I mainly know him from Rochas Spring/Summer 2005 where he glued actual silk thread from the Rochas collection onto the eyelid, like eyeliner. Whether he invented it or not, that's just amazing
A blab about him from thestar.com As the creative force behind L’Oreal Paris’ make-up collections, James Kaliardos certainly has a huge responsibility. Tham Ai Mei gets a few tips from the versatile artist.
Since he was a young lad, L’Oreal Paris collections creator James Kaliardos has always been obsessed with beauty and images. As a student of New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Design, he would enthusiastically help his friends with their make-up as they went out partying. It was at these hip joints that he met fashion industry luminaries like Andy Warhol and Steven Meisel. more »
He's okay. I find him a bit overrated though,to be honest. The silk thread is interesting but somehow I don't get much from his work because he seems so safe;almost like he's in just one kind of mode. At least with somebody like Inge Grognard,Pat McGrath and even Val Garland...they can really expand their imaginations a bit more.
And the Nicholas thing is absolutely true,dizzytacks
Why is there such limited information about hair & make-up artists at sites like style.com?
I love graphic make-up designs like this.
Rodarte SS08 (hair by Odile Gilbert)
I woke up the morning I was meeting Kate and Laura from Rodarte with this wild, Surrealist dream in my head. I dreamt of this makeup with flying lines and a floating eyeball in the center. Jean Cocteau meets punk and ballet. Being the rebel-loving girls they are, Kate and Laura decided to go with my dream. They had been thinking of a graphic lined look already, so we were in sync. It is rare when the hair and makeup can both be so strong and work so well with a collection. One of us usually has to compromise. Hair sculptor Odile Gilbert made a tight ponytail with long, hand-colored extentions that degraded up to the natural color of each girls hair. The effect was magical and very cool. The hundred-degree room surprisingly didn't melt the makup or the reaction of the crowd. The collection was sweet. This was my favorite.
BY JAMES KALIARDOS FOR V MAGAZINE.
"James Kaliardos went eye to eye with Rodarte's punk ballerina look for spring by creating an unusual and highly artistic eye makeup design: black lines underneath and above the eye that met in an exaggerated cat formation somewhere out in the nether brow bone area. The lids were dabbed with turquoise or cobalt, reflecting Rodarte's major colour theme. An art statement or a new way to apply eyeliner that's post modern and pushes the makeup envelope? At Rodarte, it was actually both. The rest of the face was dewy, natural and young - as were those Belle du Jour ponytails dipped in coloured ink."
kasper! was [undirectly] inquiring about his work in the Peter Philips thread so I thought it was time for a bump, and what better excuse than by posting a lovely article from the independent, published last march.
JAMES KALIARDOS, MAKE-UP ARTIST TO THE STARS He has a client list that includes Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Gwen Stefani. And, as he tells Cat Callender, he owes it all to his mum.
Satuday 22 March, 2008.
When I moved to New York in the Eighties, I met Andy Warhol a few times out at clubs," says the make-up artist James Kaliardos. "A couple of times I had lots of make-up on, you know, New Wave, Duran Duran-style. A couple of times I didn't. The night we talked his message to me was: 'You need to wear more make-up.' "
It was a chance meeting. But it sealed his future. Warhol's words forced the young Kaliardos to consider what was then his hobby, as a bona-fide career.
Of course, these days you're unlikely to catch him with a full-face of pan stick – if anything, his uniform of Brooks Brothers boy's blazer and crisp shirt exudes an unexpected all-American preppyness. Instead most of the make-up artist's time is now spent daubing, shading and contouring the faces of others – supermodels and celebrities – backstage at catwalk shows or on fashion shoots.
Today Kaliardos is at the epicentre of fashion. Karl Lagerfeld is a dear friend. Madonna taught him yoga. The Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière is a former boyfriend. But what, more than anything, illustrates his upper-echelon fashion status is this: when Donatella Versace heard Kaliardos wanted to go dressed as her to his annual Hallowe'en ball last year, she FedExed him a sculptural, silk frock from her very own wardrobe. In a US size 4. Which fitted.
It goes without saying that Kaliardos's professional credentials are equally impeccable. His work graces only the most prestigious front covers (American, British, French and Italian Vogue) and the most high-profile ad campaigns and runway shows (Balenciaga, Chanel, Hermès, Gaultier, Versace, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan) shot by the world's most renowned fashion photographers (Irving Penn, David Sims, Mario Testino, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and Annie Leibovitz). To top it all, Kaliardos is co-founder – along with Stephen Gan and Cecilia Dean – of the cult art and fashion publications Visionaire and V Magazine.
He's also one of the few make-up artists working today who is known for being able to coin trends on the runway and push the envelope editorially (black lips and yellow eyeshadow or a mask of candied fruit, anyone?) as well as perfect Angelina's pout and reinvent Madonna as a karma-crazed, hippie chick.
Kaliardos says he owes it all to his first muse, his mother – who together with his father migrated from Greece to America, where Kaliardos was born some 40 years ago. "My mum would borrow Vogue and Harper's Bazaar from the local library," he explains. "We didn't have a subscription as we didn't have any money. I would leaf through the magazines, aged seven, and copy what I was seeing on her. I'd open up the magazine and spy an Irving Penn picture, you know, something kind of abstract, and I would do it on her eye for going to the PTA meeting."
