“My attitude toward evening [dressing] is a little bit weird now,” Olivier Theyskens confessed yesterday afternoon. “I don’t believe it’s nice to wear something that is too traditional. But a couture thing with a fresh attitude, that looks really modern? Yes.” Theyskens is standing in the music room of painter (and friend) Ron Ferry’s aerie off Fifth Avenue—the former home of Museum of Modern Art co-founder Lillie P. Bliss—and the evening being pondered is, appropriately, the annual MET Costume Institute gala. His date is longtime muse Caroline Trentini, fresh off her honeymoon in Bali. The pair hadn’t been apart for very long: the model’s wedding dress was a love affair between the two, from initial fittings in New York to final tweaks before she walked down the aisle. It was during that process that Theyskens popped the question, “Will you be my MET date?” The answer, naturally, was yes.
The duo agreed on softly shaded makeup and an easy (but “super chic”) up-do to compliment the “tee shirt-y” feel of her one-of-a-kind Theyskens’ Theory washed denim dress. Hairstylist Jordan M relied on a ¾ inch curling iron (“I’m in love with this size; you can do everything with it—from Brigitte Bardot to beach curls”) and Bumble Thickening Hairspray to give Trentini’s long blond hair some movement and hold, but left the final arrangement to the model herself. “Last year, a hairstylist put some product in, and said, ‘Just tie your hair.’ Sometimes it looks the best when you do it yourself—you know your own head shape.” Theyskens’ signature mane got a quick freshening up with Prep spray, a paddle brush, and a blast of hot air, the designer’s only request being, “Just give it some shine.”
NARS makeup artist Cindy Rodriguez “worked off the subtle 1920’s wave in the hair, and the bejeweled top” from Trentini’s look, focusing on textural eye shadows and an emphasized brow. “Makeup is about balance. I didn’t place color on the entirety of the brow,” she said, alternately brushing single shadows in Blondie, Bali and Coconut Grove through for a natural look. Lids took on a finger-painted, three-dimensional quality with a base coat of cream shadow in Corfu, followed by a layer of Nepal and “topped off with a little Portobello, keeping the shape rounder and a bit diffused—truer to that 1920’s smoky eye.”
With ten minutes to go, Trentini slipped a tube of Gold Digger lip gloss into her clutch and retrieved a pair of well-worn Louboutins from her carry-all. Theyskens, taking one last sip of champagne, nodded his head in approval: “That’s the best choice, you know? To have shoes you know are comfortable.” Rules to live by, for any formal occasion.