If New York is the bougie friend that gets photographed outside every celebrity- filled party and club, London is the friend getting invites to secret underground concerts and members-only speakeasies. Fashion week in the U.K. is innovative and just so damn cool without even trying. Last London Fashion Week alone gave us looks we're still in love with months later. House of Holland served disco-party vibes while Christopher Kane revived our love for the "out- of-the-shower" slicked-back, low ponytail. And how can we forget that romantic low chignon at Victoria Beckham?
This year, makeup artists and hairstylists are once again bringing the heat to the runway. While minimal makeup has ruled the runway for many seasons, the mood in London was theatrical and playful with new takes on winged liner and subtle nods to punk. As far as hair goes, all shapes and textures of hair were embraced and were often accessorized with hair clips or flashes of colour, or elevated to gravity-defying heights for a sundry of bold statements.
Get into the best and most noteworthy hair and makeup looks out of London Fashion Week below.
Burberry: Middle-Parted Blowouts
We've come to expect elevated, effortless English chicness from Ricardo Tisci’s Burberry woman, and hairstylist Guido Palau translated it into soft blowouts for the Fall 2020 collection. He didn’t want any harshness to the hair, so he parted it down the center with his fingers and tucked it behind the ears. For a more dimensional and textural effect, he used a half-inch iron on the ends to add natural bends and finished it with a light dusting of Redken Triple Pure 32 Hairspray to tame any frizz. "It’s the new classic blowout," he said.
JW Anderson: Anti-Volume
"There's a lot of volume in the collection, so we wanted to work with the proportions of the collection and make sure that there was no volume on top," explained hairstylist Anthony Turner. "So we're giving the girls gorgeous little chic pinheads using a side part." Turner prepped by hair by spraying L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Pli to keep the hair close to the head and easy to manipulate. To give the models a "very expensive, very shiny texture," Turner ran his fingers through the hair with L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil and then straightened and flattened the hair using the Dyson Supersonic. Hair was parted to the left and gathered in the back in a low ponytail. "It gives it a bit of attitude and makes it a bit tougher," Turner said of the deep side part.
Erdem: So Much Silver
Erdem's collection was inspired by Cecil Beaton's "Bright Young Things" photo exhibition, which was printed on silver gelatin. Silver is a dominant accent color for Fall 2020, which was reflected in aspects of the beauty look.
Hairstylist Anthony Turner drew from the collection's masculine-feminine dichotomy for the hair, which featured a low side part combed over and pulled back into a smooth ponytail at the base of the neck. "It's the idea of gender fluidity, and we bring that feeling to the hair with a masculine-feminine hairstyle," explained Turner. He sectioned the hair and slathered almost half a tub of L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Fix Max through the top so the hair "felt a bit like plastic to make it feel more modern." Turner then created an S-wave in the front "like a paint stroke," secured it with a silver bobby pin to give the hair a more feminine edge, and set it with the diffuser attachment on the Dyson Supersonic. "Bobby pins always feel a bit naive and homemade, which is why I like them."
The theme of silver was also seen in the makeup created by Lynsey Alexander, which saw some models with silver foil around the eyes and bleached eyebrows; others had nude faces, brows that Alexander described as "very Peter Lindbergh- y," and a stain smudged under the eyes with Nars Kashmir eye shadow. Some of the models wearing silver wigs had bleached brows and faces made to look paler and pulled back using face tape. Alexander used products that had a pearl or iridescent finish, including Nars Copacabana and Luxor Multiples as the highlights over the eyes, cheeks and lips. To tie the three looks together, all the models wore Sex Shuffle lipstick that has a "3D glitter in it so it really catches the light."
Tommy Hilfiger: Fresh Faces and Neon Nails
The fourth TommyXLewis collaborative collection and first ever TommyXLewisXH.E.R.co-created capsule was all about bright colors and bold attitudes, which was reflected in the fluorescent nails seen on both genders.
“We used the brightest colors we could find. It's a bit of a statement and it’s just fun," explained nail artist Marian Newman, who used five different colors from vegan nail brand Peacci ranging from neon green, hot pink to bright orange.
The nail shape was left natural, depending on what the models came in with, then painted with one of the five shades including Lime Punch and Amelia, a shocking turquoise.
Makeup artist Pat McGrath kept faces fresh and natural using Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation and spot concealed using the new Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer from her eponymous line set to launch later this month.
"We're using these products on everyone in a sparing way. We’re mixing the foundation with the primer to make it even more sheer and give that real glowing quality to the skin," McGrath explained.
To finish, mascara was applied to the root and a soft touch of highlight to the cheekbones.
Emilia Wickstead: Modern Masculinity
For Fall 2020, the Emilia Wickstead woman wore their hair with a low side part and pulled back into a low ponytail with a wave behind the ear for a minimal and masculine statement.
“The Emilia Wickstead woman is very strong, powerful and minimal so we brushed the hair into a low side part for something quite masculine," explained lead hair stylist Benjamin Muller.
