Last week, we caught up with Creative and Image Director Peter Philips in Paris at the Tuileries garden ahead of the Dior Spring Summer 2024 ready-to-wear show to get a behind-the-scenes look at the makeup for this season. The vibe for the collection was decidedly feminist, aligning with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s vision since her first show in September 2016.
The cube-like runway was lined with an immersive video installation by Italian artist Elena Bellantoni, including slogans and vintage advertisements that subvert the male gaze. The pink and yellow screens flashed “The game is not her,” “Capitalism won’t take her where she really wants to go,” and “No-body is yours no-body is perfect every-body is performative” as the models walked the runway in an almost entirely white, black, and beige collection which mixed classic feminine silhouettes with rebellious details like distressed knits and singed edges.
The beauty look was decidedly witchy to compliment the clothes but also quite simple, highlighting the models complexion, with a just-bitten, almost wine-stained lip.
We spoke to Peter about his creative process working with Maria Grazia Chiuri and his team on creating the beauty looks for the season.
What are you calling this look? “just kissed?” The lips look wine-stained. Was this intentional?
“The brief I got from Maria was Witchy. But not in a horror way, but in a gothic way. So to be very simple. When you look at the venue, there’s a lot happening from the screen, the LED light, pink and orange, lots of things happening, so it has an impact on the skin. We didn’t want to do anything with contouring or highlighting or a flat foundation. Because you don’t know how they’re gonna react. Sometimes they walk close to the lights. Sometimes they’ll walk far away from the light. It looks different every time, so we have to make something which is blind to the cameras.
To get this witchy lip, I used the Dior Onstage Crayon which is the new one and a combination of the waterproof liner and the kohl liner. I use this one because it stays and is waterproof. I make the lips dry, then I line the top lip and the bottom up. Fill in with black, rough and then blend out quickly, because we’ve got a short time to work it with the Q Tip, so it bleeds out a bit, then use a few shades of non-transfer Rouge Dior.
There’s a bit of red, but not too much, just to blend out the black into the natural lip shape. It also depends on the shape of the lip. On some girls, it looks like a natural lip because it disappears in the shadow. Some girls it becomes extremely gothic. It’s like a very luminous, glowy skin, and witchy look.”
Can you walk us through how you prep the skin?
“For the skin, I use the Capture Totale line always, because it’s not too greasy, not too rich, and it nourishes nicely. It works really well with the Forever Foundation. Then it’s just finding the right shape, because there is no nuances, no highlighting, no contouring.
Then the next step is to curl the lashes, a little bit of coal liner around the eye on the paler girls, just to make sure that the eyes look bigger, then enhance the eyebrow, and then the lips.”
How long do you have to create the look for each show?
“I had my brief, witchy lips, about two weeks ago. We did a quick test on Friday just for the makeup, because I need to order all the products for my team and she liked it. I hadn’t seen any clothes yet. Just a few sketches. Then Sunday, we did the full look test with Guido [Palau]. Then I saw a few garments, but the brief stayed the same; witchy lips.”
How does runway makeup differ from editorial?
“The hardest thing about this one is that it’s such a specific look she wanted but it’s such a diverse casting. You have to be carful because some of the girls can become too sexy, or too ethnic, or too clowny, so it’s about finding the right balance and making sure the look stays, because the girls will be eating and drinking. It’s easier to do a classic look where you just retouch, this time we’re working in teams of two, one takes over, the other reapplies. It’s very tricky for a very small detail, if you don’t maintain it properly, it won’t make a statement.
Last time we spoke about innovating certain formulas to be cleaner. Can you share any advances in this realm since your last show?
It’s an ongoing process, and we are moving forward step by step, steadily and consistently. The regulations change over time and every month, there’s a new ingredient that we have to try to replace with another one. Products come and go. So it gives an opportunity to launch new ones and make new investments in the packaging.
It’s an ongoing process of finding the right balance between the marketing teams, the business, the guys with the calculators if it is manageable, of what we dream is possible. So it’s always about the right balance. That’s why it’s good to go slow, but steady. Nothing too exuberant, slowly, step by step.”