You never know what you'll get when you enter the doors of the Park Avenue Armory on the last day of New York Fashion Week — which is Marc Jacobs' show, the finale of the week, to be exact. Last year, Pat McGrath and Guido Palau churned out 60 sequined and bedazzled looks on each girl, leaving the room full of seasoned and jaded beauty editors in a state of jaw-dropped awe. But at Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2020 on Feb. 12, the dynamic duo casually added 30 more models (including Miley Cyrus!) to the mix — oh, and 50 dancers, too. So that's 140 looks in total, if you're counting.
"Me and Pat spent the last three or four days with Marc," Palau tells a group of editors and reporters backstage. "There was a huge inspiration board of past and present women that he loves. Marc is always attracted to iconic women. Whenever we do the show, he’s very passionate about women and style."
Like last year, the beauty served as a tribute to a series of different styles from genres — or "dynamic classicism," as Jacobs described to Palau and McGrath. And even though you see pointed references (like choppy layers from the nineties, or the airy volume of the '60s), the hair was meant to be interpreted as the way people wear it today.
"Some are really high-end, some live down in the East Village. That's what inspires Marc," Palau reflects. "Every kind of woman, every kind of man." All-encompassing styles require all-encompassing products, so Palau relied on Redken's Triple Dry 15 to create lived-in, realistic texture along with Triple Pure 32 for hold.
For McGrath, her interpretation of Jacobs' theme rested on two essentials that everyone likely has in their arsenal: black pencil and red lipstick. "When you think about red lipstick and liner, you think of all time periods — past, present, and future," she says. "It's a real modern take on beauty, and the fact that we take everything past, present, and future — and that's kind of what makes beauty today."
Even though every model wore some element of those two staples, Mother and her darlings created a different take on each girl. "We're playing with looks and ideas that work on every girl, but really in a completely individual way," she says.
If there were wings, then there were different lengths. If there were smokey eyes — drawn on with Marc Jacobs Beauty Liquid Gel Eyeliner in Blacquer, and Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in the same shade — then they were diffused in 10 different ways. Same with the lips, most of them being Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Oh Miley, Goddess, and Miss Scarlet. McGrath says that there were some strong lips, some stained, some that were deeper in the center — the only thread being that there wasn't much use of heavy pencils or lines, to create a sense of sensuality.
Topped off with manicures from Jin Soon Choi (also in a variety of hot, medium, and moody reds) the dream team closed out the week with the world — or my beauty editor group chat, at least — wondering what they'll dream up next season.