Backstage at Charles Jeffrey SS20
“Incandescent, Cerebral, Bold.” These are the three words Charles Jeffrey chooses that distill his new collection. And the beauty? “Aggressive, Painterly, Free” make up artist Lucy Bridge describes. Beauty Papers photographed backstage at Charles’ SS20 LOVERBOY show and while the paints were still wet, with feathery flotsam floating in the buzzing air – interviewed the designer and make up artist responsible for one of London’s most electric catwalks.
Interview and Photography
Beauty Papers: What was the last beautiful thing you saw?
Charles Jeffrey: A boy called Julian.
Lucy Bridge: My mum when she came backstage. And the model Gigi in the show. She was painted head to toe in blues, pinks and purples, she looked so beautiful.
BP: What was the main inspiration for your show this season?
CJ: Overburdened hearts and minds.
BP: And the make up?
LB: Charles and I always work with multiple inspirations for the show each season. This season Charles wanted to explore the artist Arnulf Rainer. We explored his process of layering paint over his photographs, but instead we did this on models. He transformed his art by layering it with thick gestural marks. We took two different approaches, his black & white series and his colour. We also touched upon singers PJ Harvey & Nina Hagen as inspiration for the makeup.
BP: What was the creative process building the collection?
CJ: We started in India, developing textiles then worked through the collection with products and customers in mind. We began to think about how we wanted to deliver the collection, with certain issues currently in the world it feels right to comment on it properly and in the right way.
BP: And what was the make-up process?
LB: I always approach the makeup with an open mind and a willing to work together with Charles and my team. This season we wanted to ‘freestyle’ a few looks in essence and this is something very different for me. I’m a Virgo so I am organised and like to be prepared. It was fun this season being more open to allow my team to interpret the references how they saw. It was a very fun experience for me.
BP: Describe the collection in 3 words.
CJ: Incandescent, Cerebral, Bold.
BP: And the beauty?
LB: Aggressive, Painterly, Free.
BP: How important is Lucy’s makeup to the Charles Jeffrey world?
CJ: So important, it helps to transcend a look into a completely new dimension.
"This season we wanted to ‘freestyle’ a few looks in essence and this is something very different for me. I'm a Virgo so I am organised and like to be prepared. It was fun this season being more open to allow my team to interpret the references how they saw."
BP: Has your relationship and way of working together changed or evolved over the years?
CJ: We tend to look a lot at paintings now, it’s great to look at makeup in that literal way.
LB: Our relationship has always been the same process season to season but I do feel we are very in sync now as we know how each other works. There is great trust between us, I love Charles’s mind and how he pushes me to create the best looks we can. We carry out numerous testing’s over many days but sometimes I will do a test at my house, without Charles present and will send images. I love how he trusts me to do this as makeup is such an important factor for him.
BP: Tell us one of your favourite make up techniques used for the show.
LB: I came up with an idea of glueing ostrich feathers to create an aggressive, dark texture to add to the face. Charles, Thurstan Redding and I recently went to Spain to shoot an editorial for Replica Magazine and I used feathers for this. I wanted to make them fit in with Arnulf Rainer’s work to create the bold, defined lines on the face. For one of the looks we stuck distressed feathers in all directions around the face, I loved it. We also rolled up MAC false lashes in our fingers to really distort the natural lash.
BP: Current kit hero product?
LB: MAC White Full Coverage Foundation & Duo Lash Glue for this show!
BP: What is your favourite black?
LB: MAC Acrylic Paint, it is so dark and glossy.
BP: What is your favourite red?
LB: MAC Ruby Woo, a classic!
BP: Charles, when did you first start wearing makeup yourself?
CJ: I started wearing makeup at 14, lots and lots of eyeliner. My mum wasn’t very happy at it.
BP: What does the word glamour mean to you?
CJ: Being easy going.
LB: When you feel good about yourself when you are making a special effort for whatever occasion. I feel most glamorous when I have had a blow dry and I have spent a little bit extra more time on my makeup.
BP: What is your first memory of glamour?
CJ: My Grandmother.
LB: Watching my mum get ready at home when I was young. I would see her with her rollers in, applying her makeup in the mirror! That’s when I realised I wanted to be a makeup artist because she was so good at doing her own makeup, is she a real glamour puss!
BP: What is the future of glamour?
LB: I would hope glamour in the future would be pulling back makeup sightly. I’m not a huge fan of where makeup is going on social media. I miss seeing natural skin textures, real features. I feel in order to be glamorous you need to see elements of your natural features, not wearing a mask and distorting reality so much.
BP: Living, dead, real or imaginary … who has the best make-up look?
CJ: Quintin Crisp.
LB: Marilyn Manson!