Inspired by the ballet—a much-missed part of life at this point in the pandemic—and specifically “the arc of a dancer’s career, and those amazing moments when they step onto and off the stage”, Erdem’s autumn/winter 2021 show delivered a beauty look designed to be seen right from the back of a room. “I looked closely at Margot Fonteyn’s career when she was dancing with Ruldolf Nureyev and their relationship,” said the designer. “She was going to retire. However, when she met him, their performance together was so transformative that she danced on for nearly two decades! I found that fascinating.”
Referencing Fonteyn’s stage make-up—particularly that seen on her eyes—as well as Moira Shearer’s “extraordinary red lips” and distinctive eyeliner in the film “The Red Shoes”, make-up artist Jane Richardson created an elegant look made for the Erdem woman. The result is a striking dual eyeliner on some models, a bold red lip on others, and never the twain shall meet. The key to keeping it fresh and modern was wearing either/or.
“I decided to focus on two lines [on the eyes], instead of the three that you can see in any of The Red Shoes imagery,” explains Richardson, who used NARS products for the looks. “By linking the two lines, I felt that it would still enhance and open up the eye by playing with negative space.” While many will balk at the idea of playing with their liner – most of us spend years refining the traditional feline flick – Richardson says it’s surprisingly flattering, extremely wearable and perhaps one to practise ahead of June, when we will (hopefully) be free of Covid-19 restrictions.
If you do want to try the liner look, Richardson’s first piece of advice is to maintain a steady hand: “Never have a coffee beforehand!” she advises. “Get used to your liner, whether liquid, pencil or otherwise, and how you can move it. I always use a concealer and a cotton bud to remove any part of the line I don’t like, if it’s too long, thick, wonky or the wrong angle.” She also advises sketching out both eyes first, starting with the flick to open the eye out, and drawing outwards and away from your lash line. “Then come down towards the under-eye, and stop where you feel comfortable.”
While masks are likely to inhibit our lipstick-wearing for a tad longer, a playful and graphic eye is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to spicing up our beauty looks after a long year devoid of social interaction. “It may feel like we are emerging from a chrysalis, but some of us may feel open to a little more drama when it comes to our personal style,” says Richardson. “Looks like these can feel quite liberating and, most importantly, fun!”