Practical Characterisation 2

In this lesson we were given a description of a first scene of a short film created by Marc Jacobs and we had to use his new collection as inspiration.

We were first given a review from a recent Marc Jacobs catwalk show from Vogue magazine saying “The undeniable sinister edge was mostly derived from the combination of the screeching scratching strong soundtrack – uncomfortably grating – and the ugly hair and make-up; Jacob’s models wore tightest top knots and their faces were powdered pale with sunken shadowed eyes and lips painted in deepest darkest plum – it was haunting – and quite shocking to the eye.”

We were then given a quote from the make-up designer, Francois Nars who said it was ‘very strong, elegant and sophisticated’ and that she ‘looked to the swans of the 50’s and 60’s’ for inspiration.

We were given images of the clothes seen in the Marc Jacob’s catwalk, but without showing the faces of the models. The outfits were mostly black, with different textures added or pops of white or other light colours.

The task then said that even thought the look must have a sinister feel, it must still have all the beauty and glamour of the 1950’s black and white Hollywood film. The first scene is of a beautiful woman draped across a chaise longue. It says she is in a very exclusive members bar/club and she is holding a cocktail in one hand.

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This made me think that the look would be very dark and mysterious, with interesting lines and shapes. I added the very black and thick eyebrows to add a scary feel and to incorporate the ‘ugly’ element, but without making it look too messy. I put the hair in a twisted bun, but I didn’t make it completely slick back as I wanted her to have a more relaxed look. I decided to add the eyeshadow only under the eyes as it makes them look more ‘sunken’ and it also adds another ‘ugly’ element as people are always trying to cover the darkness under the eyes instead of accentuating it. I brought the eye shadow out to give the eye a more sexy and glamorous look and to make the eyes more dramatic. It said ‘the lips were painted in the deepest plums’ so I decided to put a plum/purple colour in the centre of her lips and for it then to fade into black to give her a really strong and powerful lip colour and shape. I contoured the cheekbones with the same plum colour to draw in all the plum colours on the eyes and lips and I wanted it to be strong to make her look more severe and striking. I took inspiration from the 1950’s with the very strong lip line, the dark and defined eyebrows and the perfected paler skin.


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