The Preen by Thornton Bregazzi spring 2017 show was all kinds of things, but backstage, it was just downright pretty. The past few seasons have seen makeup artists dressing up the face with shiny, pretty things like sequins, crystals, rhinestones, and pearls. But so far on the spring runways, when it comes to playing arts and crafts with your face, makeup artists are taking a more organic approach with living, breathing flowers.
In fashion they say three’s a trend, but the fact this unexpected look has popped up twice is enough for us to take note. We first saw it in New York, where atRosie Assoulin, makeup artist James Kaliardos stuck pieces of crushed-up flowers on the models’ faces “to make it look like the girls rolled in a bed of flowers.” Using clear M.A.C. Eye Gloss as an adhesive, he placed them randomly over the face and neck, wrapping them around one eye, dotting them along the cheekbones, and scattering them along the forehead and down the neck. “If they are placed too perfectly, or if we used full flowers rather than pieces, it would just become too 1960s Twiggy.”
And now in the middle of London fashion week, we’ve seen real blooms again backstage, this time at the Preen by Thornton Bregazzi spring 2017 show. But makeup artist Val Garland’s approach, while still organic and haphazard, was slightly more precious in application (but in a good way). Like Kaliardos, she used real flowers, but this time they were full blooms that were dried and pressed, making them flat and crispy and cooler-looking than if she had just stuck fresh flowers on the face. But because they were dried, Garland had to load up the skin with moisturizer, which not only gave the models dewy complexions but also helped the stiff petals become a bit more flexible and able to wrap over the curves of the face. And to keep them from falling off, Garland broke out the eyelash glue instead of gloss. “It’s actually a lot easier [of a] process than it looks.” Plus, the photos are practically breathtaking, to be honest.
If you think about it, putting real flowers on your face is kind of like taking festival makeup to the next level, and it’s way more interesting than a flower crown. All you need is some eyelash glue or lip gloss, a bouquet of wild flowers (which you can get from the florist or your backyard, depending on where you live), and—most importantly—a little whimsy and imagination.