Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In the make-up chair with Glamorama's Alex Sanchez

By Jahna Peloquin

Being the lead make-up artist for a show as colossal as Glamorama is no small feat. It takes months of preparation, from the time the Fall collections hit the runway in February to the day of the show. It takes an innate ability to combine artistry with technical skill, and the practical skills to bring a team together to create cohesive looks that translate smoothly from runway segment to segment.

This year marks the third time Chicago-based make-up artist Alex Sanchez has taken the reins as lead make-up artist. A National Make-up Artist for Lancome, Alex has worked with such high-profile models - né, supermodels - as Liya Kebede, Alek Wek, Eva Herzigova and Karen Elson. He also has worked backstage at New York Fashion Week for Badgley Mischka and Tracy Reese, and has been the sole make-up artist for Chris Benz at Chicago Fashion Week.

So when, during my interview with him for my Glamorama story for Vita.mn, he offered to do my make-up to show me some of the fall trends in person, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

On the fall make-up trends he incorporated into the show, he had this to say: "There’s going to be a really smoldering smoky eye, which is a perennial favorite for fall. Another trend is that the eyebrow is back - a really structured, architectural, polished eyebrow. Sometimes there there is a focus on either the eyes or the lips, and this year you can have both. The eyes and the lips are equally dramatic and defined. Perfect eyes perfect brows and a perfect mouth. Red lips are also big."

For me, he chose to focus on the eyes, giving me a perfect smoky eye (Lancome's Golden Audacity shadow palette), complete with a faux lashes and a touch of glitter on the lids. The nude, iridescent lip (Lelaque Fever lip color - a lipstick and gloss in one) gave me almost a '60s mod feel.

Alex couldn't have been more kind and gracious - and it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes!

Here's a selection of some unpublished quotes from my interview with Alex: Why he loves doing Glamorama: "It's one of the most extraordinary fashion shows in the entire country. The production values are amazing, it’s a fusion of music and fashion and there’s all sorts of great dynamic set changes. It's really very fantastic."

On the difference between doing a traditional runway show versus Glamorama: "When you’re working with a designer it’s all about their vision, and with this show it’s a little more theater, so I have a voice and it's great. I can get very creative with it." On the creative process leading up to the show: "It’s a collaboration with the fashion office, and the whole concept. You play upon your own references, your own heroes and style icons, and you put a modern spin on it. It’s very fast-paced from the beginning, preparing for about two months. I do illustrations of the look, I do some photography with the models to see from the illustration to having it be on a real woman, to see how that translates."

On where he gets his inspiration: "I get inspiration from everything – architecture, fashion heroes, art – and for this it’s a very glamorous look, kind of Studio 54-esque. Debbie Harry is a big influence of mine, and Stephen Sprouse."

Visit Vita.mn for the full story on Glamorama and l'etoile magazine for Jahna's full interview with Laura Schara.

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