It goes without saying that given current global events, fashion weeks the world over were decidedly different this fall. However, pandemic or no pandemic, the show must go on. While some decided to hold socially distanced audience events, many followed on from the hurriedly executed formats of the Spring shows, with designers at London, Milan, Shanghai Paris and New York fashion weeks deciding to go digital. But while attendance may be low, the afterparties decidedly different and runways extravaganzas watered down, the trends, vision and creativity were back with abundance. While masks were obviously a dominant feature, they didn’t override or quell creativity in hair, make-up and clothes. Set to influence the fashion and beauty worlds in the months to come, I study the five biggest trends of the shows…
Bare skin As we well know, skincare has fared well from the pandemic, and given the prominence placed on barely-there make-up and dewy skin during the fashion weeks, it’s likely to get even bigger. Victoria Beckham and Burberry placed the emphasis on fresh and clean skin – with Beckham of course complementing this with her upcoming nude lipstick offering – with dewy cheekbones and highlighted sculpting being key. Erdem and Eudon Choi also opted for this route, with outdoorsy, natural skin complementing soft hair styles. Low maintenance was the look here.
Freckles A popular trend of the 2014 S/S shows remerged on the catwalk, with designer Jason Wu’s faux freckles grabbing headlines. Erin Parsons, Maybelline London lead make-up artist, was en vogue with both the fresh skin look and the freckles fad – a popular feature on social media filters. Creating a vacation vibe, Parsons told Eye Candy, “The whole idea is we can’t really go on vacation, so Jason brought the vacation to us, and we wanted to keep the girls fresh.” Talking of the freckles, she said, “If you’re on vacation, you normally don’t do much make-up.” And with consumers looking for a holiday look, without the holiday, it’s a craze Wu has done well to bring back to life.
All about the eyes While Bora Aksu drew attention for its transparent masks with smudged lipsticks underneath, new COVID-19 mask-wearing measures unsuprisingly prompted many designers to place a strong focus on the eyes. While the mandatory face coverings could have played a part in the bare skin look – the constant removal and reapplying playing havoc with heavy make-up – it also gave rise to strong eyes. Lids were adorned with electric hues ala Chromat and Zero + Maria Cornejo, while floating creases were the order of the day for Christian Siriano, with make-up artist Vincent Oquendo taking a standard cat-eye, raising it above the lid and filling it with shadow.
Natural hair While there was a definite mix of styles – think Simone Rocha and Rodarte’s regency/gothic locks, ‘80’s perms to match Tom Ford’s make-up and Vivienne Westwood’s fashion throwback, and Emilia Wickstead, Fendi and Max Mara’s return to sleek straight styles – the standout look was unquestionably ‘less is more.’ It seems that the order of the day for 2021 is pared back, whimsical hair styles that pay homage to a carefree form – and aren’t we all wishing for a carefree year ahead. While Eurocentric effortless locks were shown from Francesca Liberatore, Molly Goddard, Erdem, Bora Aksu, Mark Fast, Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Etro, Tod’s and Huishan Zhang, to name but a few, there was, thankfully, also a definite and widespread showcase of natural Black styles. Eudon Choi, Victoria Beckham, Veronica Beard, Jason Wu, 16Arlington and Rixo were just a mere few of the designers demonstrating the pure beauty of natural Black hair and looks.
Red lips In times of austerity, a red lip has always been a metaphorical show of defiance. And it certainly seems that fashion designers are putting two fingers up at coronavirus, because the red lip is back – and it’s an even stronger statement in our new-found mask era. But stand strong they did, with Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Max Mara, Molly Goddard and Vivienne Westwood all harmonizing their fashion offerings with a bold red lip. Opting for both matte and gloss options, the statement look was complemented with barely-there eyes.