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Yadim on Beauty

The make-up artist on the enduring appeal of René Gruau in Dazed's June issue

American make-up artist Yadim is quickly rising as the new establishment, thanks to his artistic approach. Having worked on shows alongside leading figures such as Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Val Garland and Aaron de Mey, Yadim regularly collaborates on editorial with Dazed & Confused's fashion director Karen Langley, this June issue reviving the spirit of iconic Christian Dior illustrator, René Gruau; with photography by Dan Jackson and hair by Yannick d'Is on models Madison Headrick, Codie Young and Ava Smith. Dazed Digital spoke to Yadim to learn more of his inspiration.

Dazed Digital: The beauty on the shoot was inspired by Gruau's vintage Dior illustrations. How was the experience of going through their archives?
The amazing thing about working with a beauty brand like Dior, that is also an iconic fashion house, is that it has such rich history, full of stunning visuals and collaborations. I've always been a big fan of René Gruau's work. Particularly the work he did for Christian Dior. I'm fortunate to have access to Dior’s archives it's amazing to see the visual evolution of the house. I also have books of Gruau's work, so there was plenty of material to be inspired by.

DD: How long have you been working with Dior as brand ambassador?
I stepped into my role as International Makeup Designer for the brand this last January. I feel so fortunate to become a part of the Dior family. I couldn’t have wished for a more amazing opportunity.

DD: Can you tell us about the looks and an example of one you created? What do you find appealing about the palette of black and white?
What was so great about this shoot and the looks created, was that although we had a starting point with the Gruau illustrations, the actual looks themselves were done quite spontaneously. It was important to me that these images still look cool and somewhat effortless. So we'd just get the girl on set, find an angle we liked, and I did the make-up right then and there. I paled out the face and then just added my black, illustrative lines, depending on the angle. The red, heavily glossed lips added an element of glamour, which we felt it needed. I loved the fact that aside from the face, the rest of the picture looks quite real. It really looks like this illustration superimposed on a real person. I think in the end we were all kind of proud that we achieved that without the use of photoshop. One of my favorite shots was the first one we did, which was on the lovely Ava Smith. It’s her in profile with amazing hair by the talented Yannick d'Is. Dan lit it just right and Karen said “Lets just keep her naked”. It really set the tone for the rest of the story. Black and white makes everything graphic and sharp. There's a real contrast there, I guess I love the simplicity of the palette.

DD: Do you have a lasting memory from the day?
Shoots with Karen are always memorable. She really knows how to push the right buttons while keeping it looking easy. We had a fantastic team; Dan Jackson (photographer) and Yannick d’Is (hairstylist) all had so much to contribute, we spent both days laughing and listening to Grimes.

DD: How did you get into make-up? And do you remember the first shoot you worked on for Dazed with Karen?
My fascination for makeup and fashion came from my mom – I'd sit in her restroom when I was young and watch her get ready, she's the real make-up artist. Later in my teens I started going to raves and dressing up as a club kid so I got to really take it there with make-up. It's been an obsession ever since. The first shoot I worked on with Karen was a cover for Dazed with photographer Sharif Hamza. We shot model Kirsi in Balenciaga. To this day it's still one of my favourite covers.

Dazed Shoot Credits:

Photography Daniel Jackson
Styling Karen Langley
Make Up Yadim for Dior at Tim Howard Management
Hair Yannick D'IS at Management Artists
Nails Rica Romain at See Management
Models Ava Smith at Wilhelmina, Codie Young at DNA, Madison Headrick at Marilyn
Photo Assistants Jerome Corpuz, Jonathan Trevino
Styling Assistants Emma Wyman, Daniel Edley
Hair Assitant Eric J
Make Up Assistant Kanako Takase
Digital Operator Karen Goss
Production Nikki Stromberg at MAP
Casting Noah Shelley ay AM Casting