Philips has worked with every major photographer, every major magazine, and he’s done makeup for countless designers’ shows and ad campaigns—his credits include biggies like Vogue and indies like i-D with photographers from Irving Penn to Inez and Vinoodh. His most famous shoot, with Penn in 2005, involved Mickey Mouse yet again—Philips hand-made a lace mask in the shape of the cartoon character’s bigeared silhouette for model Lisa Cant, and the resulting shot was so strikingly beautiful that it arguably made his entire career. So Peter Philips, though perhaps not a household name for the population at large, is an undisputed god in the beauty industry, a singular figure with a career unmatched by his contemporaries—and, as I learned during our lovely conversation, a true gentleman. He told me of his love for Singin’ in the Rain (so charming!), his thoughts on the magic of old movies, stories of working with Raf, his view that “products are a promise,” and yes, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
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