Wonderland.

PETER PHILIPS

The visionary Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup on the luminous visages of Dior’s intergalactic Pre-Fall AW21 menswear show.

Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW
Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW

In case you’ve been hidden under a rock for the past week, Kim Jones propelled us into the cosmos with his space odyssey of a Pre-Fall 2021 menswear collection. With an intergalactic backdrop to boot, models stormed against a deliciously funky looping soundtrack of Deee-lite. Heavenly.

And amongst the trippy deep space garms, we were also faced with the astral visages of the models, all of whom emitted an otherworldly glow. One word: skin. Faces were prepped to perfection, with a nourished immaculate base allowing the outlandish hair and clothing to do the talking. The individual responsible? Peter Philips, then visionary Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup.

We caught up with the Belgian makeup legend and talked the challenges of backstage show makeup in a pandemic, lockdown beauty tips, and the power of “positive vibes and great fashion”…

Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW
Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW

Hi Peter, how has lockdown been for you?
I’ve got a spacious office so I was able to go in and work here, and I’ve even been shooting under the strict regulations. It’s been-non stop; lockdown has not really been a break.

How do you think all these limitations have impacted your creativity or even the way you view what you do?
A good example is the show we just saw. We were forced to find new ways of expressing ourselves and showing our work. We have to create new platforms and you’re pushed to go further. Work-wise it didn’t change so much, the only thing it changed was of course the regulations made things more strict: there is more distance between the tables. It was calmer actually because there’s no press backstage.

Talk me through the process of creating looks for the show…
Two months ago, Kim showed me some references about Kenny Scharf, the painter, like “maybe you can do something together”, so I had a few chats Kenny. I didn’t want to do makeup that was inspired by him, because he’s got his own specific hand, and makeup will always look like a weak version of that. I did some amazing tests, then at the end of the day when we put all the elements together, the music was amazing, set design was mind-blowing, you have the hats, the jewellery, the styling. [For the models] you have a gorgeous man, bring out his beautiful skin, touch of glow, gorgeous eyebrows so there’s no distraction from all the rest – and all that is framed by this magical world of positive vibes and great fashion.

Was there one word used across all comms when it came to the show?
Diorrrrr.

Love it!
That was how we got Délicieuse Dior, delightful, all those words – everyone was repeating them. Actually we did the show in two days, and we literally did the show over 40 times, where we did the whole routine: had makeup, hair, music and backstage, with 27 models. Because it uses choreography and you don’t have a show with an audience, it gives you the opportunity to really fine-tune what you want to say. Normally you do a show, you have two rehearsals and then it’s the moment of the show and that’s it – no second chance. But now you can do choreography, there are different camera angles, a little camera robot that runs between the models. It was kind of amazing to see how you could fine-tune every detail of the presentation.

What were the biggest challenges of putting together a show like this post-pandemic?
The way we work is the biggest challenge actually, it doesn’t stop the creativity, it doesn’t stop any of that. It’s just the practical side is different, and working with a mask and a visor – it’s not always handy. Makeup artists in general, we had to be clean even before the pandemic. You can have a model with a stye or a cold sore, so we cannot use the same products on the same model. We always have our high standards about hygiene and how we work, but now we have to be extra careful. There is no space for any glitch so we have to protect ourselves, protect the model, everything is disinfected after every use, not only the brushes but also the table. There’s constantly people checking that everything is clean, changing the masks, disinfecting the hands.

Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW
Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW
Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW
Dior AW21 MENS WEAR SHOW

What is your top skincare tip for people at home 24/7 during winter right now – in particular for men who might have less information at their disposal?
Take care of yourself. I always talk about makeup, but it’s very important that your skincare routine is as much on fleek as your makeup routine. Moisturising, hydrating. For the show, the men had a really natural glow. I used a basic routine for men and women who want to have a beautiful, natural, healthy looking appearance. So I just prep most of the boys with the Capture Totale Super Potent Serum because it is such a lightweight formula which isn’t too invasive and thick. If the boys had drier skin, I just added a little bit of the Capture Totale Cream – which hydrates, and then I put on Backstage Face & Body Foundation. It’s a lightweight foundation, which is easy to apply. You’ve got 40 shades and you apply it with your fingers or with a brush; it’s slightly buildable and it doesn’t look like you’re made up.

Then, if you need a bit more coverage, we’ve got an amazing product which is the Forever Skin Correct Concealer – which I always use if I need to put on a little bit more coverage. It’s a beautiful stretch formula, so it’s great for under the eyes, but also very caring and easy to apply. And for the show, I just slightly enhanced the eyebrows just to make sure there was no makeup or cream clogged into them; brush them up and if you need to fill in any gaps, just enhance them slightly, but make it look natural.

And for a more nourishing element, this little gem, the Rouge Dior Satin Balm, coming out in January. It’s actually a response to the need to take care of yourself. The crazy thing about this very creamy formula is that, first of all, it’s made of more than 95% natural ingredients. You get 24-hour hydration, and it comes the same packaging as Rouge Dior which is a refill, so once it’s finished at the end you can just click it out, buy the refill separately, and voila, there you go.

So eco-friendly!
It’s little gestures like this, that if you add them up, it makes an impact, especially if you look at the amount of Rouge Dior that we sell worldwide. And to go back to the makeup application, you can apply it to the lips, but I also apply it as a highlighter, just for a bit of sheen. It’s just pure formula and not too greasy so it doesn’t stick and doesn’t look like it’s a greasy, oily finish. It’s just a beautiful glowy finish that enhances you – great for men and women.

Rouge Dior Satin Balm in shade 000 (Diornatural) will be available in a flash preview from today until December 11th. It will then officially launch nationwide on January 13th on dior.com

PETER PHILIPS

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