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Givenchy SS16
Givenchy SS16Photography by Pablo Ravazzani via

The most extreme beauty moments of SS16

Full-face crystals, lace masks and Mad Max inspired war paint: this season, designers took make-up to another level

SS16 has now drawn to a close and, over the past month, designers at the four fashion capitals have treated us to a visual feast. We’ve gawped at Hussein Chalayan’s water-soluble dresses, Gucci’s cartoonish embroidery and Nicolas Ghesquière’s space-age Louis Vuitton girls. The clothes are what fashion week is all about, but the artistry of hair and make-up also plays a major role in communicating the vision behind the designer’s collection. Here we take a look at ten of SS16’s most extreme looks – from Soho freaks to horned devilish jesters, the industry’s masterful hair stylists and make-up artists certainly did not disappoint. 

In line with the show’s “shipwrecked” theme, the beauty at Vivienne Westwood incorporated slicked-back hair and dewy wet-look skin. But of course, a Westwood show would not be complete without a political underdone – so it was no surprise that some models had warpaint smeared over the eyes, as if make-up artist Val Garland had drawn inspiration from Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. 

Facial tattoos, multiple piercings, bandaged fingers, zig-zagged hairlines and choppy fringes were in order for Hood By Air. The show’s make-up artist Inge Grognard seemed to put an ironic spin on the contouring trend we’re currently experiencing (a technique famously favoured by Kim Kardashian and YouTube beauty vloggers). She left the make-up unblended so that streaks of black, brown and white marked the models’ faces like warpaint.

In a show that paid homage to London’s Soho, Gareth Pugh’s girls took on the area’s more sinister qualities. In an almost unheard of move, the show’s line-up of models were rendered virtually unrecognisable. Paired with hair-maestro Malcolm Edwards, Val Garland worked her magic, complementing the bright, clown-like wigs with oversized lips and anime eyes painted on masks – a nod to one of Soho’s patron saints, Leigh Bowery

Miuccia Prada always finds a way to throw things off kilter. For SS16, models came out with boyish hairstyles and wispy fringes greased to their foreheads. Despite their fresh, natural faces, make-up artist Pat McGrath opted to give lips the Midas touch, gracing girls with gold pouts to pair with the retro-meets-future collection.

For SS16, Karl Lagerfeld got his cast of models ready for take off in departure board prints and mini plane badges. Models rushed to their gates in the specially built Chanel airport in pilot-worthy aviator sunglasses, but some donned a thick, sky blue stripe across the eyes. The perfect look for your next flight. 

Japanese designer Jun Takahashi’s SS16 collection seemed to have been fed on a steady diet of fairytales, Shakespeare and dark horror stories – with cutesy curls contrasting with jewel-encrusted faces and jester-style diamanté horns, these were the sinister harlequins from your nightmares coming out to play.  

For John Galliano’s second ready-to-wear Maison Margiela collection, girls (and boys) emulated the glam rock era. Pat McGrath created a teenage dream of silver and blue eye shadow in jagged shapes in what could easily be a glittery ode to David Bowie, Kiss or the New York Dolls.

Riccardo Tisci had to put on a spectacular display for his public SS16 show, and so naturally enlisted the help of his long-term collaborator Pat McGrath to take on the challenge. Amid the frothy gowns of silk and chiffon, Givenchy’s models came with equally extravagant make-up looks – like a lace face mask and chandelier-esque facial jewellery.

Jeremy Scott gets his kicks playing on things lifted from everyday culture (McDonald’s, The Powerpuff Girls, Spongebob) and making them into fashion statements. For his car wash-themed SS16 collection, the Stepford Wives went into overdrive with sky-high beehives, perfectly polished talons and liner that imitated thick lashes stuck together.

Haider Ackermann’s models had relatively subtle make-up, with lashes and brows bleached. As for the hair, it came styled into mohawks and stretched across faces, complete with rainbow-hued locks a la a punky My Little Pony and finished off with safety pins. The punk DIY aesthetic of the look perfectly complemented the deconstructed tailoring of the designer’s collection.