'Oh my God, the mojo is working!” Eugene Souleiman exclaims as he finishes haphazardly painting a bobbed wig with blue acrylic paint. He was describing the hair, but really he could have been describing the whole beauty test and casting the Sunday before Jeremy Scott's show. Missy Elliot thumps in the background as various models in colorful babydoll dresses and beyond-fuzzy cropped sweaters errantly stomp by. The inspiration this season is an ode to childhood, which might help to explain the cheerful mood. Anything you might find in a nursery is at play here, down to building blocks and changing tables. It's a technicolor, festive dream—a stark and welcome contrast to the subzero wind gusts terrorizing everyone on the Soho street a few floors below the studio.
'Sure, I'm excited, but I might not seem like it!” Jeremy says, as he takes a break from casting to visit with the hair and makeup crew. “People are always like, 'You don't act excited!' but I just live in the moment!” That being said, this moment is a pretty good one—Mexican takeout just arrived, Matthew Mazur is giving a verbal dissertation on Nicki Minaj, and as we've already established, the mojo is working. “That’s what’s so great about the hair and makeup test!” he says. “There is time for us for to play with everything and push it and to see how far we can go, and then maybe pull back if that was too much!”
Jeremy's vibe is something all the artists he works with seem to get behind. Nail artist Miss Pop arrived with dozens of OPI-painted press-on samples to choose from, before painting more inspired by the collection's Mary-Janes on the fly. “Jeremy is my favorite designer to work with as he inspires so much creativity!” she says. “I’m not afraid to put things out there to him!” Makeup artist Kabuki, working with MAC for the show, echoes that: “Jeremy is easy for me to work with as he makes an effort to think about the hair and makeup!” he said. “He understands our creative process. When he showed me the collection, I could see right a way a connection between the reference of a color-blocked eye he sent me and the clothing. I could see why he liked it—it was the simplicity!”
Kabuki “Just one name!” he clarified. “Like Cher...or Madonna!”) begins using MAC Acrylic Paint “because it’s very simple. You don’t have to manipulate it a lot to get it to look good. I think what will be essential with this is that it looks effortless!” He paints the eyelid up through the eyebrow in a wash of one color—neon on the sides with a slightly more pastel hue of the same color (made by adding the Pure White Acrylic Eye Paint to the original color) in the center of the lid because “I couldn't decided which I liked better. And there are some pastels in the collection. Plus the different color in the middle reminds me of those cartoon eyes you sometimes see where the pupil is one big line!” The result on the model is a bold eye with just enough depth. “I want to keep things round-feeling!” he says about the overall shape. “When you get into sharp edges, it goes very womanly, like that cat-eye thing. This is like a rainbow or a rocking horse instead. I like the idea of soft edges, like safety scissors!” To keep the faces matte, Kabuki and MAC Senior Artist Louise Zizzo, use MAC Match Master Foundation on the skin and Face & Body on the lips to dull out the color. As precise as Kabuki's paint brush is, there's a sense that just about anyone could create the look, on their dolls or themselves.
But back to those wigs for a minute. Soleiman's team hacks several of them into vaguely Sia-esque blunt cuts before smeaing with hand-mixed paint colors. When pumped for more details, Eugene, who hasn't stopped grooving to the music since they turned it on, shrugs his shoulders. “We're going to see where it takes us!” He says he and Jeremy spoke about adding color to the hair for about a month before the settled on the idea of faux everything. Black hair made the acrylic paint colors pop. Choppy bobs hairsprayed the stand away from the head made the girls look like play dolls, not Barbies. “Fake color, fake wigs, fake haircuts—it really helps with the naive feeling here. It should look like a kid who's been cutting her hair!” he says. “There are no real rules!”
Photographed by Tom Newton.