Alexander McQueen Puts a Dramatic Twist on the Classic Ponytail at Paris Fashion Week

Alexander McQueen Fall 2019 Glossy LeatherWrapped Ponytails
Photo: Getty Images

From the sharp tailoring on the asymmetrical suiting to the sheer volume of the silk taffeta rosette confections, tonight's Alexander McQueen show at the Lycée Carnot was enough of a spectacle from the front.

But onlookers paying close attention as rising runway stars Deirdre Fírinne and Rebecca Longendyke whipped around each turn of the runway caught an alluring glimpse at one of the British fashion house's most head-swiveling beauty looks to date. Equal parts chic and severe, hairstylist Guido Palau pulled the models’ hair back into high-shine low ponytails that were bound taut with leather strands to dominatrix-like effect. "The look is very tough and boyish, but also has a fetishy feel, which is very McQueen," explained Palau while sculpting Indian beauty Pooja Moore’s hair, wrapping her dark lengths in the sumptuous black material from the base down to the back-skimming ends.

Accenting the show's dizzying stacks of silver hoop earrings, Palau's key product was Redken's Hardwear 16 Gel for a lacquered, raked-back finish. "When I'm combing the hair it really sets those lines in, which is so important for this look because I don't want it to be too flat," he said. Accenting the shellacked hair, makeup artist Lucia Pieroni brushed up and filled in each model's arches for full, feathered brows that veered even more masculine against seemingly bare, luminous complexions.

A few seasons strong now, Alexander McQueen's subversive beauty code—clean skin and glossy, androgynous hair offsetting the fairy-tale femininity of the clothes—is holding steady.