The true meaning of fashion week, like the true meaning of Christmas, is so easily lost in the mix of consumerism and the circus-like parade of events. But leave it to makeup artist Tom Pecheux to remind us what it's really all about—fresh starts, a chance to redefine yourself, experiment, and, perhaps, see yourself a little differently. That's especially true backstage in hair and makeup, where looks both extreme (the "castaway" wet-hair look at 3.1 Phillip Lim, purple lips at Prabal Gurung) and minimal (the mascara-less smoky eye at Jason Wu, the architectural cat eye at Derek Lam) can propel you out of your comfort zone and into a braver, bolder, and arguably better new future.
As Pecheux explains it, “One of the most exciting things about fashion week is that the models get to try so many different looks—each day is a new show with different makeup. When you are young, you don't necessarily know who you are. I think for them it is such a learning experience to see themselves in a different way in front of a mirror. They discover a new part of themselves that they never saw before, whether it’s through not wearing mascara, or trying blue eye shadow, crazy David Bowie makeup, or a red lipstick. I remember giving Gisele Bündchen red lips for the first time many years ago at a Prada show. She freaked out because she was so scared. She was like, ‘No, you can't do that to me. Red lipstick doesn't look good on me.’ So I told her, let’s try it and if you don't like it, I will go see Miuccia Prada. We managed to find something that she was comfortable with, and she trusted me, because she is a lovely friend of mine. I did a lip and gave the rest of her face a very subtle contour—not sharp—in taupes. Everything was soft. She said, ‘Wow, this is the first time I have worn a lip and I love it.’ I think it's great that we have the power to be able to bring girls on these different journeys. It’s wonderful to be able to share and show girls the different aspects of what I love to do.”
So, keep the Bioderma Créaline on hand and experiment. Really, what do you have to lose?
All photos of Prada 2001 backstage from Style.com.