Here's how to recreate the Surrealism-inspired makeup at Dior's haute couture show

Here's how to recreate the Surrealism-inspired makeup at Dior's haute couture show

Now you see it

Text: Renée Batchelor

Image: Vincent Lappartient For Christian Dior Parfums

Combining the creative ingenuity of designer Maria Grazia Chiuri and the brilliance of makeup maestro Peter Philips, the Dior Couture show was a sight to behold

Art has inspired fashion for decades and the Surrealist movement is no exception. Whether in the very literal sense — think René Magritte's most famous works printed on dresses for Opening Ceremony – or in more abstract interpretation, the themes and (often illogical) imagery associated with Surrealism have been ripe for interpretation. For Dior's spring 2018 couture show, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by the character and works of Argentinian painter and author Leonor Fini, a lesser known artist who defied categorisation.

Makeup at Dior couture SS18

Correspondingly, the makeup took a dark, ever so slightly whimsical turn. Says Dior's creative director for makeup Peter Philips, "Surrealism is also a really important artistic movement for me. This aesthetic revolution made its mark, and it still resonates today. Salvador Dali and Man Ray, as well as the German photographer Grete Stern are all references for me, and I particularly appreciate their provocative vision."

To draw on this artistic and cultural movement, Philips focused on the eyes. He said, "Their artistic freedom inspired an extreme, excessive eye design. Using quotations chosen by Maria Grazia Chiuri, I also wanted to emphasise the surrealist sense of humour and taste for subversion with temporary black tattoos drawn straight onto fingers, ears and around the neck. The chosen words and messages celebrate the creative free spirit of surrealism, for example: 'clef', 'liberté', 'contradiction', 'l'art', 'bal masqué', 'miroir', 'attitudes spectrales', 'l'amour est toujours devant vous. Aimez !', 'nous sommes tous surréalistes', 'l'amour fou', "l'imaginaire, c'est ce qui tend à devenir réel', as well as 'au départ il ne s'agit pas de comprendre mais bien d'aimer." Pardon us, while we break out our French to English dictionaries, but language barriers notwithstanding, the message is clear. 

Models had French phrases 'tattooed' on their bodies

With the main focus being the eyes, Philips played with ultra-dark pigmented liner for a dose of drama. The models, whose hairstyles were designed by Guido Palau, all sported clean, side-parted ponytails that put the focus solely on their faces, with some models, donning head and eye pieces, that gave them an otherworldy, mysterious aura. Says Philips, "I was inspired by that surrealist works imprinted in my memory as well as some very strong film images. With the new matte black Diorshow on Stage Liner, which really is a perfect tool, I created a graphic projection of the eyelashes by over-exaggerating them in the extreme. Long, precise lashes were drawn onto the upper and lower eyelids, framing the eyes and stretching excessively towards the temples".

To complete the look, Philips applied the Diorshow Khôl Beige to the lower waterline and at the lash line in order to create contrast with the black liner, and defined the brows with both powder and brow mascara.