Think spring haute couture and what comes to mind are gorgeous gowns and over-the-top makeup. This, after all, is the realm of dreams and magic. The place where a handful of the world’s top designers get to indulge in the most extravagant and outlandish of fashion fantasies, with nary a nod to the real world. Fortunately, they imbue hair and makeup with this enchanting touch as well, creating beauty looks that make for some great eye candy. Here are the most stunning examples that walked the Haute Couture Spring 2013 runways in Paris this week… care to be inspired?
Dark, moody and almost-mythical, the makeup on Chanel’s spring haute couture runway took two of the season’s biggest beauty trends – the smoky eye and the messy ‘do – and gave them a gothic twist. Peter Philips smudged on jet black, waxy shadows into winged shapes, imbuing the deep, dark smoky eye with an eerie feel. Sam McKnight, in the meantime, created oversized and exaggerated updos’, with each and every hairstyle individually created to flatter a model’s face. Add in the play on dramatic hair accessories – made from silk, feather, lace and cotton – and it was the very embodiment of organised chaos. Pure drama!
It’s the return of the power lip, but not as we know it: in a continuing thread from last year’s ready-to-wear Spring 2013 show, makeup artist Pat McGrath freehanded with iridescent Swarovski crystals, placing them over hot orange, pink, purple and red lipstick for the new 3D lip look. Set against adorable pixie crops and a completely pared-down makeup base, this is glitter that’s graduated from its Tinkerbell days to find a new sex appeal.
Versace’s models ruled the spring haute couture catwalk in dramatic eyes, with smoky black shadow offset by strips of neon green liner on the outer and inner corners. The overall effect evoked butterfly wings and lightened the dark mood of the presentation, especially when paired with dewy skin, brushed-up brows and a sheer, glittery lip gloss.
To celebrate his label’s birth as an official Paris couture house, Alexis Mabille offset frothy confections and bubblegum colours with shocking, silver spray-painted hair that was swept up and out of the way in the front and tucked into inverted French braids in the back. Describing his signature style as “bourgeois with a twist”, the French designer played with both colour and texture to create a play of contrasts with the saccharine sweetness of his clothes.
Iris van Herpen
Having secured her position as one of couture’s most daring experimentalist, Iris van Herpen played with static electricity – literally – on the runway for her spring haute couture show in Paris. And in keeping with the theme, the hair was suitably futuristic – if finger waves were transported to the future, this is exactly how they would look!