beauty BTS with Zac Posen at New York Fashion Week.
Zac Posen is redefining glamour this spring. Victoria DiPlacido gets an insider’s look.
think of the hair and makeup test as a dress rehearsal: a chance for the designer and lead artists to nail down the beauty look and see how it photographs before the big runway reveal. That’s why five days into New York Fashion Week, I head over to Zac Posen’s Midtown atelier, just 24 hours before his show. When I arrive, makeup artist Diane Kendal is unpacking and arranging her kit—a sprawling collection of classic, new and yet-to-be-released M.A.C Cosmetics products that would make for an unboxing video of epic proportions. Turns out the look won’t require more than a few of them: Although the lauded American designer’s creations have become nearly synonymous with the overt glamour of the red carpet— Amy Schumer, Bella Thorne and Jennifer Hudson are among his celebrity clients who show up to sit front row for his spring/ summer 2016 collection—this season marks a different approach. “We’re showing the collection on flat shoes, so that says it all,” Posen tells me during the test. “It’s not about an hourglass shape. The waist is always there and the body is highlighted, but it’s off the body. It’s the same woman; it’s just that she can actually get across the room.” This sense of easy sophistication is reflected in the makeup, which “highlights each girl individually, as her own star.” Backstage, some models are given a strong brow, filled in with a Big Brow Pencil; others just have their face highlighted with the Strobe Cream. Three girls wear a matte-red lipstick much like the one Posen developed with M.A.C as part of their then unannounced collaboration. “It’s not one singular look for the girls because that’s not how the world is,” says Posen. “I think it’s important at certain moments to come back to the idea that there is a person inside there. It’s not about a full facade all the time; it’s about enhancing that kind of inner confidence.”