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Walter Van Beirendonck
Walter Van Beirendonck SS20, make-up Inge Grognard, hair Charlie Le Minducourtesy of Instagram/@tomsapin

Beauty highlights from Paris Men's Fashion Week SS20

TextAlex Peters

From Virginia Woolf-inspired hair at Comme des Garcons to Tricolour lips at Thom Browne, here are the best beauty looks from Paris


This season, Virgil Abloh showed his Off-White collection at Paris's historic Carreau du Temple, where rows and rows of carnations lined the runway courtesy of set designer Marianne Guedin. Entitled “Plastic,” the collection featured a collaboration with graffiti artist Lenny McGurr aka Futura who has been working since the late ‘70s including designing the artwork for the Clash’s “This is Radio Clash” single. In terms of beauty, hair by Jawara was wet and styled into messy waves, while make-up by Fara Homidi saw hydrated, ultra-plastic skin and “latex lips” for the female models. These glossy red lips were achieved with a combination of MAC Cosmetics lipliner in Ruby Woo and a Nars lipliner in Jungle Red, MAC Retromatte lipstick and a generous coating of clear lipgloss.

Raf Simons

Drugs and rage seemed to be the themes around which Raf Simons’s collection centred this season. The show kicked off with the audio reframe “Corporate America, consumer America, fascist America, media America,”, reflecting an anger with corporate U.S.A.  This was combined with a druggy motif, “STONE(E)D AMERICA”, that became a recurring sartorial slogan. Elsewhere models walked with pieces featuring smiley face ecstasy pill motifs designs. In terms of beauty, toned-down looks kept the focus on the messaging of the clothing with Simons enlisting big dogs Guido Palau and Peter Philips, who the designer worked with at Dior, for hair and make-up. Skin was kept simple and clean, allowing the natural beauty of the models to speak for itself, while hair was laid back and unique to each model. 

Rick Owens

Rick Owens also used his collection to respond to the US this season, with a show that drew inspiration from his maternal Mexican heritage and the president’s ongoing obsession with walls. Named Tecuatl after his grandmother’s maiden name, models walked to a soundtrack of wife Michele Lamy’s band Lavascar mixed with live drumming by musicians playing Danza Azteca ceremonial music on drums. Hair by Duffy included long, loose styles; crispy gelled-back hair; peroxide bleached fringed bobs and frizzy, electric-shock ‘dos. While Karim Rahman on make-up kept the look barely-there and natural with clean skin and a bleached eyebrow or two.


Last season, Demna Gvasalia presented his show at the Natural History Museum in Paris where an “anti-social” collection saw models sporting greasy curtain bangs and hair that was sleaze peroxide and toxic green. For SS20, Gvasalia took on capitalism with a show taking place in a McDonalds on the Champs-Élysées. Models dressed as Vetements versions of McDonald’s employees, oversized security guard outfits and bright orange jumpsuits. On make-up was Inge Grognard who created some select stand-out looks which saw models with their faces painted with skeletal, horror-esque designs. Gary Gill headed up hair which ranged from styles dyed in bright reds and yellows, beaded cornrows, and oily hair that hung down lifelessly – a result of all that fast food grease, perhaps.

Comme des Garçons Homme Plus

For her latest collection, Rei Kawakubo played with ideas of masculine femininity, sending models down the runway in dressed and pearl necklaces. The show was inspired by composer Olga Neuwirth’s opera Orlando, in turn adapted from Virginia Woolf’s iconic novel Orlando – a meditation on gender identity. Makeup was clean and matte, with the real focus being on the hair. Julien D’ys took inspiration from Virginia Woolf and her lover Vita Sackville West, creating cropped, Marcel-waved bobs in the 1920 style, shiny and synthetic.

Thom Browne

Staged at the École des Beaux-Arts, Thom Browne’s show this season was a theatrical fantasy set at a “Versailles country club.” Opening the show was principal ballet dancer James Whiteside who performed in a tutu and striped sweatband, face painted white with rosy cheeks, tricolour lips and stick-on stars and beauty spots. Created by make-up artist Mark Carrasquillo, it was a look sported by the models, as well, who showcased the collegiate-themed collection featuring basketball shorts, sports socks and tailored codpieces. Hair by Eugene Souleiman, meanwhile, was divided into gelled curls swirled across the forehead and pompadours swept high and held in place by tricolour sweatbands.

Walter Van Beirendonck

“When working out new collections, I like to wander around the ever-expanding universe I set up in my mind,” Walter Van Beirendonck explained in his show notes. “I pictured being introduced to a small part of the alien folk, a community with such a limitless diversity of forms and looks.” These imaginings were the basis around which Van Beirendonck’s SS20 ‘Witblitz’ collection was formed, a style he referred to as “alien vintage.” Accompanying the primary colours scheme of the ensembles was equally colourful make-up and hair by Inge Grognard and Charlie Le Mindu who designed looks full of geometric shapes that covered the face and hair of the models. Triangles, circles, squares, lightning bolts, all in an array of yellows, pinks, reds and blues adorned faces creating a rave fantasy.

Dior Homme

This season at Dior, Kim Jones presented a futuristic collection in a Pepto-Bismol pink setting. Make-up was, of course, by Peter Philips who created a naturally groomed look. Skin was healthy and flawless looking with structured brows and moisturised lips, while hair by Guido Palau was structured, with smooth, gelled down looks that were at the same time classic and modern.


This season design duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim showed their final collection for Kenzo, after announcing they would be leaving the house after eight years. Centred around the theme of water, womenswear models emerged like mermaids from the ocean, with floor-skimming extensions courtesy of Holli Smith, and tiny pearls adorning everwhere from their clothing and down to their nails which were thanks to Naomi Yasuda. Make-up by Nami Yoshida, meanwhile, completed the shimmering mermaid look with silver pearlescent highlights accentuating the eyes and lips.

Palomo Spain

For his SS20 “Pompeii” collection, designer Alejandro Gómez Palomo paid tribute to the destroyed Roman city. Showing inside the Spanish Embassy, Palomo continued his defiance of gender dressing norms sending down the runway a series of corsets, clingy dresses and sheer skirts. In terms of beauty, we saw a Pompeii-inspired vision of camp centurions and glam gladiators. Make-up by Fidel Fernández and the Airport Agency saw skin that was glowing, a luminous sheen that gave the models an ethereal, otherworldly look which was further enhanced by silver eyeshadow. Hair by Martín Plascencia, meanwhile, was accessorised by golden laurel wreath headbands, completing the Roman look.  

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