While some may think the serotonin levels of London Fashion Week are plummeting, the shows from this season say otherwise. Despite the typical gloomy weather — and Brexit — and Megxit, there’s still a palpable energy found across the pond and surrounding the event. Be it the highly stylized collections or the exquisite venues, something about the city and the designers that exhibit in it never fail to get us excited about dressing up. The vibe is oftentimes more approachable than Paris and Milan and more original than New York, and this, of course, extends to the beauty looks.
The Brits have never exactly been risk-averse when it comes to hair or makeup, and this season was no exception. It saw a new take on the classic gelled-back hair as well as 3D eyes, lots of marvelous metallics and meter-wide hair. Ahead, the most interesting trends we spotted coming down the runways.
Fake Hair, Don’t Care
For those looking to give their natural hair a break, the London runways offered up a number of synthetic styles to try. The truly adventurous may want to try out the towering beehive updo from the Dilara Findikoglu show, which evoked British icon Amy Winehouse. For something a bit more subtle, the models at Ashley Williams had playful extensions added to some of their ‘dos. Hairstylist Alex Brownsell used the designer’s iconic hair clips to add a “shock of color” via streaks of platinum blonde, black and blue. But arguably the most dramatic faux hair we spotted this season came in the form of Matty Bovan’s wigs — both simple and giant — that were created and styled by hairstylist Syd Hayes.
Speaking of standing out, the makeup looks coming out of London were all about precisely that. While last September saw a slew of “Euphoria“-inspired eyes, Fall 2020 finds them amped up a couple of notches. Real pieces of crystal (that makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench broke up herself) were affixed around the eyes at Halpern to create a good vibes only makeup moment. Continuing with the 3D theme, makeup artist Holly Silius worked with a young startup called The Sustainable Sequin Company to source recycled sequins and upcycled Swarovski crystals to dot the eyes of models at Paula Knorr.
While not as bold as the other two, but still falling into the three-dimensional category, models at Kiko Kostadinov were given long, whimsical, borderline eerie white eyelashes to complement their otherwise no-makeup makeup looks.
The Wetter (Appearing), The Better
The city of London might just be experiencing a shortage of hair gel after this season. Models at 16 Arlington, Charlotte Knowles, Roland Mouret and Huishan Zhang all had different versions of the wet-gel look. At 16 Arlington, hairstylist Sam McKnight took advantage of the deep side part styling to create “sleek sculpted” hair. The look at Charlotte Knowles included hair that was gelled back with strands of twisted hair peeking out. The models at Huishan Zhang reminded us of what we sometimes look like when we don’t wake up early enough to dry our hair before leaving the house (wet dog, but make it fashion). Saving our favorite for last, we have Roland Mouret’s version which was a sophisticated combed back moment that felt very Phoebe Waller Bridge at the 2020 SAG Awards.
Marvelous Metallic Moments
Glimmers of silver, gold, pink and more were put on display in some pretty, well, unconventional ways. Preen highlighted models’ foreheads, the sides of their faces and the tips of their ears with gold-and-silver foiling that harkens back to the days of (stupidly) putting the wrapper from a piece of Big Red gum on your forehead as a child (we weren’t the only ones who did that, right?). Let’s just say makeup artist Sam Bryant’s version — inspired by Venetian churches, statues of the Virgin Mary and the Renaissance period — is a whole lot chicer.
Over at Simone Rocha, Thomas De Kluyver created an abstract eye look with black, pink and red foil that he sourced from Japan. The grandest look of the category goes to Erdem, which doubled up on the metallics: Hairstylist Anthony Turner gave a sprinkling of models silver hair to jazz up their finger waves, while makeup artist Lynsey Alexander painted model’s eyelids with silver foil.
Get ready to perfect your backcombing, because poofy ’60s hair is officially back in style. Mark Fast’s collection was “an homage to the swinging ’60s,” which was evident in the large Afros and fluffed-out hair that adorned the models. Ashish provided its very own Dolly Parton-meets-“Jersey Shore” vibes. Speaking to the looks, McKnight wrote on Instagram: “Ashish said [he] wanted fun, joy, ’60s and sexy. My kind of brief.” Inspired by the royals (and veering Jackie O in certain cases), the hair at Shrimps was slightly more prim, proper, and coiffed, but included the same amount of volume as the others.
It’s worth noting that all three styles were adorned with headbands of different varieties, so might as well start stocking up on those as well.