Festival Chic

“Dries was thinking of the kind of girl who goes to Burning Man,” describes Peter Philips, the make-up extraordinaire who has consistently brought us the most iconic beauty looks of the runway. Season after season, his work is especially breathtaking when he teams up with long-time good friend and fashion designer Dries Van Noten.

This season is another triumph. Van Noten translates literature and art into fashion that festival girls would love. Referencing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Burning Man, and Rainbow Gatherings, nymph-like designs float down a runway lit in a stardust-like filter, with models resting upon mossy carpeted floors as though in slumber for an elegant, languid denouement. But the story will not be complete without ethereal make-up. “She’s not a hippie, but she loves nature – and she’s also a bit high-tech,” says Philips. He draws a delicate gold ring on the lower lips of the models, leaving the rest of the face fresh and bare. “It could be tribal, in a Maori sense; it could be a piercing,” he adds. “It could even look like the shine from a lip gloss.”


“This is perfect make-up for girls at gigs,” agrees make-up artist Lucia Pica. And this mood for love and celebration, free parties and pumped-up raves, continues through the runway. Skin is kept radiant and dewy, and unexpected colours and effects find their way in the most creative manner onto the face instead of the hair.

At Marques Almeida, “washes of sun-bleached pastels” flash like slits of sunlight across the faces of models. “She’s post-festival – slightly sunburned with a touch of hay fever,” says MAC make-up artist Terry Barber. His tip to make this look work: “Anything involving colour only looks modern when you take away the skin coverage.”

“Young, fresh, innocent,” make-up maestro Tom Pecheux chimes in, referring to the pop-coloured decals he pressed upon the temples of Antonio Marras’s girls. “They are artsy, playful, and creative.”

“This is inspired by Hazel O’Connor in the movie Breaking Glass,” divulges beauty guru Val Garland of a similar look she has created for the Monique Lhuillier girl. “Think water-like reflections, beautiful skin but a bit hard.” Shard-like iridescent films adorn the inner and outer corner of the eyes, a nod to the dramatic make-up seen on O’Connor’s London punk-rocker character. Set against even-toned skin and softly shaded lips, this look is for the grown-up and sophisticated lady who still wants to play with glitter now and again. For a more amped-up version, Manish Arora makes the perfect reference for a sunny day out at Glastonbury, while Alexis Mabille’s glittery eyes of melted bronze are excellent for dance-filled nights.

“Using a warm coral or peachy toned eyeshadow in a soft blend around the eyes gives the feeling of summer,” says make-up artist James Molloy. “A little bronze glitter added to the upper and lower eyelids brings the eyes to life and catch the light. To keep the look modern, just avoid anything too bright or bold on the rest of the face.”


“Lip shades on the eyes is the summery interpretation of last season’s playing with the undertones in the skin,” divulges make-up expert Lyne Desnoyers. English make-up artist Kabuki creates a cocktail of cyan, fuchsia, and white lip colours for the chalky purple seen on the eyelids of the models at Sally La Pointe.

Pecheux also carves a niche with the romantic mauve eyelids he created for Derek Lam. The application is water-coloured, and the texture a result of using lipstick: MAC Pro Lipstick in Violetta, to be exact.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, under eyelids are also treated to a free hand. See Holly Fulton, where girls wore “sky colours”, notes Andrew Gallimore, who traces the lower lids in an ombre cyan while leaving the lashes clean, “fresh, elegantly unfussy.”


“It is a palette cleanser of pastels,” says Kabuki of this free-spirited togetherness seen on the runways this season. The crux of the trend lies in a freedom of hand, the quaint use of colour – think minty greens, glossy eyelids, liquid metal, and ice-cream pastels – an out-of-the-box mix of products, and of course, insouciant hair: “If you see a woman in a beautiful Dior dress and her hair feels unfettered, you kind of look at her and think, ‘Wow, she has a lot of confidence’,” says mane man Guido Palau of the effortless raked-through tresses that went so well with the satin macaroon-hued lids Philips created for Raf Simons’s Dior.

Forget about getting done; this is all about leaving the rules behind and letting your hair down for a day of wild, fairy woodland fun. Here, nothing is too precious to wear to frolic in the thick of the woods – dancing sprites and magical love potions optional.

Images: Imaxtree