Thursday, July 5, 2012


By Eva Fydrych

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin SS 2013
4-7 July 2012

Key visual Spring/Summer 2013; Model: Joan Smalls (Photo by Mario Testino)


How would you describe the make-up look for the Mercedes-Benz key visual shooting?

CHARLOTTE: We wanted Joan Smalls to look like this kind of futuristic biker driver mixed with Grace Jones. It’s a bit of a mélange. I think she looks fantastic. She looks very sculptural with this amazing Mohawk, quite graphic. She also looks incredibly peaceful. It’s very cool.

Did you know the whole team previous to this shooting? And how would you describe the process of this creative cooperation?

CHARLOTTE: I’ve worked with Mario Testino for a very long time. He is an incredible photographer - we all know that. The genius. The icon. I am very lucky to work with incredibly creative, brilliant people at the top of their careers. I think it’s a collaboration of everyone’s creativity. We all play important roles on the shoot and obviously Mario is our conduit, he is the one that brings it all to life in his pictures with his beautiful lighting and his great art direction.

Mario Testino and Joan Smalls

What appeals to you about working with Mercedes-Benz?

CHARLOTTE: They’re racy cars. I love a racy car – I’m quite a racy girl [laughs]. It’s an iconic brand one has always known and always associated with luxury and fun.

Starting at beginning, you grew up on the island of Ibiza and your father was an artist. How much did this environment affect your creative development?

CHARLOTTE: Growing up in Ibiza has had a huge effect and has inspired me in many ways in my career. I constantly look back on the library of my childhood. My father being an artist has obviously had a massive influence in terms of my inspiration and my sense of color. He was inspired by many different people, he would teach me a lot about art. I definitely get my talents directly from him in terms of being able to paint and draw. I just do it with make-up [laughs].

Charlotte Tilbury and Joan Smalls

What made you realize your passion for make-up and beauty in general?

CHARLOTTE: I think I’ve always been seduced by the power of beauty and then I very quickly understood that the power of beauty is very much associated with the power of make-up. So being a woman - whether one is feeling exhausted or tired - we are very lucky, it’s a woman’s secret weapon. You can immediately conceal anything with make-up and you can enhance people’s features in a way to make them look the best they could ever look. But it’s also being able to work creatively. On a photo shoot coming up with all these fantasies and ideas of characters we can play with. Being creative with paints and colors and transforming people is really exciting.

Do you understand women who don’t use make-up at all? In which situations do you personally don’t use make-up?

CHARLOTTE: I don’t understand women who don’t use make-up. They need to come and see me, I need to convert them, they’re crazy [laughs]! They don’t understand the power, the way it could change their lives. Their lives could be completely different if they used make-up. It’s so powerful. And there is NEVER an occasion you will EVER see me without make-up. Not even my husband has ever seen me without make-up, never will! It’s a fantasy, he bought into that fantasy and he is going to live that fantasy [laughs].

Model Joan Smalls

What do you do if a celebrity requests a certain look (e.g. red lips) that does not suit her at all?

CHARLOTTE: I am in a very fortunate position. I think if I’m working with a celebrity, with a certain team, we’re all there for a reason and normally they will always listen to my opinion and I will listen to theirs. All the celebrities and people that I’ve worked with are really brilliant; it’s always a great collaboration. If they have a very strong concept or idea about the way they look then we collaborate to make it the most beautiful it possibly could be. I’ve never had a difficult situation.

You’re always on a tight schedule at fashion shows. How do you deal with the time pressure?

CHARLOTTE: By having a really great team. When we do the fashion shows, there’s a lot of time pressure. We have three hours to get a show ready. A lot of the girls turning up in the last half an hour, so if you have 40 models and 20 of them turn up in the last 30 minutes before they are going to go on… that’s why I have an incredible team of make-up artists, that I use in New York, Paris, London, Milan and they have been working with me for years. It’s a collaboration, they are always behind me and we are always ready to go. We are professional and prepared, that’s what we do.

Behind the scenes

Do you have a favorite person whose make-up you like to do? And why?

CHARLOTTE: It’s a little bit difficult. I love a lot of people in this business and it’s always a pleasure to do everyone’s make-up. Today doing Joan Small’s has been incredible, she has a beautiful face, it’s always a pleasure and a joy working with all these stunning women. But I think if I had to choose one, it would be Kate Moss, because I think she is such the iconic beauty of our time, her heart shaped lips, her incredible cheekbones, and slanted, feline eyes. She has an incredible style and personality. She is witty, funny and bright and has a great sense of humor. I adore her!

Besides work - what do you enjoy doing most?

CHARLOTTE: Having fun [laughs]. I mean I love my job, I am very lucky. I get to travel around the world. I get to meet really interesting people. I have a great family. I have a wonderful son. I’m pretty lucky. I just like having a good time – I like to work hard, play hard.
Source: MBFW Berlin

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