Beauty Is Taking Itself *Seriously* At Paris Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week is officially here and we’ve been struggling to keep our eyes on the runway with all the celebrities competing for our attention. But, we’re professionals. Having dragged ourselves away from Doja Cat’s 30,000 Swarovski gems and Kylie Jenner‘s pre-emptive celebration of Leo season, we spotted an entirely different beauty trend at Paris Fashion Week that’s serious, sombre, and severe.
Beauty looks at haute couture shows are always a little more sophisticated and, for Paris Fashion Week, they’ve leaned positively stoic. From waterfall hair to moody earth tones, gold-plated accents, and buzzcuts, there’s been a sense of regal restraint at . It’s a marked change from the playful, surreal, and occasionally deranged looks we saw last season, we’re wondering if we’re ready for this moody, mature vibe shift in 2023.
If Paris Fashion Week is anything to go by, we’re in for a luxuriously subdued 2023 — the French do take things seriously.
Angels and Demons at Loewe and Rick Owens
Just like Shakespeare’s young Cassius, models at Loewe and Rick Owens had the lean and hungry look with both runways see-sawing between wan and menacing displays of masculinity. At Loewe, milky, scarlet and snakelike contact lenses added a sinister element to the borderline Dickensian styling of coats, cardigans, and brogues over briefs, naked torsos, and bare ankles. Designer Jonathan Anderson’s “angels” looked haunted and consumptive, fragile angel wings complemented by bruised under eyes and drained complexions.
Rick Owens was inspired by cults, conspiracy theorists, and ancient Egypt for his “Luxor” collection and his models looked like post-apocalyptic predators. Rangy jackals dressed in razor-thin and elongated black and greige silhouettes donned black sclera lenses that bled into blacker grease paint and lank hair obscuring eyes. Sleazy, inscrutable, and disconcerting, just as fashion’s self-styled “High Lord of Darkness” likes it.
Mermaid Hair at Rahul Mishra
Rahul Mishra’s “Cosmos” collection had ethereal, underwater vibes perfectly complemented by soft, touchable-but-tousled cascading waves with enviable shine.
Satin, Silky Smoky Eyes
Last year, to the horror of many, the black smoky eye returned to the runway. In 2022, it was alternately gritty and greasy, and consistently grunge. We’re seeing a more sophisticated interpretation of the staple shadow at Paris Fashion Week. Models at Dior had their lids adorned with translucent, silky washes of charcoal, while Georges Hobeika featured velvety black kohl concentrated at the lashline and hazed out seamlessly with traces of gold and silver scattered across the lids.
Embelished Beauty at Schiaparelli, Giambattista Valli and Tony Ward
Sparkling accents were added to minimalist beauty looks at the Giambattista Valli, Tony Ward and Schiaparelli, elevating the “no makeup, makeup” beauty looks trotted down the runways each year; with frosted, three-dimensional sparkling liner at Tony Ward, and angelic white accents at Giambattista Valli. The most headline-generating show was Schiaparelli, where drama was delivered front row and on the runway with a series of gold-plated beauty looks. While head-to-toe decolette might be hard to pull off, sweet 24-carat accents on the more dialled-down beauty look made a case for the return of gold in a sea of silver and greige.
Royal Treatment at Lena Erziak and Viktor and Rolf
At Viktor and Rolf, razor-sharp black nails and liner offset semi-detached pastels while the “ducks arse” bouffant made an appearance at Lena Erziak. Part Princess of Wales, part Presleys, the beauty looks at Lena Erziak and Viktor and Rolf, full of bouffants, pastels and winged liner, lent an ironic twist to two eccentric, off-kilter collections.
Your Annoying Rich Friend at Zuhair Murad
If Zuhair Murad is aware of the cost of living crisis, he’s not interested. His models LARP’d as your annoying rich friend, ignoring the recession-level temperature of the room, floating down the runway in languorous wafts of chiffon, feathers and sexy diamantes. Complexions had a velvety rose petal soft luminosity that purred “low cortisol levels” and lids and cheekbones carved in tasteful washes of sable and taupe. Brows were strong, arched, and Hepburn-esque. We’d be sick with envy if it weren’t so exquisite.