He ran the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer over hair prepped with Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray to keep the shape close to the head and the hair really straight and shiny. Muller then layered Bumble and Bumble Thickening Blow Dry Creme and Bb gel over the front of the hair to give it a heaviness so it looked “wet and strong" and used the diffuser attachment on the hair dryer to melt the products together for a sleek finish.
"The products will give it the grit and the dryer is the power that keeps it flat," he explained.
Muller created a very slight finger wave just above one ear using an old school technique akin to a finger wave then secured the hair into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck.
"We didn’t put any product on the bottom part of the hair because we wanted to keep it soft and easy," said Muller.
Simone Rocha: New Wave Metals
Simone Rocha's collections always weave in autobiographical references and this season, the beauty look was inspired by the Irish coast.
“You have this really cold water, rugged shapes and different textures," said lead makeup artist Thomas De Kluyver.
Some of the models looked as if they'd just come out of the sea. Faces were waxy and pale with a wash of pinky-brown lipstick round the eye and on the lips blended out to “look like the natural color when you wash your face and you have a bit of pinkiness around the eye with the veins," explained De Kluyver.
Others had deconstructed foiled eyes in metallic black, pastel pink and red that De Kluyver sourced in Japan. The thicker texture of the foils created abstract shapes that was the basis for the second look.
“I love how [Rocha] uses accessories in a nice way to add pops of color to the collection so we've done that with the makeup," he explained. "It also added the texture and metallic element to the look this season."
Richard Quinn: Colorful Waterlines
Everyone may have been talking about the jeweled masks at Richard Quinn, but we couldn't help notice the colorful sweeps of green, yellow, blue, orange, and white liner on the models' lower waterline. "The clothes are quite feminine but with an aggressive tone to them, so we wanted to do that with the makeup. Everyone's got a different eyeliner color depending on the dress they're wearing," explains makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, who mixed MAC Chromagraphic Pencils with shadows from the Art Library: It’s Designer palette.
This season, Ffrench wanted to create the look of "monochromatic Russian dolls" with matted-down skin by pressing Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick onto the skin to give a really flawless finish. To tie the look together, she blended MAC Powder Blush in Pink Swoon and Peony Petal on the center of the cheeks, the high points of the face, and across the eyes.
Hair was tightly pulled back into a "punky knot" secured with black velvet ribbon to give it a DIY vibe. Hairstylist Sam McKnight pulled bits of hair out from the front and sprayed it with some volumizing hair powder to give it fluffiness. "It's quite rebellious because the clothes are very voluminous, very couture," explains McKnight. "When I was looking at the clothes, it was really inspired by portraits and Marie Antoinette — in particular, the powdery hair."
Halpern: Crystalized Eyes
There’s always a bit of sparkle on the Halpern runway. In past seasons, glitter was a focus for the makeup, but for Fall 2020, it was dialed down. Only a handful of models at the show were seen with 3D crystal detailing around one eye. Makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench smashed up rose quartz and other crystals into random-sized pieces, arranging them in a starburst pattern. She kept the skin clean by lightly buffing in MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation, and then brushed the brows up. Cheekbones and lips were glossed with clear MAC Lipglass, and to finish, uncurled lashes got a light swipe of MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara.
Ashley Williams: Clipped-in Color
The mood this season is "emo, feminine, slouchy but also dressed up," according to lead hairstylist Alex Brownsell who used products by Bleach London — Brownsell is the co-founder of the hair brand — to create colorful extensions that were attached to models' hair with Ashley Williams's iconic crystal hair clips. Strategically pinned to give a sense of nonchalance, the streaks came in platinum blonde, black, and the season's signature electric blue. "The idea is that you want to add some fun to your hair with the clip, and you’ve sewn in a hair extension. You haven’t really taken loads of time on it — you just want that shock of color," Brownsell explained. Models' hair was finished with Bleach London Hair Elixir to hydrate the ends, with some having a "faked grungy, separated, semi-glossy texture" created by running the elixir through random strands of hair for a piece-y finish.
Matty Bovan: Punk Pink Eyes
Eyes were a strong focus for Matty Bovan's show, and Cookie Mueller, who starred in early John Waters films, was the makeup inspiration. "The look is rough and raw, but she has a great shape on the eyes that's quite punk,” explained makeup artist Miranda Joyce. She channeled the late actor by sweeping a bright pink MAC eye shadow across the outer eye for Mueller's signature graphic, but she gave it a modern twist by exaggerating the inner-eye highlight with a glossy coral concoction of MAC Lipmix in White and Orange. Models wore long bangs that hung over the eye so only a fraction of the color would show through.
"It’s very painterly and spontaneous," Joyce said of the statement eye. "We didn’t want it to look labored or blended too much." Skin and lips were left bare because Joyce felt that "doing makeup on a completely bare face is way cooler than a heavily made one."
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