Fantasy: Made up with Meadham Kirchhoff

By Jo Phillips


Photo courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum

The digital age we now live in has undoubtedly changed the face of fashion from what was once an exclusive club for the privileged few to an obsession for the masses. The internet allows you to watch a live runway show from your armchair or to see every look from a collection within minutes of it dropping onto your phone.

There is no doubt that this accessibility is a positive and insightful development.  However, nothing compares to the excitement of attending a beautifully produced show, to see in the flesh an inspiring collection and ultimately this is something that makes the V&A Fashion in Motion series even more special. The V&A  use their insightful and un-replicated platform to bring couture and high fashion to an audience of fashion enthusiasts outside of the industry.

I was excited to be invited down to the most recent Fashion in Motion: Meadham Kirchhoff show late last year to watch the retrospective of the design duo’s favourite pieces across all their collections.  Since founding the label back in 2006 Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff have continued to create exciting and fantastical clothes. They draw inspiration from everywhere, from Courtney Love to Wednesday Adams, from George Delerue’s ‘Theme de Camille’ in their AW13 collection to Christmas  and Leon Bakst in their AW10 collection, and that is just an amuse bouche for starters!  It’s hard to guess what will inspire them next, but it’s a joy to look back and see the culmination of this eclectic mix of influences.

‘Dress up for Women’ is how the boys have described their collections previously, so it’s unsurprising that the hair and make up for the shows are equally extravagant and playful.  The makeup look saw four different makeup designs across the models’ faces, ears, eyes and nails, each utilising the most out of (makeup sponsors) MAC’s creative cosmetics.  From witches and widows to cherubs and rainbow girls, there was colour, sparkles, pigment, glitter and textures everywhere. Whilst for hair (headed by James Pecis), there was a literal riot of colour, curls, texture and hair pieces going on; completely a dream for ANY creative to be involved with.

Our very own beauty editor Alexis was working as part of the MAC makeup team for the genuinely lovely and extremely talented head MUA Florrie White ,who kindly answered some questions for us. If you’d like to follow Florrie and see more of her phenomenal makeup work, do check her out on @florriewhite (Twitter) or @florencewhitemakeup (instagram):

What was your inspiration for the makeup looks? 
The inspiration for all the make up looks were taken from the back log of shows which we had worked together on during the past years so it was recreations of Meadham Kirchoff’s past show, vintage Meadham Kirchhoff make up.

There’s a real sense of fantasy mixed with craftmanship in the clothes, what’s your favourite part of working with the designers? 
I love working with Ben and Ed as it takes me out of my comfort zone of classic beautiful make-up and makes me fire up the creative juices and give a freedom to the make up. Ed is a huge influence and inspiration to all the make up looks. He has been know to create beautiful sketches of the make-up for each model to go do the catwalk.They are so passionate about their collections and have a real preconception of how they want to the girls to be so I then introduce my skills to recreate this with MAC products and it is very satisfying getting it right for them.

How long have you been working with the designers?
I have been heading the make-up team sponsored by MAC Pro since the Spring Summer 2009 collection.

What’s been the highlight for you?
Each show we have worked on together has been a highlight so the retrospective show at the V&A was the ultimate highlight. I hope we carry on working together for many more seasons.

To find out what the V&A have lined up for 2014 click here

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