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Rick Owens SS20 collection Paris Fashion Week
Photography Christina Fragkou

Bald caps and yellow contouring debuts at Rick Owens SS20


TextKristen Bateman

Could bald caps and awkward coloured contour be the next big trend?

Rick Owens is always known to have quite the dramatic show – especially when it comes to beauty. Last season, the designer worked with Salvia, an 18-year-old make-up and body modification artist, to create out-of-this-world mind-bending faces that verged on art. Given that Owens is the kind of sophisticated cult-like minimalism, it’s unexpected yet welcome that his show has fast become one of the best Paris Fashion Week runways to watch for beauty moments.

For SS20, the designer staged a show at the Palais de Tokyo with models donning geometric, sculptural outfits. There were also plenty of headpieces – many mimicking the shape of a pharaoh headdress but rendered in neutral colours and geometric shapes. Because of this, the make-up stood out even more. Again, Owen’s entire team took inspiration from Salvia’s world with bald caps and alternative contouring.

Working with MAC Cosmetics, lead make-up artist Karim Rahman created an unusual style of contouring in unexpected colours such as parma violet and saffron yellow. “The make-up is inspired by Rick Owens’ world,” explained Rahman backstage during the dress rehearsal. “So, as a make-up artist, you have to understand what he likes and it’s definitely different from the rest of the planet. It’s very interesting for me. It takes time to understand what he likes, he shows me pictures.”

Rahman applied touches of yellow and violet as if it were contour, yet in places that were a little bit more untraditional. For example, under the nose, under the lips, around the eyes, and above the lips. The result was definitely dramatic but also blended in, in a way that might make you look twice due to the areas in which it was applied. Other models had stark white lined around the eyes and below the nose to create another stark contrast. Most of the brows were also concealed to look as if they were bleached.

To make the look even more wonderful weird, the MAC Cosmetics team collaborated with special FX artists and the hairstylist Duffy to apply bald caps to ten of the models who weren’t wearing headdresses – a continued “interpretation of the Salvija girl.” Some of the models then had strips of curly hair extensions applied far on the back of their heads. “We used a lot of foundation on the latex bald cap and on the top, we’re using lots of powder. It was 45 minutes process. Latex, glue, and you have to ask the hairdresser before to make the hair flat,” adds Rahman.

If you want to try the look at home, Rahman mixed a custom shade for the yellow contour – using the yellow and chartreuse Paint Sticks from MAC across all the tinted areas. He then went in with MAC’s Studio Fix to sculpt and shape and a flesh-toned contour palette to add more dimension. 

Could bald caps and awkward coloured contour be the next big trend to try? Well… we’d try anything once.

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