Confessions of a Rick Owens Stepper, Shauntele Dishes on Her Experience

dancer and designer ShaunteleHow did you find out you were stepping in the show? What was your reaction?
Maxine Lyle, the founder of Soul Steps recruited me to participate knowing that being a fashion designer of my own label, Shauntele, it would be a great chance to enjoy the industry from a different perspective. At first I couldn’t believe a designer would put us on the Paris fashion stage but knowing Maxine’s history and the way she has always created unique opportunities to share the art of step I had no doubt that whatever the outcome was, it was going to be something worthwhile and special. I was also secretly excited to also see how my own designs would fit in with the Parisian street style once we arrived.

When did the team begin practicing? 
We began practicing in May to refine our routines and develop an understanding about Rick Owens’ collection and the overarching theme behind the future show.

Those faces we’re pretty interesting. How did you maintain that look throughout the performance? 
Admittedly, uniting the choreography with intensity and maintaining a fierce look was tricky, but towards the middle of the summer it began to click and I considered “the grit” as just another part of the choreography. Just like every other move it was meant to be executed with purpose and with intention.

Tell us a bit about the hair and makeup for the show?
Rick wanted the look to be natural and authentic. I thought this was another interesting component of his vision. In his goal to present another more inclusive definition of beauty he gave instructions to leave our makeup extremely light and natural. No mascara, no eyeliner, no lipstick , no blush. Just a touch of foundation and lip balm. On a regular basis I would never feel so comfortable being so bare in a fashion atmosphere but there I was in front of the industry elite, truly embracing my natural beauty with confidence and pride.

For me, lead hairstylist Luigi Mureni and his team executed a look called the Dandelion. It was blown out and teased to create a soft, extremely lightweight bob that responded to movement just as a dandelion responds to the wind.