erdem aw21 beauty
Credit: Supplied by NARS

Erdem‘s elegant Fall 2021 collection at London Fashion Week served up a harmonious blend of costumed contradictions that effectively highlighted the delicate tension that we currently find ourselves in, as cities start to awaken and we try to conceive of a life after global lockdowns. Designer Erdem Moralioglu sought inspiration from the archives of artistic dance to illustrate such a moment, using the relationship between legendary ballet dancers Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn.

After an initially unwilling Fonteyn finally agreed to work with Nureyev, the dancer put her own retirement from performing on hold and went on to dance with Nureyev for almost 20 years. Moralioglu was fascinated by their much-celebrated partnership, which in turn informed the distinctive beauty looks seen throughout the show.

erdem aw21 beauty
Credit: Supplied by NARS

“The 1948 film, The Red Shoes, which tells the story of a ballerina, was a source of inspiration for this season’s Erdem collection. I wanted to create a look that evoked the feeling that dancers experience during a performance,” says NARS’ Global Artistry Director Jane Richardson, who directed the beauty looks for the show.

Richardson also referenced Fonteyn’s performance makeup in the looks, which saw eyeliner perform its own cosmetic interpretation of an arabesque, with each end swooping below and above the eye before gracefully arching out into an exaggerated cat-eye flick.

erdem aw21 beauty
Credit: Supplied by NARS

Other models wore a matte red pout à la Moira Shearer of The Red Shoes, but staying true to ballet’s minimalistic beauty codes, none wore both at once. “We worked to capture the colour, and elongated, expressive lines in all three of the beauty looks for Erdem,” Richardson said, who used all NARS products throughout the process.

erdem aw21 beauty
Credit: Supplied by NARS

Complexions were kept soft, with tinted moisturiser and concealer taking the place of foundation to cultivate a luminous, fresh stage for the more evocative aspects of the makeup to dance on. A natural flush was applied to the cheeks, with neat, deliberately unremarkable brows keeping the spotlight trained on the main players in this performance – the lips and eyes.

Watch the show in its entirety via the video above, and shop the key products behind Erdem’s Fall21 beauty looks below:

NARS High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in Via Veneto, $36 SHOP NOW

NARS Lipstick in Inappropriate Red, $40 SHOP NOW

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, $68 SHOP NOW

NARS Air Matte Blush, $46 SHOP NOW

NARS Climax Mascara, $36 SHOP NOW

NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder, $56 SHOP NOW

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