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GCDS SS20 Beauty II
Make-up Erin Parsons, hair Syd Hayes, photography Hatnim Lee

Tripped out super-sized pupils at GCDS SS20 were inspired by manga

Make-up artist Erin Parsons reveals how to get the look

Erin Parsons has been responsible for some of our favourite fashion week beauty looks over the last few years. Collaborating with GCDS, the make-up artist was behind the viral triple-breasted models that walked the SS19 runway as well as the blooming models we saw last season who had flowers literally growing out of their faces and bodies. 

So, it was with anticipation that we awaited the beauty looks that Parsons and GCDS would present to us this season. And it was just what we have come to expect from the pair: left-field, trippy, and instantly memorable. Pupils were supersized, dilated to the extreme and cheeks were rosy, while hair was hyper-glossy and worn in high, bouncy ponytails courtesy of hairstylist Syd Hayes.  

“I was inspired by manga and anime characters,” says Parsons of the cartoon looks, “especially the 80s cartoon Lamu (also known as Urusei Yatsura).” To achieve the exaggerated look of anime eyes, Parsons used 17mm black contacts on the models, evoking a sense not only of the Japanese art form but of a drugged-out vacancy, perhaps brought about by the overload of visuals and references the collection was brimming with. 

Centred around the theme K-Hawaii (a portmanteau of Hawaii and Kawaii), the collection was melange of styles and allusions: Jurassic Park logos, Hello Kitty and Care Bears, cowboys, strippers, neon ravers, tropical surfers. Models wore bikinis, camouflage and python print items, and neon colour-block shell suits, as they strutted around a 45-foot pink T-Rex. 

At a time when so many designers are creating individual looks for each model, at GCDS all models, both male and female, sported the same look, which Parsons says was done to create a sense of unity. “By creating the same make-up look on everyone they became one tribe,” she says. To achieve the look, Parsons added a touch of Maybelline Tattoo Studio Gel Pencil in Deep Onyx to the centre top and bottom inner rims of the eyes to further lengthen the contact lens. NARS blush in Exhibit A was then swept softly onto the cheeks focusing the colour near the outer corner of the eye. On the lips, she used Clarins Pink Orchid lipstick, dabbed only in the centre. This was then topped with a clear lipgloss focusing on the top lip and only to the centre of the bottom lip.

 See our backstage photographs from the show below.