At Valentino, Extreme Black Eyeliner Is the Ultimate Power Move

Nodding to the linework of last season’s handpainted logo-tattooed faces, Pat McGrath delivered myriad takes on “extreme black eyeliner” for Valentino’s fall 2023 runway in Paris yesterday. 

“The inspiration for the makeup was rooted in the collection’s exploration of power,” she tells Vogue. Set against designer Pierpaolo Piccioli’s neo-goth black and white collection, the eye statements were composed of “graphic lines and techniques designed to accentuate each model’s unique eye shape,” she explains. The effect was a dark—even moody—addition to the new wave of gothy, deconstructed makeup seen this month. 

Photo: Armando Grillo /

In the spirit of balance, McGrath kept skin fresh to showcase both the bold eye statements and the collection’s lip cuff and nose jewelry accessories. “Pierpaolo and I were drawn to the idea of celebrating individuality,” says McGrath. “We wanted to create a look that was simultaneously different for each model, yet cohesive as a whole.” Once again, they delivered aspirational beauty to disrupt norms, celebrate identity, and create “an extravagant and immersive experience,” according to McGrath. 

Plus, with this season’s standout makeup moments, from Victoria Beckham’s flipped pastel cat eyes to Gucci’s worn-in red lips, encouraging a DIY attitude, Valentino’s grab-what-you-have approach to inky liner experimentation is sure to resonate. 

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