All That Jazz—And Some Serious Beauty Looks—Arrived in a Met Gala Tribute to America’s Dance Legacy

Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, Wilson—who moved to New York to work as a producer after graduating from the Savannah College of Art & Design, and before he fell in love with hair—is as much a part of the ever-evolving American fashion narrative as the Charles James gowns that Martin Scorsese styled in the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright room. After pivoting to beauty school and working his way up Bumble & Bumble’s education ranks, Wilson’s work has regularly graced the cover of Vogue, as well as other publications. “People come here from all over the world,” he noted of what makes America particularly fertile ground for artists. “And each of them has an experience that is so different, and that lends itself to endless sources of inspiration.”

Makeup artist Raisa Flowers is one of those people. “I’m a first-generation American. My mom is from Barbados, my Dad is from Guyana but they came to America to figure out their dreams and stuff like that,” said Flowers, who grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. Flowers, who received her informal beauty education in Manhattan’s club scene, fell in love with makeup when she was a teenager. “I’ve been playing with makeup since I was 13,” she revealed while blending silver, pink and purple pigments from MAC Cosmetics Art Library: It’s Designer Eye Palette into a theatrical look replete with thin, Clara Bow brows and two rows of lashes; her own Vaudeville tribute featured ombre shades of red eye-shadow and a centralized stamp of oxblood lipstick.

As Flowers wielded MAC’s MacStack Mascara, working the rich black pigment into the dancers’s lash lines—“I like to blend the fake lashes with mascara to make them extra long,” she said—her handiwork, which took off on Instagram, was as much a demonstration of her skills as a return to her roots. “I would go with my mom to the Macy’s at the CrossCounty Mall, straight to the MAC counter,” she explained—a familiar origin story. “So many of the world’s greatest makeup artists got their start at a MAC counter,” confirms Drew Elliot, MAC’s Global Creative Director. “Their artistry and creativity know no bounds,” he adds, offering an apt description of the visual, cross-medium mastery on display throughout the museum last night.

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