Black Swan: Behind the Ballet
“Every so often a film comes along that reminds me why film, not fashion is my first and greatest love. Even less often comes along a film that beautifully and subtly combines the two”. I couldn’t have said it better myself…so I didn’t. Darren Aronofsky has mesmerized audiences everywhere with his artistically dark and almost uncomfortably powerful Black Swan. Natalie Portman is terrifying as Nina, a deeply disturbed perfectionalist ballerina with dreams of replacing the Swan Queen and starring in the infamous Swan Lake. Slowly she unravels, loosing touch with reality as she is consumed with the stresses around her and a wicked desire to be perfect. Her wildly twisted imagination becomes intolerable and pulls her toward insanity.
Head of the makeup department Margie Durand and makeup designer Judy Chin take us on a visual journey into the fascinating world of movie makeup. Going from dramatic special effects and stage performance makeup, to sheer natural radiance, they have done an incredible job at bringing these characters to life on the silver screen.
Their rendition is much more dramatic than the actual stage performance of Swan Lake. It’s much more of an operatic makeup application and style rather than that of a ballet. The highlights and shadows, perfectly contoured facial bones, bird like eye candy, and all around pristine definition, all contribute to dramatizing a colder, darker and more intense experience. And we are given: Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.
To translate the drama of The Black Swan into a wearable evening look, Durand suggests going with a 1920’s vamp makeup inspiration. Create those smoky Black Swan eyes by applying black eye pencil to the lower lash line. Using Graphite Eye shadow by MUD and their #800 brush, evenly distribute the shadow over the entire lid for a more sultry look. Using MUD’s Tinsel and the #210 angle brush, add thin whisps of silver over the lid and lower lash line. Rim the waterline with their Black Eye Pencil and top it all off with a generous coat of cream mascara and feathery false lashes.