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SHAYENOLIVER AW22 New York Fashion Week
Photography Maxwell Vice, Courtesy of SHAYNEOLIVER

‘Decay and decadence’: 5 extreme beauty looks from Shayne Oliver’s show


TextAlex Peters

Pollen-drenched lashes, ornate floral face adornments and Swarovski-covered manicures, the hair and make-up at SHAYNEOLIVER AW22 was a fantastical explosion of beauty

Pat McGrath has done it again. There is no questioning that McGrath is one of the most innovative, subversive, creative make-up artists working today; after decades in the industry she is still offering up beauty looks that look fresh and exciting – and these latest ones are no exception.

Over the weekend, Shayne Oliver made his much-anticipated return to fashion, debuting his namesake label SHAYNEOLIVER at New York Fashion Week across three nights of music, fashion and art. From a melting, abstract sculpture of Oliver himself, to performances from Arca and Eartheater, and some white vinyl boots with mega-elongated pointed toes, there was a lot to take in. And the beauty looks caught our attention, too. 

A fantastical collection of weird and wonderful looks, the show marked the first collaboration between Oliver and McGrath and set the beauty bar extremely high on the first day of NYFW. Described by McGrath as “human bouquets – an explosion of beauty”, the make-up was inspired by Oliver’s references of “nature, decay, and decadence”, which were then reimagined by McGrath into nine different looks. 

Looking like magical forest creatures, models were literally blooming thanks to their ornate, pollen-drenched lashes. Petals, feathers, crystals, clay, paint, pearls, glitter and piercings were also pulled from McGrath's own archive of multimedia materials to adorn models’ faces and create the organic, opulent looks.

Here are five beauty looks from the show and head over to fashion to catch up on everything else that went down here.

ASTRAL GHOST OPULENCE

We have to start with this look described by McGrath as “astral ghost opulence”, and which saw models covered in ornate flowers and drenched in white clay, which dried and cracked on the skin. Red-rimmed eyes gave a haunted feeling to the look, while glittering crystals elevated it into another world.

POLLEN-DRENCHED LASHES

“Shayne loved the idea of pollen-drenched lashes, so the story really grew from the lashes,” McGrath told Vogue about the blooming floral eye looks that many of the models sported. To keep focus on the colourful statement petals, skin and lips were kept dewy but natural while hair was fashioned into horns by Holli Smith. 

METAL WORKS

Not all the models looked like ethereal creatures on a forest odyssey, however. Contrasting the floral motif was one of steel – several models including LA Timpa walked the runway with their faces covered in piercings including eyebrow rings, safety pins in the nose and crystal studs across their skin.

OTHERWORDLY EATER

With her floor-length crimson and silver braids, white lashes, flawless skin, and long white veil, Eartheater came out to perform looking like the Virgin Mary if the Virgin Mary was an interdimensional demon bride. 

NAILED IT

Accompanying the out-of-this-world hair and make-up were nails by Dawn Sterling, who created a range of elaborate manicures. There were green, stem-like nails to complement the floral motif, custom acrylic white powder handmade flowers on the fingers of ghostly models, and extravagant nail caps made entirely of Swarovski crystals.

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