In this way, the self-taught Kaliardos honed and developed his craft, using iconic fashion images as a means to escape the monotony of suburban life. "We were living in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, which is a really conservative preppy town. I think I was bored. And I think my mum was bored too," he continues. "The make-up became a fantasy for me and my mum to escape. We didn't have anywhere to go but we looked amazing and we could imagine places to go."
This formative experience shaped his work today, igniting his espousal of an idealised naturalism. That coupled with his love of the theatrical (he is also an actor – more of which later), and that he grew up during the Eighties (an exciting time for make-up – even boys wore blusher), has afforded him a fluid signature. In other words, he is as at home creating dramatic beauty statements with the photographer Steven Meisel as he is perfecting a "no make-up" look with Steven Klein.
According to Kaliardos, it's not only his mother who imparted ways in which to amplify a woman's natural beauty. The late, great photographer Richard Avedon was also a huge influence. "He taught me a lot about beauty. He wanted something modern and different. It was that thing he set up in the Fifties and Sixties where a woman was just perfected rather than weirdo make-up," says Kaliardos. He had worshipped the photographer's work as a child, flicking through the pages of Vogue. In a wish-fulfilled twist of fate, Kaliardos not only worked with Avedon for the last 10 years of his life but was also the person who cut his hair. "I still do that type of make-up more than other kinds of make-up: Avedon preferred less mouth and more of an eye so you can really see into the woman."
Such an approach makes him the obvious choice for A-listers looking for imperceptible make-up tweaks that enhance what they've already got. Of all the celebrities he has worked with (Nicole Kidman, Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, Kate Winslet and Chloe Sevigny among them), perhaps his most memorable collaboration was with Madonna during her Ray of Light, Hindu avatar incarnation. "The first time I worked with her she leaned back and said: 'Do whatever you want, I am in your hands.' That was great because I did that Indian look on her. Every day I'd work with her, it would be a whole different thing so we really experimented."
By and large, however, working with celebrities is not so much about spearheading trends as transcending the strict parameters of fashion by creating a look that doubles as a brand communication tool. "With every celebrity you work out what their personality is and what they are trying to say. With Angelina Jolie, she was like, 'I want my eyeliner here. I don't want it here. I want the lip like this, I want just a little contour...' I thought it was so smart for her to design her face so you know that's Angelina Jolie. It's like marketing," says Kaliardos. "Once I worked with Cindy Crawford and she said, 'The hair is not Cindy enough'. It's like a separate being from her. She knows what people want to see. They want to see the hair and the mole."
Employing a methodology that owes more than a passing reference to Stanislavski's "system", Kaliardos likes to communicate a sense of his sitters' characters by mindfully retaining what it is which makes them unique. In so doing he is often able to provide personalities with their visual mojo or suggest a narrative that adds depth to an editorial fashion shoot.
"James is a movie-maker," states Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, for whose catwalk show Kaliardos designs the make-up. "He creates a visual language through his art." Or as another client of his, Trudie Styler, aptly puts it: "James is a performer so he really understands character. As an actress it's fun for me to play around with what I look like and James really understands how to explore different sides of your character through choices of make-up."
Whether devising shoots for Visionaire, creating beauty looks for editorial and runway work or acting with his theatre company, The Innocent Theatre Company, which he set up in 1996, Kaliardos is a storyteller. Nevertheless, he maintains some of his best work is the upshot of embracing the occasional, unanticipated mistake along the way.
Take his first beauty shoot with the legendary photographer Irving Penn. The model turned up on set with a bloodshot eye caused by an eye infection. Rather than cancel the shoot or book another model, the team ended up celebrating this imperfection. The iconic image, entitled "Mascara Wars" (so called because two mascara wands appear to be fighting for the right to apply a slick of mascara to the lashes of a bloodshot eye, framed by an optic-white painted face) was originally shot for US Vogue and now hangs in MoMA in New York. "Mistakes give you a human thing," Kaliardos points out. "Even now when I am working on retouching a photograph, I don't want to take away the model's humanity. Sometimes the human thing is in a wrinkle, a crease, frizzy hair or goo in the eye."
His is an empathetic view of beauty that seeks out the idiosyncratic in the faces he makes up. That Kaliardos's work renders those who sit for him beautiful is not because he applies an airbrushed mask of make-up, but because his work honours that which makes these people human. In the current climate of unattainable beauty ideals, that's something to be applauded.
"James believes that the cosmetic world should think of beauty in global, multicultural terms," agrees Youcef Nabi, director general of L'Oréal Paris International, acknowledging the female-friendly tone of Kaliardos's work. A creative consultant to L'Oréal Paris since 2003, Kaliardos has used this platform to introduce his empowering beauty ideology to a broader audience, by channelling his wealth of experience and expertise into driving new products for the megabrand.
All of which is not bad for a man whose vision was built on the childish musings of a fashion-obsessed 11-year-old. "When I was a kid I collaged all the walls in my basement bedroom with fashion images and beauty pictures from Vogue and Bazaar. I would just sit there and stare at these pictures. It became my fantasy world. All my heroes were up there – Penn, Avedon, Iman, Diane von Furstenberg – all the people I ended up working with. And I really feel like there was something about that visualisation process that really helped and I don't know why I stopped," he beams as if a light-bulb idea has gone off in his head. "I think I am going to do a collage when I get home."