There’s that famous close-up of Tom Ford’s belly button, part of the “Pathology of Glamour” that this artist renders with luminous, almost hallucinatory colour and painterly photo-realism… Erotic imagery that zooms in on a succulently wet, red lip, a dappled, sequined eye, or a silverized stiletto splashing in the mud. The Whitney Biennial Artist says she’s “Never met a model who actually thinks she’s beautiful,” and that observation goes a long way to explain how she connects to what MAC wants to say about all-inclusiveness we’re ALL beautiful sometimes. Pigments in Push the Edge and Copper and Gold Glitter have the power to make anyone feel like they WILL be seen and desired.
Andy Warhol did a cameo on The Love Boat in 1985…and in the same spirit, Richard Phillips! 1998 painting, Spectrum, made its debut on the scandalous Gossip Girl a sign of the times! Need we say more? Recycled and re-imagined ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s ads and images, and every colourful issue ever considered when pondering the question of “identity” is what Richard Phillips is all about. Highly technical, a refinement of precise, academic painting, his gold and beautiful portraits seem so relevant to everything MAC artistry is all about. A collection of Eyeshadow Quads, Lipsticks, Lipglass, and The Perfect Cheek Blush just leap off the canvas!
If there’s one thing that A/W09 makeup is about, it’s a point of view. And a point of power. We’re past a point of girlish innocence and barely-there makeup, especially in a season where beauty is working alongside fashion that holds no bars in terms of brazen styling and attitude. Artists are talking about ’emotive makeup’, and the spirit they are channeling is that of a woman who’s upbeat, in charge and in control. The main energy? Eighties. Hence, artists found their way to ultra-amplified lips and exuberant hues on the eyes (Who’s that Girl?) and an underground clubby elegance to black eye makeup (Lid Vicious) but also the more nuanced side of the era, picking up on the contoured, carved face that dominated the decade (Sculpture Club) or the satinized perfection and couture feel that moved makeup into the early Nineties (New Romantics). Speaking of technique, what’s back is one of absolute precision and accuracy. “Whatever the final look this season, it was always pretty obvious that the girl was wearing a structured, deliberate makeup” says Gordon Espinet. So, five minute makeup is over, for now. Time to roll out those brushes and get perfecting….