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Belgium – Antwerp

Peter Philips was born in Antwerp, Belgium. After studying graphic design in Brussels, he turned to haute couture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. After graduating, he discovered the art of make-up backstage at the biggest fashion shows.

Later, he developed his skills alongside renowned photographers such as Irving Penn, Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino and Steve Klein, with creations that toured the world.

In 2009, he caused a sensation with a make-up created for Beth Ditto, whose eyes he highlighted with a highly graphic look, and for which he used Marylin Monroe’s mouth, immortalised by Andy Warhol, photocopied in several copies to create a spectacular necklace. 

Over the years, he also collaborated with Raf Simons and Alexander McQueen, before joining Chanel, for whom he created poetic, timeless make-up until 2013.

© Liz Collins

But while he wanted to be free in his creations, Peter Philips joined Dior in 2014 as creative and image director for make-up, under the creative direction of Raf Simons and then Maria Grazia Chiuri. 

For him, imagining make-up is above all a dialogue between team members that allows the idea of the collection to be retranscribed while being aligned with the music, the locations, the lighting, and thus supporting the designer’s vision to make the public experience a strong, suspended moment. 

“Women have become make-up experts. And that’s thanks to social networks and tools like Instagram,” notes Peter Philips. “In just a few years, we’ve gone from a dictatorship, where each fashion house imposed its designer’s vision through collections and looks, to a certain kind of freedom. I know I’ve achieved something in make-up when I see women making the colours and accessories I’ve designed their own.”

Today, Peter Philips is undoubtedly one of the world’s most influential make-up artists, with his watchwords: impose nothing and have fun, putting his avant-garde expertise and creativity at the service of women. With respect, he advocates a feminism where gender equality is the key to being stronger together, while setting the pace for all cosmetics fans, women and men alike. 

Thomas Durin