This season, the message is clear from New York: fresh-faced, dewy makeup is the way forward, regardless of the occasion. Themes of late 20th-century nostalgia were presented, from Puppets and Puppets’ Eyes Wide Shut-inspired looks to Tommy Hilfiger's homage to Andy Warhol. Gabriela Hearst shifted the focus to the modern world with a dive into the diverse communities we live in today, and Stuart Vevers took a future-forward venture at Coach to discover the desires of Gen Z. Here are the favorites from Fashion Week, selected by BeautyMatter:
Tia Adeola: The Nigerian designer known for her fashion shows celebrating the beauty of Black culture returned to the New York runway for her second official show on the calendar. In previous collections, Adeola's garments have featured elements that align with Victorian fashion, and this season, the designer dove deeper into the theme of romanticism, adding a New Age perspective. This time, Adeola paid homage to the late Thierry Mugler and his love of film noir, these worlds combined in a range of curve-hugging, embellished textiles in sensual fabrics such as sheer chiffon.
The collection featured 35 looks, with beauty choices varying from model to model. A standout theme was Adeola's choice of hairstyles. Several models walked the runway with sleek braided hair so long it almost touched the floor, with many using their plait as an accessory, swishing it around as they walked down the runway. Others sported more natural looks, with beautifully voluminous curls perched on the top of the head in a messy top knot, as well as afros and dreadlocks.
Backstage, models' skin was prepped with Dieux's Deliverance (Trinity Serum) and painted with caffeine-infused products from Espressoh. Models, including hip-hop singers Jayda Cheaves and Dess Dior, walked the runway with clean and minimal makeup that showcased individuality, embracing flaws such as hyperpigmentation and scarring, and advocating a message that everyone is perfect as they are, regardless of race or gender. Bold, black, smoky eyes made a recurring statement, in conjunction with deep berry-red glossed lips, furthering the gothic feel of the collection.
"I always envisioned myself as a burgeoning couture designer, which holds more weight than ever for me now with the death of the iconic Thierry Mugler. I was a drama scholar in high school and mirrored [Mugler's] love for film noir—the wealth and glamor when it comes to apparel deeply resonate with me, and I intend to pay tribute to that and him in this collection," Adeola commented.
Coach: Stuart Vevers’ SS/23 show was inspired by friends taking to the boardwalk in what was described as a "city-to-beach" collection. Inspired by Gen Z in New York and the places they would hang out on beach days—Coney Island, Rockaway Beach, and Jones Beach—the collection was presented to an audience including some popular faces such as Gen Z TikTok sensation Abby Roberts and California rapper Doja Cat.
In what could be interpreted as makeup fit for a day of sun, sand, and sea, faces looked somewhat bare, with standout features being heavily highlighted cheekbones and subtle flicks of eyeliner. The main beauty focus came from the hair, with various styles on the runway. To begin, models showcased shaggily cropped chocolate-brown styles with flicks of textured hair molded to any desired direction. Other models could be seen with vibrantly dyed pixie cuts, with mint-green and blonde strands contrasted by dark roots.
A popular style across the collection was long box braids and cornrows, which singer Lil Nas X could be seen sporting as he closed the show. The appearance from the cultural icon came as he was announced the new global face of the brand, furthering the future appeal of Coach for Gen Z.
"Youth has always been something I'm really inspired by," said Vevers post-show. "Since we returned to the runway last spring, I felt it was so important to look to the future. And to me, that means looking to the next generation."
Marrisa Wilson New York: The fashion house best known for its bold textiles and vibrant print artwork hosted another show this season with the aim of promoting diversity within the fashion industry. All beauty looks were created by Nick Lujan, Global Director of Artistry & Education at Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. Across makeup, bright, smoky eyes and glowing, fresh skin were heavily featured, which, according to Lujan, were "a key feature for all looks this fashion week. Fresh skin is always in, especially in early 2023."
Several models wore bright makeup in homage to the colors, culture, and energy of the people in Guyana, where Marissa Wilson hails from. Vibrant greens and oranges flashed in the inner corners of the models’ eyes, said to resemble Guyana's natural environment. Touches of glitter and gems were spread across the bottom lash line, representing the ocean and its inhabitants, bringing the story of Guyana and the collection to life. Cheeks were complemented with fluorescent red blush, topped off with bright gleaming highlighter, adding definition to the entire face. Hair was styled to a striking appearance, with most models showcasing large, clear, beaded accessories attached to braids, as well as locks free falling from ’20s-inspired headpieces, said to replicate rainfall.
