There’s no denying that menswear is having a moment. Once historically sidelined by the main act, womenswear, men's fashion weeks like LC:M are getting steadily bigger and better. Now they’re catching up in the beauty stakes too, with a host of London designers getting experimental with hair and make-up for SS16. From lost boys at sea to the new generation of club kids, take a look at the top beauty moments of London Collections: Men below.
It wasn’t just a nautical motif that underpinned this SS16 collection, but one of turbulent sea voyages – with Sarah Burton naming The Tempest and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner as cultural reference points. With hair that appeared windswept and wet with seasalt, the boys seemed adrift, lost and – in Burton’s own words – “very solitary,” like they’d only just surfaced after hours in stormy waters.
LOVERBOY is Charles Jeffrey’s Dalston club night – think a 21st century Taboo, where Londoners get down in outlandish outfits all covered in paint. This DIY party aesthetic was translated into the presentation space for Scotland-born Jeffrey’s first season with Fashion East. Faces smeared in pale yellow or painted blue with a black and white stripe running down the side added to the chaotic, no-holds-barred spirit of the show.
Once more joining forces with make-up radical Isamaya Ffrench, NEWGEN recipients Agi & Sam executed a beauty look that saw their fascination with childhood taken into darker territories. The playful and innocent aesthetic of last season’s Lego faces turned into a nightmare-inspired vision, where a celestial starry imprint covered cheeks and noses, and created bruise-like blackened eyes.
Nail polish: insignificant at a womenswear show, but a subversive statement when placed within the context of menswear. For Grace Wales Bonner’s highly anticipated second season at Fashion East, models’ nails were painted red, which added a beautifully opulent touch to the collection. “It’s just about male beauty and celebrating male beauty and being primed; it’s like being a prince, you’re really looked after,” Wales Bonner commented at the presentation.
Citing nights out in Marbella as a reference, Christopher Shannon sent foam-splattered boys down the runway looking as though they’d emerged from a long stint of hedonism on a post-sixthform holiday. Once more the work of Ffrench (who accessorised eyebrows with lash extensions)Shannon – never one to forego humour – was toying with laddish stereotypes, as the trophy bikini tops hanging over their clothes suggested.
“For his boys there has to be an element of something interesting and off beat; they’re sort of part of this artisan clan,” said make-up artist Lynsey Alexander, the woman behind the beauty at this season’s J.W.Anderson show. Teaming up with NARS to create a look that was subtle but unusual, she played "with texture rather than colour" to fit Anderson’s vision of his muse for SS16.