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A Makeup Artist’s View on Haute Couture

I am thrilled to present a Paris Fashion Week haute couture show review from the darling and dashing makeup artist Charles Gillman, a British expat who has been making magic in Paris for three years now. I was lucky to get to work with him in a wedding modeling shoot and on my own Sweet Life in Paris video. And now he has been so kind as to lend his “plume” to Prête-Moi Paris for an article on Defined Moment’s Spring-Summer 2014 couture collection.

And without Further ado!

Post by Charles Gillman

Charles Gillman

Defined moment’s show – 22nd January 2014

This winter I’m a makeup artist in hibernation, I’d spent most days nipping out to see clients and then whipping back home to spend my life by the Nespresso machine, as well as gluing my eyes to my laptop. Yes, Paris is fine-looking all year round, but it seemed easier and more tolerable from behind the window, avoiding the wind whipping, falling over undersized dogs and having disputes with fellow Parisians on the metro about ‘who got to the seat at the outset!’ (all these things are frequent occurrences.)


Melissa had offered me a ticket to go and see the ‘Defined Moment’ show which was taking place down the third district on a Wednesday evening. So I thought as a replacement for swanning around my apartment in an eighties style dressing gown, pretending I was Coco Chanel (YES… Still doing that after three years), that I should brace the elements and do something of interest for me! If haute couture week in Paris couldn’t crowbar me out of the front door, then nothing could… Well, possibly Starbucks.

I trotted (much more fun than walking) down to the gallery to see the collection, after being Parisian for three years I figured wearing black would be the safest option to go for and-so there would be no uncertainty as to why I was wearing last seasons ‘now incorrect’ hue of Paris’ grey skies.


As I waited outside with the rain dancing all over my forehead and the lenses of my glasses I could distinguish a glimpse of florescent lighting through the curtain and I knew that the collection was to be something contemporary with a twist. When I walked in I was instantaneously impressed with the consideration to detail and the intricate design that had gone into each piece, I was the first one in because I’d decided to hang up my ‘it’s hip to be late’ coat for the evening.

Each piece was an effortless cut, yet tailored at the same time in neutral tones such as navy and beige, conversely, each piece had an attention-grabbing woven structure emotionally involved to it as a focal point, the pieces were designed and then cut by laser. The sum of work that had gone into creating these attachments was phenomenal. Evidently I was eager to find out the tale behind the design and the muse for the collection. Coincidentally designer and artistic director, Tran Thi Thanh Nga, was on hand to put me in the picture.

Her collection struck a cord with me, being the natural beauty preacher of inner acceptance in Paris, her collection really appealed to me. She said that this collection was to show the inner complexity of a woman, that she’s not just a physical outer coating and that to understand her we simply must look at her intricate inner thoughts and feelings, the structures attached on each piece really showed the intricacy, the detail, the workings and how everything was all held together. I really liked her initiative and I think that it associated very well with what I talk about everyday with my clients and the philosophy of my brand.

The makeup was very simple and clean, just with a gold defined highlight on the cheeks to give structure and dimension. I managed to get some photos in and a little video too, with thanks to Lindsey Kent of Pictours Paris giving me the once over behind the lens! Enjoy the photos.



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