As the London shows draw to a close, there isn’t much time for a halftime breather—and yet, the vast spectrum of directional beauty commands a second look. From the bejeweled headbands at Simone Rocha to the hyper-glossy knots at Burberry, designers walked the tightrope between the romance of the past (royal-worthy flourishes!) and the pull of the future (ultra-dystopian statements!) with striking hair looks. On the makeup front, runways were replete with clean, luminous complexions as seen at Victoria Beckham and Christopher Kane, as well as idiosyncratic eye etchings, like Asai’s razor-thin wings and Central Saint Martins’s bold splotches along the lids and waterlines. Even more painterly were the gazes awash in rainbow pigments and holographic glitter at Halpern and Ashish, brushed on by none other than British makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, naturally. Here, five hair and makeup lessons to take away from London Fashion Week.
Shower-Fresh Strands Are Made for Sculpting
Jaws collectively dropped at first sight of Burberry’s taut, sopping-wet knots with baby hairs intricately gelled to the forehead in dizzying patterns by hairstylist Guido Palau. Underneath floating leather jockey hats at JW Anderson, there were glassy coifs plastered deep to one side, while at Richard Quinn, shiny strands were parted right down the middle then split at the crown for some serious part play. And adding volume to the mix, Fashion East served up tidal waves of windswept texture, frozen in place with heavy gel, of course.
Watercolor Effects Have Never Been Cooler
Isamaya Ffrench first came out swinging at Halpern, where she painted lids using MAC Acrylic Paint in sublime shades of cobalt, tangerine, and crimson before delicately layering on pieces of gold leaf for a luxe, decidedly disco feel. In a complementary follow-up, the renegade visionary then put a subversive twist on the Ashish show, splashing different vivid hues of glitter on the brows, lids, and lips. But it wasn’t just the eyes that got the watercolor treatment: At Mary Katrantzou, Redken global color creative director Josh Wood created “color cloud” pastel extensions that coordinated with the collection’s geometric pastel prints.
The New Cat-Eye Has an Art-School Twist
Whether with Asai’s finely drawn negative-space etchings or Erdem’s ultra-thick matte black wings, this season’s cat-eyes were all about individuality. If you’re less focused on precision and more on impact, there were Central Saint Martins’s array of gazes speckled with onyx pigment. Or, if smoky is more your speed, the double wings blended in with dark navy shadow at Alexa Chung married soft and hard quite beautifully.
Refined Kitsch Hair Accessories Rule
Simone Rocha can always be relied upon for above-the-neck flourishes—and with passion for hair accessories reaching a fever pitch, the Irish designer did not disappoint. Led by Chlo? Sevigny wearing a pearl-encrusted barrette, the model lineup was outfitted in an assemblage of hair ornaments, including loop tiaras and chunky crystal headpieces. At Ashley Williams, one head was covered in a collage of diamanté barrettes spelling out cheeky sayings, while at Fashion East, manes were topped off with plastic amber combs warped into fantastical shapes. Finally, hair pro Sam McKnight proved that you can make gilded hair pins a DIY affair with a glue gun and minimal elbow grease at Ryan Lo.
Fresh Skin Is—Yes—In
If the translucent, supercharged skin at Victoria Beckham and Christopher Kane was any indication, a strong contour or generous sweeping of rouge should be nixed in favor of rigorous skin care and minimal coverage with concealer as needed or a veil of featherweight foundation. This conviction was echoed at Toga, paired with tousled wet crops, and at Markus Lupfer beneath oversize hats, save for extra strobing on the high planes of the face to dewy, light-catching effect.