Backstage at tonight’s Valentino show inside the Hotel National des Invalides, Pat McGrath was going for the gold. “Pierpaolo [Piccioli] really wanted gold,” she smiled. “He said, ‘Just play!’” And that’s precisely what the makeup visionary did as she dug into her old couture show kits (glitter! Crystals! Fringe!) and dreamed up four mesmerizing aureate eye looks that flashed brilliantly against the collection’s white ruffled dresses, sheer appliquéd column gowns, and treasure trove of sculpted gold jewelry.
For Adut Akech’s opening shimmering brows and wings, McGrath used her new Blitz Astral Quad Eyeshadow Palette in Nocturnal Nirvana to draw on “theatrical” graphic shapes, then layered stacks of delicate gold gems on top to three-dimensional effect. “These are old Swarovski stones that are discontinued,” she explained. “It’s the last time they’ll ever appear!” Also utilizing them in an oversize, almond-shaped swath across the entire eye area, as seen on Rianne Van Rompaey, it wasn’t only crystals that were resurrected from decades past. “These are gold lashes I’ve collected since the ‘90s,” said McGrath of the heavy-metal faux fringe she fastened on a few model gazes. “They’re collector’s edition and you can’t get them anymore.” Relatively speaking, the most minimal of the designs was worn by Kaia Gerber with “little baby wings” etched on the inner and outer corners to create a negative-space effect.
“A Valentino woman juxtaposes effortlessly elegant hair and opulent beauty,” said McGrath of the makeup in combination with editorial pro Guido Palau’s vision of pared-back glamour for the hair. Think polished crops, glossy blowouts, and streamlined vertical braids. Bridging the gap between pure fantasy and real-world wearability, McGrath shows there’s more than one way to stay gold in the Valentino universe.