As much as one might enjoy learning how to apply the perfect minimalist eyeliner or subtle, sun-kissed blush from the professional makeup artists at New York Fashion Week, sometimes the soul craves a true over-the-top beauty moment. Such was the case at Rodarte’s S/S ‘22 show, where makeup lead James Kaliardos showcased both delicate, peachy pink blush and an array of technicolor eyeshadow looks, inspired by (what else?) aliens tripping on mushrooms.
“The inspiration was aliens, American landscapes, Georgia O’Keeffe, and mushrooms,” he reveals to press backstage. “The fun kind?” I inquire. “Yes, the fun kind,” he says. “I was trying to [think] like, OK, if I’m on a mushroom trip what would I do? Or, What would the girls be seeing inside those alien eyes or those zebra eyes? [It’s about] not being so much of a makeup technician but much more painterly, using makeup in an artistic, free, creative way.”
A few models in the lineup sported freehand face motifs in various abstract shapes — some reminiscent of early ‘90s sunbursts while others mimic the stripes of a zebra. Paired with the effortless, free-flowing hair from head stylist Odile Gilbert and ghd, and the joyful, sequined-embellished clothing, the effect felt particularly modern and cool (if not the most wearable for everyday).
“It’s so fun with Kate and Laura [Mulleavy] from Rodarte because we do lots of tests and they’re not like, ‘Oh, could we see this shade of lip?’ It’s like, ‘Let’s go alien face,’ or ‘Let’s go mushroom trip,” says Kaliardos. “Just amazing crazy stuff.”
As for the models with more natural complexions, the makeup artists used a range of creamy NARS Air Matte Blushes (depending on the model’s skin tone) along the cheekbones and around the temples to sculpt the face, including shades Orgasm, Darling, Freedom, Scandalous, and Torch. “The blush is really transparent and creamy,” says the makeup artist, “so it blends into the skin in a really fine way and gives you a tiny bit of sheen. It lays on your skin really beautifully.” The rest of the makeup was subtle and pretty, with just a touch of black mascara, brushed up brows, and a creamy nude lip.
Although you may not have an hour or two to create your own fantastical eyeshadow look this fall, it is encouraging to see such creativity and freedom in makeup, especially after the last year and a half. Kaliardos feels the same. “We were thinking a lot about women’s rights and mask-wearing and showing yourself and unveiling your face,’ he says. “Being present and being really creative and taking some mushrooms and being inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and these pioneering women that created their own language out of their art — that’s really something to celebrate.”