Maison Margiela’s Artisanal Spring 2024 show, which closed Paris Haute Couture week this year, was the archetype of this, where models were stripped of their natural features and reshaped to fit the doll-like visions of both John Galliano and Pat McGrath.
McGrath, the makeup mogul who hand-placed tiny red Swarovski crystals all over Doja Cat’s upper body for the 2023 Schiaparelli ready-to-wear show, collaborated with the house creative director, focusing on the devotion to “physical expression of emotion” with the garments, according to the press release.
Arched eyebrows were penciled across the bleached hairs underneath. Faux heart-shaped lips were stamped in the middle of the mouth. Heavily shadowed lids were brushed to the high points of the brow and circular blobs of yellow blush juxtaposed with chiffon clothing that exposed the naked body. A model’s face was not without at least one doll-inspired painted feature.
Yet, among the notable doll coding was one that captivated the eyes and basked in the flash of the cameras. Under white spotlights and a powerful full moon, sulky characters appeared with what looked like porcelain skin. The devastatingly beautiful glisten wasn’t achieved with just any foundation or skin tint.
For the perfect glossy finish, McGrath used her Skin Fetish foundation and concealer on top of her Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence, according to Elle.
“SURREAL SKIN MEETS MOONLIGHT MUSES,” McGrath’s Instagram caption read next to a time-lapse video of models getting her makeup done.
However, after footage surfaced of models peeling back a layer of film on their faces after the show, some guessed the beauty artist had sprayed Kryolan’s Liquid Glass on the skin first. The wet-to-dry applicant is supposed to look like a coat of latex and can be removed by stripping it off or with soap and water.
In one post by @frontedbeauty on TikTok, one woman was seen tearing the film from her cheeks after getting a bright yellow blush airbrushed on top. Social media users took to the comments to share their product suggestions and techniques for enamored fans interested in recreating the otherworldly makeup.
“You can replicate the look with clear peeling face masks. Freeman brand makes them I think,” one woman noted, while another said: “I love the porcelain doll look that was achieved. I did this in the 90s with St. Ives cucumber peeling mask.”
Others reminisced about the late nineties and early 2000s-motivated creations. Underneath McGrath’s Instagram post, a fashion enthusiast added: “This takes me back to the early 2000’s Dior days.”
“It’s VERY rare to render me speechless but, well, here we are. Literally no words except for pure PERFECTION,” an obsessed individual admitted.
An excited TikToker remarked: “This is the future of makeup. Imagine not having to use make up removers/wet wipes. GOD SENT.”
A few curious viewers wondered whether McGrath used the liquid glass before or after applying the foundation. The answer is not clear, but it’s evident the desired theatrical effect was exquisitely executed.