I start talking to the designers weeks before their shows. They tell me about their collections. I usually visit each designer’s showroom to see the fabrics and colors (it’s sometimes surprising how close to the show date the actual clothes are made up). Then I start forming ideas in my head about what I want to do. Sometimes the idea comes from a phrase the designer used, such as country club or opulent” or an important color in the line. Sometimes I hear a buzzword that travels back from the European shows orfrom an editor I respect. I return to review my idea with the designer, often doing the actual makeup on a design assistant in the showroom. I do a different look for each designer. Sometimes, though, there is an overriding theme, like darker eyes or a richer mouth.

In the case of Joan Vass, there isn’t much formal preparation. Every season she instructs me to just do what you do. Then she’ll add, I don’t want blush. Nonetheless, since the lights are so bright on the runway, I always do a little blush so the models don’t look washed-out.



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