Monday, April 05, 2010

Exotic Faces - 1976

This dramatic look was photographed for a Van Cleef & Arpels ad in 1976. The wig, jewelry, and feather boa hint at the disco craze that is about to explode onto the scene.

This is an age of exoticism in fashion and make-up. Imagine the trade winds of the Far East.....Persia, the Byzantine Empire, Egypt, Morocco, Casablanca. Imagine the rich colors, the spicy scents, the desert heat. Imagine Cleopatra, the Odalisque, the Queen of Sheba.

After several years of the little-to-no makeup "natural look" inspired by hippies and the feminist movement, the fashion world was knocked upside down with a turn to the exotic. In 1976, Yves St. Laurent showed his famous Ballet Russes collection, and suddenly everyone wanted to wear ethnic inspired clothing.

Colors were dramatic, jewelry was stacked and layered, and heads were wrapped in scarves or caps. Clothing featured embroidered and woven designs inspired by exotic locals. Layers, ruffles, caftans, and fur trim were important.

Eye make-up was noticeable once again with lots of heavy kohl eyeliner inspired by the Far East. Blush was applied under the cheekbones to give a sculpted look to the face.

Gone were the pale lipstick shades of a few years ago. Dark lips were important once again. EsteƩ Lauder called them "Spice Market Colors".

Here, another hint of the disco craze to come with butterflies in crimped hair. The make-up is pure 1976.