he first show – oh my God, we were all trying to find ourselves. There were lots and lots of layering, lots of scarves, and it was in Milan, and it was in an old cinema,” recalls Wendy Rowe of the eccentric Virginia Woolf-inspired Burberry Prorsum Autumn/Winter ’04 collection, her bright blue eyes sparkling effervescently at the memory of her first collaborative work backstage with Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey. “Today, those of us who had worked that show still work with Burberry. We grow with the brand because it gives you the right opportunities.”
Rowe has certainly come a long way since then. As she continues to work with Bailey on every Burberry Prorsum show ever held, Bailey has gone on to revolutionise the heritage fashion brand, turning it into a multi-million business that encompasses Burberry Fragrances and Beauty, where Rowe is currently the make-up artistic consultant.
“We have worked together for so long,” says Rowe of Bailey, who is known in the industry for his meticulous attention to detail and penchant for pushing boundaries, fusing elements like music and technology with fashion. “Our woman is the same. I am super lucky there. That is a really good fit for me.” She understands the way Bailey explains things: “He might say something but I know exactly what he is talking about and deduce his vision very easily. He really pushes the limit, and I get that.”
THE BURBERRY GIRL
Bailey’s shows are often personified by his cool picks of music and a British woman who exudes modern cool vibes. Behind the scenes, Rowe seamlessly revolutionises the British rose look every season and makes it covetable. “We have the ‘no make-up’ make-up English girls like. We just twisted it and made it modern, less pretty. But then we also have the more fashion and more sophisticated. At the end of the day, we always try to keep it modern.”
As with Bailey, it would come back to music for Rowe. “We have many facets in terms of music. When I was growing up, music was really important and related to the different looks of people. I am inspired by British culture but I have to translate it to make it work around the world. It’s just an attitude, because that woman – that rosy-cheeked woman – doesn’t exist.”
LIFE AFTER LIFE
There was the brick-red lip on clear skin for one season; unexpectedly soft and beautiful eyelids in a shocking pink shade that Rowe applied like a veil in another; and then there were the hypnotic mulberry eyes. “These things don’t shout out – it is like a whisper of a feeling. It is a bit like expecting the unexpected,” she reveals. “When you get close you would understand the delicateness or the beauty of it. But on the runway it will be part of the look.”
This season, she pushed the envelope with her smokey eyes. “We created a modern, romantic veil of colour on the eyes inspired by natural tones,” explains Rowe. Women all around the world can emulate the ethereal-festival-rocker-chick look this month with the debut of some of the exact shades used in Burberry Beauty’s Autumn/Winter ’15 Make-up Collection.
To start, Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base is a must: “The complexion has a warm matt finish and lips are translucent and nude. The look really complemented the bohemian nature of the Autumn/Winter ’15 runway collection.”
Anderson behind the scenes with Autumn/ Winter ’15-inspired make-up
Burberry Beauty Limited Edition Autumn/ Winter ’15
Runway Palette, RM190