Do you remember the Thom Browne Spring 2014 show from September?
Yes. Of course you do.
It famously lasted 45 minutes long and featured an artillery of human-but-dead-looking models dressed in articulate full white looks that featured an elaborate selection of intricate, thick boning and unusual fabrics (latex, for one, which I have heard can be incredibly expensive if not confining, and painted tweed). The clothes were outstanding, as they always are, which off-hand makes that sentiment seem rather commonplace in congruence with Thom Browne. But it was in the performance, the notable if not completely mental performance, that the show either flourished or languished depending on your mind’s posture.
And as is always the case with performance, the way in which a person is made up speaks a great deal for how he or she will behave; give a woman a bare face and she might act like the shell of herself. Throw on a thick film of eyeliner, bright eyeshadow, a dark lip and watch the metamorphosis.
In the case of Thom Browne, said actors (if you will) appeared on the fractured long runway like a combination of corpse brides and spectacularly high fashion insane asylum patients. It was scary if not completely reminiscent of what a beautiful, lithe version of the late Heath Ledger as The Joker may have looked like which, of course, right then and there settled it: if I planned to dress up this Halloween, I would wear the most prosaic clothing (a trench coat, a beige sweater, white jeans and black flat booties) I own and put on my best Thom Browne face.
So, last Monday, with the help of senior MAC makeup artist, Neil Young, I transformed from Leandra the loser to Thom Browne model (minus the whole model thing) in under 30 minutes. He started with moisturizer, and then a thick layer of white Paint Stick. Next he colored my eyes (I could have been a mime if he stopped after step 1), which was followed by painting a beautiful red lip onto my then-white mouth and having me tilt my head back while he stood behind me, smudging both my eyes and lips with his thumbs.
When he was done, I went downstairs for a walk. The walk transpired into a few other errands – like window windex-ing, fruit shopping, hailing taxis for the hell of it and stationing myself mid-street.
And you know what I learned once again? That nothing phases New Yorkers — not even a woman whose face color is infinite tones lighter than her neck!
(I also learned I’m excellent at role-playing when splattered lips are involved.) With that, we wish you a Happy Halloween and pray that you stay safe on the crazy-ass streets of this burgeoning loony bin of a city.