Modern-Day Charlotte Ramplings at Jason Wu

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Photo: Bek Anderson

Perennial muse Charlotte Rampling is back again: The Über-chic actress was the beauty inspiration for this season's Jason Wu show (and also popped up on Tamara Mellon's mood board). When describing the beauty inspiration for the Wu show, Odile Gilbert of Kerastase paused for a minute, at a loss for words. "It's based on — what's her name?" Actress? French? The beauty editors queried (French ladies seem to serve as universal beauty inspiration). "No, well, French-English." Younger or older? "Older ... very sexy." Oh, Charlotte Rampling! "Yes, yes!" Gilbert enthused. 

Photo: Bek Anderson

Inspired by Rampling's famous naked Helmut Newton image, the beauty look at Jason Wu was strong and feminine. Not a delicate, ethereal sort of beauty, there was no sense of wispiness. The hair was coiffed, a modern, non-retro take on the softly wavy, roller-set hair of the Lauren Bacall days. And just as in those days, that seemingly simple, softly wavy low pony takes some real effort to create. Each model got a bag full of extensions (you know when you've made it as a model: when you get your own personal bag of hair) and a voluminous blowout process using Kerastase's Mousse Bouffante that ended with bending tiny, individual pieces around a curling iron. The initial effect looked somewhat Medusa-like, as models walked around with little squiggly curls. But these were then fully brushed out to become a low and bouncy, full pony that was tied with a brown elastic (Wu requested brown specifically, Gilbert said).

Photo: Bek Anderson

Diane Kendal for Lancôme interpreted the Rampling look to mean a slightly shaded eye, with "smoky residue." Unlike what may be left over from the briquettes at your Labor Day picnic, this residue was created by smudging a brown pencil (Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Black Coffee) with moisturizer. Kendal used a strong hand with the highlighter, applying Lancôme's La Base Pro before and after foundation, and softly contouring the cheeks to achieve Rampling's leonine-inspired smolder. Ageless brown residue has never sounded so good. 

See the full Jason Wu show here.