Backstage beauty: Andy Thê-Anh

ANDY THE-ANH Fall 2009. Photography by Jess Baumung

ANDY THE-ANH Fall 2009. Photography by Jess Baumung

It’s 6 o’clock on Wednesday evening and the scene backstage at Andy Thê-Anh is relatively calm. Working to a soundtrack of Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga, the L’Oréal Paris team tends to the lead models as Thê-Anh watches closely.

Eddie Maleterre, official makeup artist for L’Oréal Paris, smoothes True Match Super Blendable Makeup on his model’s face. The key to this look is to make it “very clean…very light,” he says. Eyelids are covered in white shadow and rimmed in white pencil to match the very translucent skin. “I think [Andy’s] idea is to have something futuristic and at the same time, real, not real.”

ANDY THE-ANH Fall 2009. Photography by Jess Baumung

Maleterre dabs a brush on the model’s lips: “I put concealer and just a bit of blush on top, just to have one pink idea. Like plastic, like something not real.”

Across the table from this experiment in surreal feminine lipcolour is Eric Del Monaco, lead hair artist for L’Oréal Paris, who is sculpting his model’s hair. It’s tough to decide if the most striking aspect of the style is the slight puff at the front, the way the hair seems to hover above the head from the side, or the snaking, twisting knot at the back.

“Andy always does very elegant looks and he always does very feminine ’dos,” Del Monaco says. “It’s always very architectural.”

In order to achieve this look, Del Monaco twisted the bottom half of the model’s hair into a tight knot at the nape of the neck. He slathered the top portion in L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Indestructible Gel and combed it back (but not too tight—that’s where the puff comes from), wrapping the tail around the bottom chignon.

Normally, designers meet with the Eric and Eddie three weeks prior to the show to discuss the collection and hone the vision for hair and makeup. But this season Del Monaco says things were a little more rushed: “This was kinda fun tonight because Andy was a bad boy this year and…we just figured it out now.”

“After a while you sort of know each others’ ideas and where we’re coming from. Even though we didn’t speak I wasn’t worried because I thought to myself, ‘You know what, we’ve done his show so many times and we’re both on the same level. I have a feeling we’re just going to need five minutes to talk.’ And in fact that’s what happened.”

View the collection: ANDY THÊ-ANH

More Beauty & Grooming