"For this collection, I explored my Guyanese heritage, looking at my past and the generations that came before me. Not only did the vibrant beauty looks capture my design inspiration, but also accentuated the model's skin tones, the perfect complement to create a cohesive collection. I'm continually in awe of the creative and artistic genius of Nick and his team and am so grateful to Kevyn Aucoin for their continued partnership on my Runway Collections," said Wilson.
Dion Lee: Presented at a no-frills warehouse in Midtown Manhattan, Dion Lee's collection, Biomimicry, explored themes of pattern, mimicry, and angularity within nature. The collection was complemented with makeup looks painted by artist Isamaya Ffrench, who aimed to replicate Mother Nature's patterns in her looks. Ffrench decorated models' skin with light, dewy, and fresh makeup, continuing the ongoing theme across New York collections. The makeup artist used the eyes as a focal point for her creations, with deep hues and bursts of color, replicating the anatomy of insects while emphasizing the sleekness of Lee's garments.
Ffrench used various techniques, and a range of colors from her recently released Industrial Color Pigments Palette. One model with neutral face makeup and a coral-pink lip walked the runway with her eyes decorated in a snakeskin-emulating pattern. Using dark shades to create an ashy-toned sparkle, dotted eyeshadow covered the entire eye area from under the eye to the inner corner, extending above the eyebrow bone, joining to create a textured reptilian look. Another model was seen with the same texture and pattern of eyeshadow later in the collection, with the inner corner shadow a striking red, fading out into the same ash-toned brown. Other models sporting minimalistic base makeup walked the runway with bold eyeliner that curved around the entire eyelid—one in a dark charcoal shade, the other a light lime shade.
"The point here was not to transform the models into magical beasts. In order for the makeup to be seen, it's great to have a beautiful natural glowy base as a canvas. This is something that happens a lot in nature actually; animals having a special color or shape or pattern around the eyes to draw the attention to them," Ffrench added.
Markarian: Designer Alexandra O'Neill’s SS/23 collection paid special attention to feminine details, pulling inspiration from Italian Renaissance art, with themes replicating work from artists such as Bernini and Botticelli. Reinterpreted for the modern-day woman, the looks merged fashion, art, and the natural world, with embellishments mimicking vines, beautiful floral arrangements, and yellow sunset sequins.
To complement the clothing, models' faces were garnished with, once again, dewy, soft-skin makeup. Skin was glazed and bright, with the prominence of glowing peach blush spread across the apples of the cheeks. Eyebrows were softly filled in and brushed upwards to create a feather effect, and lashes were delicately coated with dark mascara. Lips were glossy and shined, with a base color of subtle salmon.
For hair, Oribe Global Artist Mandee Tauber took charge, creating looks that further brought old Renaissance beauty back to life. Hairstyles came in three main categories—long, twisted ponytails styled using Oribe's Flexible Finish Cream; effortless bobs using Oribe's Maximista Thickening Spray; and natural curls prepped with Oribe's Run-Through Detangling Primer. A handful of hairstyles were completed with delicate headpieces, with some housing spring floral arrangements and others subtle pearls amongst metallic gold leaves on the top of the head.
Gauntlett Cheng: Esther Gauntlett's New York Fashion Week offering was presented to express that "it's okay to feel good, even when things are a little off," a message needed in the currently confusing world we are forced to navigate our way through. Simple makeup worked in conjunction with sheer and sexy garments, as models' naturally luminous and bronzed skin reflected light from shimmery highlights. Orange-hued, slightly overdrawn lips matched sharp flicks of auburn eyeliner that extended from the eye to the ends of the models’ eyebrows. Brows were left in various shapes, some bleached and feathered, others dark and sleek.
Hairstyles by Dylan Chavles were a large statement throughout the show, with models exhibiting expressive looks that focused heavily on longer hair lengths. A group of models were seen with slicked-to-the-head cascading ponytails that draped to the floor with no single strand out of place. Other ponytails matched in length but with a single braid that spilled from the head to the floor of the runway.
Hair styles created in collaboration with Obadiah Russon made a striking appearance, with strands styled into several braids fastened and connected by rubber hair ties to create a long, spiraling webbed look. Some models sporting the net-like hairstyle had their roots show where the braid began, their hair swaying slightly as they walked.
