinged purple, poppy red, camel brown, tangerine orange, forest green, deep turquoise, midnight blue, eggplant purple, chestnut brown, heather gray, cerise pink, dark fuchsia, bright honeysuckle, electric purple, and a wine hue — juxtaposing these rich colors in almost every look and yet doing so in the most sophisticated manner, staying true to her Upper East Side socialite meets Parisian “it” girl aesthetic.

The looks showcased, then, included a silk, deep emerald green dress with tiered ruffles along the bodice and a mid-calf-length skirt worn under a dark navy blazer and paired with wine-colored globes and slouchy cognac leather boots (check out the look here). A fitted, forest green cardigan, meanwhile, was paired with a matching green beret, purple velvet culottes with a toggle detail at the waistline, blue suede gloves, and a structured, dark gray jacket with forest green trim along the neckline, sleeves and front flaps (here’s a photo of the look). A flirty, wrap-around silk dress with a watercolor-esque print, a vintage, secretary-style bow tie at the neckline, and a precocious center slit was worn with a jacket featuring long, blouse-y, dark purple sleeves in a velvety fabric and a woolly, blackened green tweed center constructed to resemble a vest, and accessorized with bright red gloves, a camel-colored beret, mahogany brown leather boots, aviator-style shades, and a mahogany-colored leather envelope clutch (check out the look here).

As it turns out, the Milly Fall 2011 collection was inspired by an artist: famed fashion photographer Guy Bourdin, who shot  for French Vogue for almost 30 years (from the ’50s to the early ’80s). Bourdin preferred shooting models in the buff or in revealing garments and skimpy swimsuits, managing to make even the most erotic shots look fashion-forward and gallery-worthy, but Michelle Smith didn’t focus on the concupiscent element of Bourdin’s work, instead drawing inspiration from his vibrant color palette. One of the main jumping-off points: models’ red pouts, a common thread in Bourdin’s portfolio.

MAC Cosmetics‘ key makeup artist Romy Soleimani, then, worked alongside Smith to create the makeup look for the show, which emphasized these vibrant red lips.

The rest of the makeup look was incredibly simply. Soleimani kept models’ skin looking dewy and luminous mainly by moisturizing it and then applying a light layer of  MAC Face and Body Foundation. No shadow or cream color was applied to eyes — just MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara in Black Fix along upper and lower lashes.

To create the pretty, picture-ready pout, Soleimani used the MAC Pro Paint Stick in Basic Red, then filled in the creamy color with MAC Pro Chromagraphic Pencil in Basic Red, adding a touch of the MAC Pro Lipmix in Red. The lips’ contours weren’t drawn severely (in fact, they weren’t drawn at all) and, once the color had been applied, the MAC makeup artists used their fingers to gently dab the color onto the pout, softening the look.

In terms of hair,  Kevin Ryan, co-founder of Rsession Tools, led his team backstage, creating a very simple, youthful look by straightening hair and creating just a slight bend  at the nape for a slightly lived-in, can’t-be-bothered-to-style-my-hair effect.

Lastly, models’ nails were coated with a light, slightly sheer pink shade: Orly’s Dream Boat.

Check out more photos from backstage below and don’t miss the video of Romy Soleimani discussing the makeup look included at top!


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