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On Stage/Backstage
Fashion meets Body Art

Learn more about The Art Of Illusion by MAKE UP FOR EVER.

On Stage/Backstage The Art Of Illusion Show - Making of
On Stage/Backstage The Art Of Illusion Show - Making of

Fashion meets Body Art

Learn more about The Art Of Illusion by MAKE UP FOR EVER.

Trying to get to the Palais de Tokyo for the Art of Illusion fashion show was harder than it sounds. Though a Wednesday night in September, Fashion Week traffic found me abandoning my cab at the Pont d’Alma and walking the half block to the venue. Strutting past the Balenciaga tent – was that Kim & Kanye? – I hit the queue waiting to get into the MAKE UP FOR EVER pre-show cocktail party. Sorry, but I cut the queue. Glass of champers? Don’t mind if I do!

On the terrace overlooking the Seine, could it have been any more Parisian? Part of the yearlong MAKE UP FOR EVER 30-years anniversary celebration, the party was fabulous. The Moët was flowing, the DJ was killing it and everybody was in a festive mood. As always, black was definitely the new black and the color of the hour, and it seems to me that there was one of every kind of person there and most looked resplendent! MAKE UP FOR EVER makeup artists from around the world mingled with people we all know from the TV, movie and music worlds. Here and there, models sporting amazing makeup, hair & costumes wandered around – think amped-up beehives from an alternative Louis XIV court, pearl-studded lips (with no lip showing), creatures from another planet, ridiculous makeup artistry. The excitement was palpable as we all knew the what of the fashion show – MAKE UP FOR EVER had invited 6 fashion designers for a collision of body art & fashion - what we could not have imagined was the how.

Then it was time to migrate down to Yoyo, the club housed underneath the Palais de Tokyo. Down endless staircases, through cement halls.

If there was ever any doubt that MAKE UP FOR EVER is THE professional makeup line or that its makeup artists & body painters are the most hyper creative people in the world, tonight’s showing puts those doubts out of their misery.

The first model spiraled up from underneath the stage in a fabulous color-blocked dress from Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Opposite her, another model came up, the exact same ‘dress’ painted on her skin, no fabric, just a keen eye & a steady hand. They looked like twins. Thunderous applause.

Next up, an exotic chic suit from Kenzo. The body painting got even more intricate, with every detail – and I do mean every.single.detail – painted on her skin, from the shadows of the pockets to the shading on the bum. Amazing. Can’t even imagine the talent it takes to duplicate the flowers and leaves.

Emilio Pucci was next – a short number with color for days and sequins everywhere. The model too, the sequins applied to her body!! Everybody went nuts and rightly so. There was a beautiful shorts suit from Shiatzy Chen, its flowers faithfully duplicated on the model’s skin, followed by a shimmering gold dress from Valentin Yudashkin, with every line of the fabric visible on the body art doppelgänger.

The final piece was absolutely mind-blowing. A lace, mesh, spider-web of delicate and intricate detail from Zuhair Murad was duplicated in such a way that my breath was literally taken away for a moment. The models were each as stunning as one another and their dresses…..well, just incredible.

Am I gushing?? Good. It was that incredible of a show of creativity and talent. And an amazing celebration of MAKE UP FOR EVER’s 30th birthday.



  • Tags:
  • The Art Of Illusion,
  • Paris Fashion Week,
  • 30y Anniversary,
  • Jean-Charles de Castelbajac,
  • Kenzo,
  • Emilio Pucci,
  • Shiatzy Chen,
  • Valentin Yudashkin,
  • Zuhair Murad,
  • Body Art,
  • Body painting.