Kate and Laura Mulleavy chose one of New York’s most iconic 19th-century churches as their Fall Rodarte show venue, and the Gothic innuendo was thick even before Bella Hadid made her way past St. Bartholomew’s candlelit altar in the collection’s first look. “It’s Winona in Dracula,” makeup artist James Kaliardos confirmed of the sister duo’s inspiration backstage, quoting one of the most memorable lines from the Bram Stoker novel-turned-1992 Francis Ford Coppola classic: “I have crossed oceans of time to find you.”
Ryder’s character was certainly present, courtesy of a near-exact replica of her hair in the film: a small chignon fastened at the top of the head by hairstylist Odile Gilbert anchored colored veils with real and fake flowers or jewel-encrusted crowns, and cascaded into loose waves that hung down models’ backs. But her onscreen makeup was given a modern runway update by Kaliardos, who pulled off something graphic that didn’t look “too scary”—no easy feat.
So, how to do “delicate vampire” chic? Kaliardos advocates for a “controlled glow,” which he achieved by dotting a little light onto the high points of otherwise pale, matte complexions with NARS’s new Tinted Glow Booster, a creamy liquid with a hint of sheen. Then he added a swipe of blush across the outer reaches of the temples. “We didn’t really want blush,” he explained, recalling his makeup tests with the Mulleavys. “But we kind of did.” The technique, which only revealed itself in profile, provided the best of both worlds.
Three individual Lashify lashes on the corners of lids for “Dietrich fantasy,” and a precise slick of NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu—a classic Bordeaux—completed the cinematic update, which got a hint of whimsy from the Mulleavy’s seasonal collaboration with Los Angeles-based floral designer Joseph Free. “They’re fabric-y looking,” Free said of the rich, purple and cream vanda orchids he and his team were fastening into garlands to be worn as flower boas and head pieces on the runway. When asked what happens to the stunning sculptural pieces once the show is over, Free shrugged. “Trash, unless some intrepid person takes one. But they won’t really last. That’s the thing about flowers,” he continued. “They die.” How perfectly macabre.