The Dior SS23 show brought back the Victorian era to Paris’ Jardin des Tuileries. The historic promenade was shrouded in mist as leather-clad dancers leaped between ancient branches and gilded archways. Models walked the runway in light-as-air lace jackets, while puffy dresses with unexpected cutouts, plus botanical separates, proved that flowers for spring box to be revolutionary. After the show, on a mossy island in the center of it all, legendary model Maye Musk, who also happens to be the mother of the richest man in the worldcaught up with our editor Mel Ottenberg for a lesson in Lolita fashion and the major face of space.—CAITLIN LENT
MEL OTTENBERG: Hi Maye, how are you?
MAYE MUSK: It’s a good evening. How are you?
OTTENBERG: I love running into you all the time. I met you at the Daily Front Row Awards. I was editor of the year, you were the breakthrough role model.
OTTENBERG: Together we will lead 2022.
OTTENBERG: Wow, you look so beautiful, what are you wearing?
MUSK: Thank you, I wear Dior, of course! It’s a perfect quilted jacket for this weather, but it’s also a sexy jacket.
OTTENBERG: Yeah, that’s sexy and sensible for today.
MUSK: And then really cool boots. You couldn’t get any cooler boots than this.
OTENBERG: Yes, yes, yes.
MUSK: Sensitive too!
OTTENBERG: You look super glam, I’m really into it.
MUSK: It’s really Dior Beauty. I am one of the brand’s friends, they do my skincare and makeup. And I love the makeup on my face.
OTTENBERG: I feel like you can have a natural look, but you can also do a major face.
MUSK: Well, I love rocking a major face.
OTTENBERG: The real rocks your fierce face.
MUSK: That’s what I keep telling people! They all say, “You’re naturally adorable.” No no. You have no idea.
OTTENBERG: Let’s go for the record and say I miss a natural face too. But I think you can do it, if you’re cool enough. Like, you’re Maye Musk. What do you think?
MUSK: I don’t miss the natural face. I just think makeup enhances your features. And make you beautiful.
OTTENBERG: Ok, so I’m not really bored. I’m intrigued by someone who can put on makeup giving you a major face. We only have one life to live.
MUSK: Yes! When I’m natural, people think “Oh, you’re beautiful.” But when I’m done with all that Dior makeup, I look stunning.
OTTENBERG: You do, you do.
MUSK: I had to say it. I really do. And I have to say it myself, because I can’t believe how good these makeup artists are.
OTTENBERG: Shit yeah. The face is a canvas. So wait, what did you think of the show? Favorites?
MUSK: I loved the show. It was very Victorian. I liked all the maps of Paris on some clothes. I liked the mix-and-match. There were corsets, then big pants.
OTTENBERG: That’s right, or like a shirt, corset and pants. Yeah yeah yeah. I liked it.
MUSK: I just thought that with every look, when you walked into the room, eyes would be on you.
OTTENBERG: Have you ever been to Tokyo and seen the goth Lolita girls?
OTTENBERG: So there is a whole subculture. When I first went to Tokyo with Courtney Love 20 years ago, she showed me all that Gothic Lolita stuff. Of course, she knew where all the weird and weird shops were, where there was nothing but jumpers, ruffles and Victorian lace. I felt like they were giving that today.
MUSK: Exactly that. The big skirts, and then of course the big flowers. I still love these flowers. The different textures, the different materials. I mean, some were knitted!
OTTENBERG: The knitting was very beautiful. Well, what’s next? What’s on your to-do list? Do you want to go to Mars?
OTTENBERG: That’s what I wanted to ask. When are you going to Mars? Or are you not interested?
MUSK: Do I want to do six months of training? Well, first of all, I want it to be comfortable before I go. Because six months on a rocket—
OTTENBERG: Is that how long it takes?
MUSK: At the moment, yes. It could go down. I hear from a reliable source that it could be less.
OTTENBERG: So you’ve heard from a reliable source that it might be less in the future, so the jury is out on whether or not we see Maye Musk serve as a fierce Dior face on Mars.
MUSK: Well, I have 14 grandchildren. So if they all leave, I’ll be there with them.
OTTENBERG: Wow, grandma. Yes! It was great bumping into you, you’re phenomenal. Thanks.
MUSK: Thank you. you. Goodbye !