Striking Red Lips Break Through The Darkness At Erdem 

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Photo: Isidore Montag / Gorunway.com,Photo: Isidore Montag / Gorunway

For his autumn/winter 2022 show at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, this season Erdem looked to 20th century Austrian photographer Dora Philippine Kallmus, otherwise known as Madame d’Ora, for inspiration. 

Echoing Kallmus’s dark and romantic photography, Jane Richardson, global artistry director for Nars, wanted to create a haunting look. “Erdem wanted a haunting aesthetic that was neither masculine nor feminine,” explains Richardson. “An androgynous look that would highlight menswear in a womenswear collection, and the timeless, romantic narrative of collections past.” The result was a soft complexion with a neutral eye,  and the occasional striking red lip.

“The lighter and more relaxed approach to the complexion, along with [an] overall lack of colour, represents the unconstrained social style,” explains Richardson. “Yet the breakthrough red lip speaks to the classic and timeless Erdem style.”

To create that smooth complexion, Richardson prepped the skin with the Nars Light Reflecting Multi Action Treatment Lotion, and Light Reflecting Moisturiser. “Using a brush I buffed in Soft Matte Complete Concealer in various shades seen in the skin to gently reduce any areas of redness,” she says. “I then set with powder using the Precision powder brush.”

Copilot - fashionShowID:621287306cf632161321d041 - assetID:6213af7b239123e31063032bPhoto: Isidore Montag / Gorunway.com,Photo: Isidore Montag / Gorunway

Brows were either brushed through with brow gel, or made slightly fuller through use of powder and gel, while lips were either left natural, or accentuated with the bold red. “The red lip was created using the Precision Lip Liner in Holy Red, Air Matte Lip in Dragon Girl, and Ravishing Red Lipstick.” For a matte finish, Exhibit A Blush and Douro Single Eyeshadow was dusted on using a blending brush.

Hairstylist Larry King looked to the late 1920s and early 1930s for inspiration, particularly at Kallmus and other female artists who occupied the fringes of European culture at the time: Jeanne Mammen, Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler, Anita Berber and Valeska Gert. 

“The early ’30s were a period of dissolving boundaries and subverting conventions,” says King. “It was a time of exploring notions of gender and sexuality, identity and expression. Everyone is welcome, and all participate.” Visually, this was translated through a high-shine, flat hairline and deep side-parting. “An androgynous look but brought up to date and worn in a very modern and wearable way,” he explains. 

To create the look, King primed the hair with a mousse, using the Dyson Supersonic and a round brush to smooth and straighten the hair. “We sectioned out a deep right hand parting and applied a combination of a pomade, clay and an oil spray to give a high-shine finish just to the hair that lays on the head but not the lengths.” Keeping the hairline flat and round, tucked tightly behind the ears, he then styled the lengths into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck, running the Dyson Corrale along it to keep it smooth and shiny. 

“We finished by taming flyaways using the Dyson Supersonic and Flyaway attachment, to really smooth down those stragglers at the crown and around the hairline, something those in this era were obsessed with.”