Backstage at the Black Panther New York Fashion Week Presentation
With the help of seven designers and two veteran hair and makeup artists, Marvel Studios merged film, fashion, and beauty on Monday night in an entirely unexpected way. Cushnie Et Ochs, Ikiré Jones, Tome, Sophie Theallet, Fear of God, Chromat, and Laquan Smith, all recognized in the design world for their dedication to individuality, were tasked in creating custom pieces inspired by the latest addition to the superhero franchise, Black Panther.
Backstage at Industria Studios in lower Manhattan, hours before the final presentation, hair and makeup assistants rushed between throngs of photographers and reporters with their overflowing kits in hand. The models sat diligently, well practiced after a full week of shows, as their faces were made up and hair styled.
Nick Barose, the New York-based makeup artist who frequently works with the film’s leading lady and Lancôme Ambassador Lupita Nyong’o, led the pack alongside salon owner and Redken Brand Ambassador, Rodney Cutler.
“I’m kind of just playing as I go along,” says Barose, when asked about the night’s inspiration. “I want to play with the idea of dots. There’s a lot of decorative art in the movie so I want to take that idea and apply it to these looks.” ‘Eye dotter,’ is what he calls it, using Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil to line the eyes and the arch of the brows with a spatter of colorful spots. “The key word for me would be spontaneous,” he adds. The artist also used the Matte Shaker Liquid Lipstick on the lips in darker hues of brown and purple—save for a single model with a bright orange lip.
Cutler, whose job was made easier by the number of models with close, natural crops, worked with two long-haired models as well. For them he opted for intricate braids—one that went down the center part and the other two down the sides—forming a crown of sorts that ended in a low ponytail. “You’ve got the movie element and the fashion part so we tried to blend it together because I think that’s sort of the world we live in now,” he says, adding, “There’s not really a separation, it’s like music, movies, social inspirations, fashion, and beauty all tied into one.”