Tom's Take: Paris Fashion Week F/W 2016

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Stella McCartney

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Stella McCartney

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Stella McCartney

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Stella McCartney

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Stella McCartney

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Sacai

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Iris Van Herpen

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Iris Van Herpen

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Iris Van Herpen

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Iris Van Herpen

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Iris Van Herpen

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Iris Van Herpen

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Iris Van Herpen

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Paul and Joe

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Paul and Joe

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Kenzo

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Kenzo

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Kenzo

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Kenzo

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Kenzo

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Kenzo

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Kenzo

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

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Off-White

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Sacai

Sacai

Sacai

Sacai

Sacai

Sacai

Sacai

Sacai

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen

Paul and Joe

Paul and Joe

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

Off-White

replies

Last week, Emily Weiss and I flew to Paris for a very quick, pretty much sleepless four days. The main goal was to shoot as many Top Shelves as possible (you'll see them rolling out here very soon...), but in the little downtime I did have, I took in some shows—OK, mainly backstages—because Paris is where the beauty looks live. It's not just the fresh, sporty girl from New York who's casual and cool. In Paris, beauty is news.

The first show I went to was Stella—the morning after getting in, very jet lagged. The show was at the Opéra Garnier, so it felt like work combined with some low-impact sightseeing. Pat McGrath did the makeup. Her hero product was a white pigment, which I'm assuming is her soon-to-be-launched 003. The artists were using it as liner on teeny brushes just in the inner corners of the girl's eyes. Sort of like when you dab highlighter on your inner corners, but with a shot of super-intesity. When I think of a 'Stella McCartney' look, it's a fresh face with some sort of rebellious wink and this was just that. The glowing skin that survived so late into Fashion Month came care of Sunday Riley and their new Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream. Luckily they had some extras and I took one home...the moisturizer I packed was too large for customs and was confiscated. I can attest to its greatness—it's a very light and fresh feeling gel with AHAs and calming actives in it.

Later that day came Sacai, which I knew would be good because legenadary Meisel bud stylist Karl Templer styled (plus its history of bold beauty looks). I was not disappointed: The hair was a very typical Guido in a lacquered and twisted artful top knot, with a loose bit at the end to keep things feeling cool and not too perfect. Diane Kendal's makeup was similar, in a way. It was a very finished, up-to-the-brow black smoky eye, BUT dabbed off with a Bioderma-soaked pad to make it feel a bit more grounded. The artists used black MAC Paint Sticks. It was very haunting and beautiful and kind of answered my question as to how to use those products in particular.

Iris Van Herpen took place the next day. I was particularly excited for this one because Isamaya Ffrench, darling of the editorial beauty world, was handling makeup. She's often very daring and experimentitive, but showed some restraint here. There was black MAC Haute and Naughty Mascara in the brows, Lipglass on the cheeks, lips, and lids, dusted with a MAC silver pearly pure pigment overtop. From a distance this look was bare but up close is intricate and magical and perfect against the trippy mirrored background of the show. The hair was achieved with handfuls of Tigi Catwalk Mousse, combed through then woven like a basket into a slick ponytail held in place with two elastics.

Paul and Joe came next and I had no idea what to expect. I was excited to see their beauty line in action, especially in the hands of someone as gifted as Mark Carrasquillo. The look was inspired by Lady Bunny, but fresh-faced. Straight across drag queen fake lashes, with a somewhat bare face to keep things from going too far. The lips here were definitely worth noting though, as everyone's looked very good. The trick is Paul and Joe pinky/nude liner (chosen according to your lip color) drawn in just at the cupids bow and the bottom crest then smothered in Paul & Joe's honey lip balm which looks much more like a light gloss on top.

Kenzo was a punch. A Sailor Moon-goes-edgy punch. Disconnected graphic black liner with the same MAC Glitter Pigment in the inner corner. It felt like they were pulling from the same anime references Louis Vuitton has the past few seasons but decided to get a little cartoony with it. Anthony Turner for Bumble and bumble did the hair—and it was akin to the makeup, hard to describe to full effect. There were a few looks, one involving blonde girls with black bangs but the overall vibe was if your favorite Japanese cartoon time-traveled into some Victorian era. Long clean ponytails with frizzed up twisted up bang-like bits in the front.

Off-White was last and conveniently my favorite. Let me just run through the talent involved: Stevie Dance styling, Chi Wong doing hair and Petros Petrohilos doing makeup. Everyone took a very fresh approach. Honestly, the clothes were so beautiful, they could've gotten away with no makeup and untouched hair (but thankfully they did not). Faces were very highlighted skin with MAC Strobe Cream, applied a few times to build luminosity. The eye was rosy and glittery. It didn't look sleepy, but something about it just felt fresh and lively and cool. In skin retouching, we're taught to take away the warmth from around the eyes, but this show made me rethink that notion. Maybe the warmth only works when it's a MAC Eyeshadow.

The hair made me equally emotional—for no reason (I was quite tuckered out by this point). It was very 'beautiful mess' in direction—some girls have a mini top knot with a good amount of hair left down and the rest of the girls has a full twisty, texturized top knot. I shouldn't use that word here though because truthfully both looks were much more beautiful than anything I'd attach to the word 'top knot,' but please, see photos above. Feel with me for a little.

—Tom Newton

Photographed by the author.

Until next season. In the meantime, catch up on all things Fashion Week with ITG's NYFW coverage.