Meadham Kirchhoff is one of my all-time favourite brands. The duo repeatedly manage to simultaneously encompass the aesthetic of Courtney Love’s glory (Hole) days with Chanel glamour; basically, every season, they take all of the things I love most and put it into a catwalk collection.
Their shows are always my favourite. I get legitimately excited about what they’re going to do each time and--let’s be honest--I can’t say that very often anymore in fashion week. And they’ve just done a new commercial collaboration.
I’m not normally a fan of a high-street/designer collaborations, because they normally end up as poor imitations of the real thing; some sort of depressing yet expensive second-best made out of cheap fabric paired with shabby cuts. I’d usually rather save up for sample sales and get one of the real thing than 10 of the commercial alternative, or buy vintage, or whatever.
But Meadham Kirschoff for Topshop is way different; their new collection is rad. I mean, I got up early to actually get to the store on time for the collection launch, and bumped into about 50 people I know, none of whom are famous for getting out of bed before it gets light. It was a big deal.
With millions of little eyes and cherries embellishing fabrics, and Mongolian fur, and rainbows, it was my dream come true. But sometimes it’s hard to stop this stuff looking too cutesy. I mean, I’m not 17 anymore, I can’t pull off harajuku-style dresses covered in bows in the way that I used to.
So, I needed to work out a way to make this stuff work for me, aged 25, wanting to wear this stuff to work.
I basically just nicked my inspiration from the SS14 show, where thigh-high socks paired with minidresses, pinafore tops and lace embellishment could have left the collection looking a little young and 0tedious; instead, it was impeccably styled and looked ridiculously chic, like a grown-up version of Wednesday Addams mixed with Cher Horowitz.
The makeup was pared back to ghostly pale faces, light brows with undefined eyes and a perfectly matte red lip. So here’s how I did it.
I wanted some youthful glow, but a matte finish is one of the things that makes this look work, so I used a base of MAC Strobe Cream all over my skin to give me some subtle illumination.
I then used Urban Decay’s Naked foundation, which is the salvation to my acne-scarred skin at the moment, to give all-over coverage. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this stuff, I cannot recommend it enough: it is thin to apply but gives amazing coverage that doesn’t cake.
I then used Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer on any blemishes and under my eyes, and finished all off with another favourite: FaceIt Radiance Powder. This is one of my Korean miracle finds: It's SPF 50, doesn’t cake when applied over dry and bumpy faces, and doesn’t break me out. On top of all of that, it gives a light radiance effect so, whilst your skin looks matte, you don’t look like you live in a dungeon.
I then went for some basic contouring. I used NARS Illuminator Liquid in Laguna along the underside of my cheekbones. The amazing thing about this is how easily it blends: I mean, you can see how pale I am, and how dark this liquid is. In fact, it blends into my perfect shade for contouring and is incredibly easy to sculpt; plus, it stays on forever. It’s like some sort of multi-skin-tone magic.
I topped this off with applying MAC Powder Blush in Royal Sunset, a delicate peach matte shade, on the apples of my cheeks to give me a little bit of colour. I mean, I want to look chic and maybe a little gaunt, not dead.
For my eyes, I just applied MAC Paint Pot shadow in Painterly. These cream shadows apply like a cream into a perfect texture that doesn’t crease, and they are exceptionally good for blending. I just wanted to use Painterly, which is most similar to my natural tone, to even out my patchy eyelids for a perfect finish (I tried to swatch this but, seriously, it’s my natural shade. You can't even see it).
I then used By Terry’s Eyebrow Mascara in Medium Ash all along my brows to give me a little grooming and definition whilst maintaining the understated vibe I am trying to project. Again, I cannot recommend eyebrow mascara enough for when you want to look like a more groomed version of your natural self and this one is my favourite; it structures brows by adding a powdery gel to thicken them up whilst keeping the hairs themselves in line.
Finally, I got to my centerpiece: the matte, red lips. There’s something about completely matte lipstick in a dense pigment that is incredibly cool and grown up. I used a MAC Lip Pencil in Redd to give me a decent base to work with. I shaded the outlines of my lips and then used light, feathery strokes to give some overall coverage.
Using a lip liner means that you get ultimate control over the shape of your lipstick application, adds longevity to lipstick’s wear and offers a different depth and dimension to colour. Basically, every time I use it, I wonder why I don’t use it every time.
This gave me the perfect matte red base and then, to top it off, I pressed Chanel’s Rouge Allure in Passion into it, using my fingertips.
And voila! Can I wear my babydoll covered in eyes to my meeting now? I think so. Maybe. I don’t know, I work in fashion--nobody cares how unprofessional I look as long as I look nice.