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Guido Palau hair Givenchy
courtesy of Instagram/@guidopalau

The best beauty looks from Couture AW19

TextAlex Peters

From bourgeois punks at Givenchy to nail-covered everything at Schiaparelli, here's a round-up of the best beauty looks from Couture AW19

Maison Margiela

This Couture season at Maison Margiela, John Galliano was inspired by his time at an Arizona ranch where he met a “wonderful horse called Blue.” The collection, he said, was an ode to Blue. In terms of beauty, Galliano reunited once again with Pat McGrath and Eugene Souleiman.

The collection was a meditation on decay and the breakdown of social structures and the make-up from Pat mirrored this. Faces were half done, as models walked with different painted styles many of which looked almost as if they were digitally projected onto the models. One model had the side of his face painted white, while another walked with scale-like markings. Hair by Eugene was slick and straightforward and often adorned with feathers.


Pierpaolo Piccioli’s couture show for Valentino this season championed individuality, diversity and inclusivity, celebrating women of all ages and races.

The kaleidoscope of colours in the collection was matched by the make-up as Pat McGrath created glittering eyebrows in complementing colours. Eyes were lined in black with a cat flick while lips were left natural. Hair by Guido Palau was more simple balancing out the strong make-up: elegant chignons with mini braids wrapped around the base.


Clare Waight Keller’s anarchic collection for Givenchy this season saw a multitude of feathers which bloomed from ballgowns. The inspiration, said Waight Keller, was “bird woman trapped in the house,” which could also describe the hair by Guido Palau.

More sculpture than hairstyle, Palau’s wild, winglike hair swopped upwards, defying gravity. Guido said he wanted a “birds of paradise” type feel, telling Vogue, “I remember growing up in the early ’80s, girls doing a raw version of this—spraying their bangs and hair into these sculptural shapes. I wanted it to be sophisticated rather than raw.” It was, he says, “grand bourgeois with a punk attitude.”  

Balancing out this extreme hair was gleaming skin that was natural and dewy by Pat McGrath.

Viktor and Rolf

At Viktor and Rolf this season, the beauty inspiration was Siouxsie and the Banshees, whose post-punk glam aesthetic informed the looks. On make-up, Peter Philips created dramatic psychedelic eyes with extreme graphic eyeliner that stretched out across the face and shimmering metallic eyeshadow. Damien Boissinot’s hair, meanwhile, was crimped and backcombed to within an inch of its life and models walked with huge, teased out styles which defied gravity.


Since taking the reigns at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has championed, collaborated with and taken inspiration from a slew of feminist artists, writers and thinkers, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Robin Morgan. For this collection, inspiration came from artist Penny Slinger and her series Doll Houses. Slinger not only designed the set but also collaborated with Chiuri on a wearable dollhouse – the pièce de résistance of the collection.

In terms of beauty, Peter Philips was, of course, on make-up. Skin was kept natural while the smokey eyes were left soft-edged with no mascara or eyeliner. Hair by Guido Palau was slicked back into elegant buns that were often kept hidden as models walked the runway in veils and berets.


With the Coliseum as the backdrop, this season Fendi showed a collection that was inspired by the history of Rome. This extended to the beauty as well. Sam McKnight was on hair and sent models down the runway in rounded bob wigs which were dyed in colours inspired by every shade of Roman marble - from grey to apricot – and were matched to models' outfits. The wigs framed luminous faces courtesy of Peter Philips who kept the skin clean and glowing with a touch of eyeliner and plenty of lipgloss.


Nails were the overarching theme at Schiaparelli this season. Making his debut for the house, Daniel Roseberry enlisted nail artist Marian Newman to help create the designs which ranged from coats covered in crystal-tasselled red nails, to french manicure inspired jewellery. The actual nails themselves included ladybird designs, tortoiseshell nails, black crystals and coat-matching Swarovski-tassels. Amongst all the nails, glitter reigned, covering the models’ hair, lips and even necks thanks to Eugene Souleiman and Lucia Pieroni.


For his collection this season, Peter Dundas started with the question: what would a “subversive bourgeoise” wear on holiday? Diane Kendall was on make-up creating eye looks that were both colourful and delicate – a painterly melange of watercolours. Duffy on hair styled elegant updos held back by an array of luxury headbands.

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