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Kawaii nails and glitter tears at Marc Jacobs’ street style-inspired show


TextKristen Bateman

For SS20, creative team Pat McGrath, Guido Palau, and Mei Kawajiri created individual beauty looks for all 60 models

Kawaii nails, glitter tears and refined baby hairs: Marc Jacobs’ SS20 show had it all when it came to stellar beauty moments. Lead by an all-star team of make-up artist Pat McGrath, hairstylist Guido Palau and nail artist Mei Kawajiri, all 60 models had a completely different beauty look. The make-up alone took McGrath, who is a master at her craft, over a week to conceptualise.

“It was definitely, for Marc and I, an idealised interpretation of real life,” McGrath explains backstage. “There is a nod to the past and future. What’s great is taking the looks that come from the past but modernising them. Also, in a way, I would call it a modern take on street style – street style in the most maximum way. Not one girl or boy or person, will look the same. Every single one had to be different. It’s really about the characters, everyone being different and having fun.”

For the skin, McGrath laid down a base of Marc Jacobs Beauty Youthquake Gel Crème Moisturiser, Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(Cover) Blurring Coconut Face Primer and Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(Cover) Eye Perfecting Coconut Eye Primer. She then used a variety of different products for every single model – there were crystals applied in spirals on the cheeks, green liner applied up to the brow and emphasised with gems and holographic papers, some of which McGrath tells us she had been saving for 15 years from her “couture days”. She also applied ombre glitter below the lash line, heavy flicks of liner and 80s inspired blue shadow. 

The focus for most looks was on the eyes, with lips remaining mostly neutral with a swipe of Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer in French Tickler and Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème in Cream and Sugar, Goddess, Taboo, Shakedown. 

Japanese nail artist Kawajiri (who does Marc Jacobs’ nails personally) and her team of four nail technicians created whimsical nails that actually matched the clothing in the collection. Using lace swatches from the collection, she layered the fabric over acrylic tips with rhinestones. She also carefully hand-painted a set of nails that matched a pig sweater (the hardest to create because of the knitted texture, according to the artist). Finally, she hand-sculpted Victorian cameos and Kawaii animals for more colorful sets, worn by the likes of Gigi Hadid. 

“We started making all the nails two or three days before the show,” explains Kawajiri. “The cameo nails are my favorite because I’ve never done them. But Marc loves nail art, it was his idea to use the fabric on the nails.”

As for the hair, Palau was also inspired by real life. “We built the hairstyle, the colour, and the makeup with Pat around each of these distinct personalities,” explains Palau. “There are hats, there is colour, there are a lot of looks… there’s a lot of everything, in a way. There’s a bit of irony and humor in some of the looks as well. We’ve taken individualism to an extreme here by having every model walk with a distinct look.” For blowing out the hair, he used Redken’s Extreme Play Safe for  heat protection and Redken Triple Pure 32 Hairspray for hold. 

With Marc Jacobs leading as one of the most anticipated shows of New York Fashion Week, it’s inspiring to see such a big brand embrace individualistic beauty that mirrors real life. Next up, LFW. 

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