We're way past the halfway mark at New York Fashion Week and, when it comes to makeup, so far the eyes have it—smoky eyes, to be specific. The look is unfailingly sexy and always works, even at a show as ladylike as Oscar de la Renta. "The inspiration was the film The Duchess and the makeup is really pale in it," explained makeup artist Pat McGrath. "That's what Oscar first wanted, but when we did the test, we all decided a smoky eye looked so much better!"
McGrath explained that she employed various shades of "strong brown shadow and tons of mascara," waving a tube of her new favorite, Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme, with pride. At Anna Sui, she traded browns for grays and blacks. Dick Page also used grays at Michael Kors and Tom Pecheux added a surprising stripe of metallic orange at the lashlines of aubergine lids at Derek Lam. Perhaps the quintessential smoky eyes were at Marc Jacobs, where color king Francois Nars returned with a bang after a decade-long break from doing backstage; He painted each of the 65 models with different looks, all Eighties inspired. "I couldn't imagine this collection with a no-makeup look," said Nars backstage after finishing number 65. He matched the boldness of the clothing by sweeping black shadow up past brows, smudging smoldering color beneath lids and creating what can only be described as wildcat eyes. "Every look is edgy, but you want to keep a certain beauty to it," he said. "Even freaky should be beautiful."
Photos: Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs: Kyle Erickson; Derek Lam: Robert Mitra.