Shades of beauty: Make-up artist Abhilash Chicku’s latest photoshoot questions colourism
Make-up artist Abhilash Chicku’s new photoshoot is a beautiful testament against colourism
Will this colour suit my dark skin? This is a common question celebrity make-up artist Abhilash Chicku has come across from his clients. He has also seen many discriminations against women in showbiz due to their dark skin tone. This made the make-up artist come up with his new project along with his friend and Kochi-based designer Helen Sebastian.
The photoshoot surrounds three women, who have dressed up in pastel floral attires. In designer couture lehengas with bright floral designs and adorned with traditional jewellery, the women appear as the epitome of modern women. The crepe georgette attires look stunning on the models, who appear in bold makeup in green grove background. The choli and lehenga are given glossy lacework and may look similar to popular Sabyasachi bridal attires.
Helen designed the three lehengas overnight for the shoot. “When Abhilash suggested the theme, I came up with the floral patterns in pastel shades as I wanted to enhance the beauty of their skin. The idea was simple but royal style attire. I consulted with the models to convey my design and to know their comfort,” says Helen, who has around 25 years of experience as a designer.
Abhilash says judging the colours of fabric based on skin tone is a form of colourism. “There are many who feel inferior about their skin or body shape. It is mainly due to the discrimination they face from society, friends and family. My photoshoot is to inspire them to embrace themselves, come out of their shells and wear the colours,” he adds.
Abhilash says he has a reason to choose this theme. “I wanted the models to feel comfortable in their skin. I have previously worked with model Nimisha. The make-up photo shoot crossed more than five million views last year. Beauty does not depend on skin tone,” says Abhilash.
Abhilash says, he has come across many brides who doubt if make-up goes well with their dusky skin tone. “Some have even conveyed how it was difficult for their parents to find a groom due to the colour of their skin. I wonder why such discrimination still prevails. I want this project to be an eye-opener for society who discriminate and choose people based on skin colour and body shape,” says Abhilash.