A host of water babies, grunge girls, vintage aliens and plastic princesses took to the catwalks for spring – Glass kept a watchful eye on them all
Grandmother’s advice of never going out with wet hair was cheerfully flouted by this season’s hairstylists who had clearly been hit by Olympic fever – with models looking like they had come straight from the shower, and had just thrown on an exquisite gown. The girls’ drenched hair at Alexander Wang was styled in elegant loose waves below the shoulders by Redken Creative Consultant Guido Palau, who then added extra gloss to avoid it looking scraggly. TIGI’s Paul Hanlon on the other hand, went for a wet look with a rough, raw finish at Helmut Lang, creating a loose, textured half-chignon, whilst at Chanel, Sam McKnight swept each girl’s saturated locks up into a low bun, dotting it with pearls as a final Chanel-esque flourish.
Similarly when it came to make-up, matte was a dirty word – with artists prepping foundation with layers of moisturiser and hydrating primer to create a luminous base. “This is a beautiful, glowing no-makeup look with a more sporty, real feel to it than we’ve seen in the past; there’s definitely nothing relevant about a full coverage base this season,” M.A.C Senior Artist Diane Kendal noted. At many shows, the gym-bunny glow was complimented with strong eyes and brows, notably at Marc Jacobs, where Francois Nars focused on a strong, groomed brow, coupled with a flick of Sixties-style eyeliner.
An interesting twist on bold eye makeup was the Cleopatra-inspired look at Richard Nicoll where artist Sam Bryant drew a simple 1cm line at the outer corner of each eye. And then there was Alex Box’s extra-terrestrial look at Gareth Pugh, where clear strips of plastic were affixed with clear tape to the models’ eyebrows as “floating eyeliner” which was paired with shimmering, ethereal skin – Box described the models as “looking like new born babies”.
A contrast to the fresh and sporty look which dominated many of the catwalks, several artists chose to pay homage to the grunge girls of the nineties, notably Courtney Love, along with her less badly behaved contemporaries PJ Harvey, Jenny Shimizu, Juliette Lewis and founding member of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon. Scruffy, scowling sirens who lived for their Levis, guitars and kohl eyeliner were referenced through makeup that was smudged, slept in and slapped on, be it the melancholic, smudged eyes at Iceberg, Rodarte and Moschino or the rough, textured hair at Balenciaga along with the scraped-back, dishevelled and messy locks seen at Proenza Schouler and Vera Wang.
Looking like one had spent three days at a festival was also an emerging grunge-inspired trend, starting at DSquared2 where glitter was smeared around the eyes and down to the cheeks, whilst the lipstick at Erdem was hurriedly dabbed on from the centre of the mouth, almost disappearing by the time it reached the lip-line. But our favourite quote in by far has to be James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry on his Sixties-inspired makeup look for the Honor show – which was focused on thick spidery and slightly messy eyelashes. “I had a vision of creating an army of angry dolls that had been played with too much, not precious dolls that sit on a shelf.”
Elsewhere, hairstylists had fun creating “out there” colours and shapes, whilst at the same time referencing a number of different decades. The models at Thakoon displayed some shocking locks in bubblegum blue and candyfloss pink, thanks to hairstylist Odile Gilbert’s powdering colour onto the hair before sweeping into a loose chignon, whilst at Faster by Mark Fast, android-esque ponytails were given added strips of colour with neon extensions. At Issey Miyake the hair was styled into an elongated beehive, giving it the impression it had somehow been stretched, and then sprayed with graffiti. “The show theme was ‘botanicals and the sculptor Brancusi’,” explained Wella Global Creative Director for Care & Styling Eugene Souleiman. “We came up with the idea of making the head into the shape of a tulip bud using the hair. It was a bit conceptual and bold, but surprisingly pretty at the same time and gave each girl’s profile that elongation of a Brancusi statue.”
The Fifties-inspired style at Pam Hogg was another showstopper. “We threw around a few ideas about Fifties rockabilly cartoonish hair, but the whole look was more emotive of a feeling than anything else. So we settled on an overly exaggerated Jessica Rabbit wave, a super structured shape with a continuation of the wave” explained TIGI European Session Director Maria Kovacs. Hair swept up into vintage jelly rolls was a prominent feature of Jean-Paul Gaultier’s show, with several tattooed temptresses sporting an all over wash of deep sea green resulting in a look that was part-underwater siren, part-biker bitch.
From sporty, avant-garde and gunge to richly hued and expensive-looking, the muse at Versace was naturally a preened pampered and entitled Milan princess, one who gets her hair professionally blow dried, Swarovski-encrusted blackberry in one hand, soya latte in the other. Although Guido Palau’s “big bouncy blow out” was not labelled with any particular decade, one can imagine those voluminous “don’t mess” waves looking right at home atop a pair of Eighties shoulder pads.
Building on the high-maintenance theme, the show featured all-over washes of colour that ranged from chocolate brown to honey and sun-kissed blonde. DKNY took a slightly most austere approach to colour with their luxurious waves, where many a model’s hair was darker underneath, blonde on top and finished off with a glossy high shine “The old version of luxury was about needing a whole head of the best colour possible to feel empowered; whereas now all you need is a streak,” explained the show’s colourist Josh Wood, Wella Professionals’ Global Creative Director for Colour.
Make-up was deceptively sweet and charming, with scribbled on freckles at Jeremy Scott with black liner on the upper and lower lid, whilst at Veronique Le Roy, Alex Box’s make-up, with rose-hued lip gloss, and black kohl along the lower lash line, reminded me of a petite peroxide blonde I went to school with, whose make-up was done in that exact same way. She normally had a different boyfriend every week, and could easily fit Box’s description for the look. “She is a mean girl. Everyone is scared of her at school. She seems innocent but is aware of her beauty.” by Viola Levy