Exclusive: Vimi Joshi's Fashion Week schedule
Michael Cinco, Rami Al Ali, Elie Saab
I n the midst of Men's Fashion Week, MAC's Global Senior Artist Vimi Joshi jets into Dubai for a two-day whirlwind wrap up of the brand's must-have trends. Sitting in the Kempinski's newly-refurbished ski chalets, Joshi, while recounting the key looks from the Autumn/Winter '16 shows to Buro 24/7 Middle East's Editor-in-Chief Shannon Wylie, is already mentally mapping the makeup for the Men's, Couture and Women's ready-to-wear shows this season...
You're en route to Paris for Couture collections. Tell us, which shows will you be keying as a makeup artist?
Rami Al Ali. And Michael Cinco is showing for the first time. I've been working with Michael since Fashion Forward Season One and now to be part of his journey years later for his first couture show is so exciting.
Cinco's work is ever evolving. What is Michael Cinco's approach to makeup when it comes to a show?
Do you know what I love about him most? I have this relationship with this designer where he trusts me so much to the point where I'll go and see him at his atelier and he'll say: "Just look at my collection", and I'll look at it and he asks: "What do you think?" Which is very rare. So, I'll share ideas with him, he says: "You know what? Create." And he lets me do it.
How long have you been working with him on the Couture look?
We'll do the tests in Paris and then I'm doing Elie Saab.
You've been working with Elie Saab for a while now...
I have been working with Elie Saab for fourteen years. He's so sweet. I am so inspired. Then there's another Lebanese designer, Tony Ward. Have you heard of him?
Yes I have.
He does Beyoncé and Demi Lovato. I'm keying his show too, so the Middle East is ruling Couture with four shows and I'm keying three of them.
So how many shows in total will you be doing during this fashion week season?
For menswear, I know that I'm doing nine shows - Rick Owens, Balmain, Kenzo, Paul Smith... Then I come back to Dubai for a few days and then I go back for Couture. Then this season I'm off to New York for fashion week too. There I'll be doing around 18-20 shows.
Which shows are on your calendar for New York?
I normally do Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera, Rag & Bone; these are my staple shows. I've been going backstage now for fifteen years. Every season I'll get a bag of makeup, which are used to create global beauty trends.
Right. Because each show has a key look then from those looks elements are repeated, which become the global trends...
Yes! So when I think of global trends, I think of Tom Pesho, Val Garland, Charlotte Tilbury and Diane Kendal. These are the global makeup artists, who key the big shows, all of which MAC supports.
MAC then supplies them with never-before-seen products with new technology, then they use these products to create the looks. Tom might say: "No I don't like this, I find it too drying." Or another artist will like a colour but request it to be deeper, so then we start mixing, we start playing with colours.
How long can tests last?
Sometimes a test can last 45 minutes. Sometimes, when we used to do the Alexander McQueen show, the makeup test would last eight days. It just depends on the stylist and the designer's vision.
Do the experiments backstage ever turn into a new product for the next season?
Absolutely. Right now you're going to see shade extensions of the new strobe cream, in gold, silver and peach. However, the sculpt foundation, took five seasons for us to love the product.
How long does it then take between testing the products at Fashion week and when they land in store?
Well it depends on a couple of things. First of all, if we love the product, it's out that next season. If we don't like the product, MAC listen to us, and then reformulate, like with the lipgloss. This formula took ages to make, because it was either too sticky or it wasn't sticky enough. Once we were finally happy, they released it and it's become a global phenomenon.