Charlotte Olympia Dellal on her love of vintage glamour

Words by
Charlotte McManus

29th January 2018

We interview luxury shoes and accessories designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal about retro icons, top beauty products and her top hair and makeup tips

Fashion favourite Charlotte Olympia Dellal has been creating covetable luxurious shoe and accessory designs since her eponymous brand launched in 2008. Her beautifully crafted pieces marry classic glamour with contemporary silhouettes. Look out for Veuve Clicquot by Charlotte Olympia, a new collaboration with the champagne house, which includes a special edition of La Grande Dame cuvée, as well as shoes, 
a clutch bag and a shoe champagne bar.

Charlotte Olympia Dellal
Charlotte Olympia Dellal

Charlotte Olympia Dellal

What interests you about retro hair and make-up?

I love how those sculptured styles were more like accessories. As I’ve always loved Rita Hayworth, I decided to dye my hair red 10 years ago and paired it with a beautiful hairstyle to channel my inner “Gilda”, one of my favourite movies. Over the years, my hairstyle has adapted into a “pageboy” style. 
I believe that a retro-beauty look is classic, timeless and suits everyone.  

What are your favourite hair and make-up brands?

Kérastase for shampoo and conditioner. MAC dominates most of my make-up bag; last year we collaborated on a capsule collection of basic essentials for a low-maintenance, retro, but modern beauty look.

How many hair and beauty products would you say you own?

The only products I really rely on are setting lotion, hairspray and a pink hairnet. To make my vintage-inspired look feel a bit more modern, I keep my make-up minimal and have few products, which I buy in bulk so that I never run out of my favourite red lipsticks and red nail varnishes.  

Where do you keep your products?

In my dressing room. I have a drawer dedicated to my hairdressing and a tray with my make-up essentials.

Where do you source inspiration for a retro beauty look?

I am constantly inspired by old Hollywood glamour. I have loved watching old vintage movies since I was a child and the beautiful women on the silver screen made me fall in love with fashion.  

Who are your favourite beauty icons?

My paternal grandmother, Zehava, came from the era I love and always had her blonde hair styled to perfection and never left the house without her red lipstick. She inspired me to do the same. I also love pin-ups from the 1940s and 1950s. Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe are some of my favourites.

Are there any hair/make-up artists you especially admire?

John Hilliard at Daniel Hersheson on Conduit Street has mastered my look. He does it authentically with a setting lotion, pin curls, back combing and sculpts it. It lasts for days. For colour, I go to Sibi Bolan at Josh Wood in Holland Park; she’s made me a blonde, brunette and redhead. I discovered some great retro hair stylists on Instagram. Tony Medina (@hisvintagetouch) is based in LA and Necia (@neciashairstyling) is in the UK. And if I want to treat myself to professional make-up, I will call Tania Grier; she makes me feel made-up but never overdone.  

What are your top hair and beauty tips?

My mother taught me to always remove my make-up, cleanse and moisturise before I go to bed, no matter how tired and lazy I felt. I try not to colour my hair too often and, every few years, I try to find a moment when I stop for a while to let my hair have a break.

Do you have any specific hair/beauty rituals?

Once a week, I have my hair set in 1940s waves. I keep my make-up fresh and minimal with just red lipstick and complete my look with a red half-moon manicure. Whenever I want to feel like new, I go to Yvonne Martin in Maida Vale for a facial.  

When travelling, what look do you like to adopt?

I have my hair set before I travel, which can last for days. Otherwise, a silk headscarf fashioned as a turban keeps me presentable and adheres to my vintage aesthetic.  

How would you dress up for a special occasion?

My aesthetic is the same all day, whether it’s a Monday morning or a Friday evening. I may just add mascara and a little cream eyeshadow to feel a bit more dressed up.