The inspiration behind the makeup at the Calla presentation starts with the invite: a Memphis Group-type design from the ’80s. “It was like a new-wave, interior decorating, kind of groovy Pee-wee’s Playhouse [style]. It was super cool and avant-garde in the ’80s,” shares MAC lead makeup artist Kabuki. But then on top of that, throw in a little Dolly Parton, Twiggy and the idea of a chic Parisian girl who moves to Nashville to become a country singer. What seems like an odd mix of ideas with not much commonality comes together for Kabuki. “In my mind it’s almost like a hybrid of Dolly Parton meets Catherine Deneuve. You’ve got that kind of wide-eyed, fresh-faced yet sophisticated girl,” he shares. In his design, Kabuki strips away the retro aspect but keeps the fun and freshness of the Memphis style, Twiggy and Dolly Parton. For the eyes, he mixes MAC Chromographic Pencils in Hi-Def Cyan and Pure White and applies them to the crease of the eye with a brush. The lash look—a true ode to Twiggy—features curled and generously mascara-coated top lashes while the bottom fringe receives falsies (MAC 40 Lash), which Kabuki customizes by cutting out smaller sections in between thicker sections. He keeps the rest of the face youthful, applying MAC Blush in Dandelion to the apples of the cheeks for a warm, peachy glow and MAC Lipstick in Sandy B to the lips, which has a hint of gold and gives them a peachy-pink almost ombré effect.
Traces of the ’60s and the country legend can be seen in the hair design too. Oribe lead hairstylist Ramona Eschbach first mists the models’ tresses with Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray and curls with a large-barrel curling iron before creating a side part. “By keeping the side part really, really extreme it keeps it a little less ’60s and a little bit more now,” shares Eschbach. She then creates that “Dolly” volume at the crown by spraying the roots with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and backcombing. To finish the look, she curls and sets the models’ locks into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. “It’s girly, it’s feminine and it’s not trying too hard. It’s pretty easy,” Eschbach explains.
For a final touch, the models’ digits are painted and paired with colors in the collection and in the makeup. Some models sport a beige shade, Essie in Cocktails & Coconuts, while the others wear a blue tint with a hint of sparkle, Essie Find Me An Oasis topped with Essie On A Silver Platter.
“I think the feeling of the whole look is very cute—that’s Calla’s kind of girl,” says Eschbach. And cute it is—from the beauty to the clothes—as many of the wares in the collection depict silhouettes of the designer’s adorable chow pup Lilybear! —Molly Church
[Photos courtesy of Oribe; Molly Church]