Gauntlett commented on the hairstyles, "Texture began to bleed into the clothes also. Everything was fringed, fluffy, and hairy, and the movement of it all was really important. Seeing the way Obadiah cared for the stockings also was amazing, brushing everyone's legs backstage. They became a part of the body in a way that was a little odd but also so beautiful."
Gabriela Hearst: An accurate representation of today's world, Gabriela Hearst's presentation at the industrial Agger Fish Corp. building in Brooklyn Navy Yard showcased models of all shapes, sizes, ages, and skin tones. The collection, inspired by the Greek poet Sappho, was an ode to rich history and art. Clothing was an amalgamation of predominantly black, white, and gold looks, with models, including an amputee with a replacement leg, taking to the runway presenting a message that every body is a form of art.
Hearst's collection was a reminder that we can be serious, sexy, and sophisticated simultaneously. Drawing on words by Sappho, Hearst reflected on feminine forms and golden metallics, as stylist Holli Smith added to the collection with hairstyles rooted in simplicity and minimal beauty. Flat crowns were the main starting point, with natural textures and lengths creating the opportunity for models to embrace their individual hair patterns. Some models' naturally sleek hair flowed from the roots, while others' kinks and curls cascaded from the head, a handful were also adorned with long, braided cornrows.
Makeup was so understated that models looked like they were not wearing any, with natural glistens and glows reflecting from all edges of the face. Lips were glossed, and brows were precisioned into clean shapes. As the show commenced, gospel singers' vibrant voices filled the air, giving the show a joyful and wholesome feel.
Tommy Hilfiger: Filled with a star-studded celebrity lineup and a collaboration with Richard Quinn, Tommy Hilfiger's SS/23 collection was no disappointment. With appearances from Julia Fox, Precious Lee, Lila Moss, as well as Kris Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian Barker watching Kourtney’s new husband Travis Barker close the show from front-row seats, the collection was fit for fashion royalty. To coincide with a bold and daring collection featuring a mass of colors and prints, the beauty aspects of the show were more than worth keeping an eye on.
The collection paid tribute to Andy Warhol, one of America's famous artists, with Hilfiger naming the show Tommy Factory to honor Warhol's iconic NYC creative space. Contemporary and street styles were the main focal point for the collection, and with that came an abundance of hair and makeup looks that derived inspiration from the trends of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, in which the contemporary style first took off.
The eye area was the main beauty focus, with hues of royal blue, deep charcoal blacks, and emerald greens boldly spread across the entire eyelid, stretching to the eyebrow bone. Lips were ’90s natural, with models sporting the nostalgic brown liner trend, with a thick, shiny gloss over the top. Makeup artists didn't hold back with the highlighter, as models' brow bones, cheekbones, noses, and cupid bows gleamed brightly. Heavy side partings and slicked-to-the head bangs were a recurring feature, contrasted by backcombed ponytails that sat on shoulders, puffing outwards in pristine ’80s style.
Puppets and Puppets: Taking heavy inspiration from the 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut, Carly Mark's SS/23 show was dominated by sensual and fresh beauty looks, with classic shaggy haircuts, long braids, and free-falling natural curls demonstrated on the catwalk. However, from the beginning of the collection to the end, every model presented a unique twist on their individual look.
Across all genders, makeup was dewy and bright with colors that complemented complexions. As the first model walked, 3D rainbow-printed butterflies decorated the breast area, with similar elements featuring later in the show, this time in paler shades, adhered to the face. Shimmery deep blue and green eyeshadow resembled a bottom-of-the-sea fantasy, blended into an oval shape from the inner corner towards the outer eye.
Then came the looks most overtly influenced by Eyes Wide Shut, as a model wearing an iridescent mask entered the runway, their face entirely covered, aside from a small portion of the nose and eyeholes. Shortly after, a similar mask could be seen; however, this time, the accessory was entirely pink, with aspects of stitching covering the mouth, presenting an eerie look.
These masks were not the only skin-covering accessory to be used at the show, as a range of models were seen with Starface's Hydro-Stars fastened to their skin. The spot-treatment stickers, which have taken TikTok by storm, were attached to models' faces in symmetrical patterns, with one model's hands decorated with Hydro-Stars to resemble gloves. The Hydro-Stars, which usually come in bright yellow colors or an assortment of equally intense colors, came on this occasion in black with a reflective shine. After this creative decision from Mark and Starface, it can be argued that acne treatments are no longer hidden behind bedroom doors, but proudly worn for all to see.
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