Smells like Nineties spirit

Sunday 16 September 2012


Photography by Morgan O’Donovan
Report by Jess Hogan

Grungy hair at Proenza Schouler, scrubbed skin at Narciso Rodriguez, DayGlo strips in the centre partings of ponytailed hair at Alexander Wang… You couldn’t move for Nineties beauty references backstage in New York. However, while the New York Nineties girl was a bit of a raver, in London she’s a more groomed version of her former self. Call it the counterpart of the catwalk’s clean lines and graphic prints or merely a return to minimalism, but the directive to hair and make-up teams has been to keep things simple. Creating the effect is anything but. In the words of make-up artist Sharon Dowsett at Todd Lynn, where she created an exquisitely pared-down look, “There is no such thing as no-make-up-make-up without make-up.”

It is also noteworthy that this season the Nineties seems to be fused with the Sixties. An odd choice? Actually, no. Think Brigitte Bardot hair, but flat-ironed, and a feline flick of eyeliner made blunt, as at Daks (above); or floating eyeliner in barely there taupe, as at Maria Grachvogel. It’s effortlessly cool. At Rag & Bone (a label that epitomises a Nineties sensibility), make-up artist Gucci Westman defined it as, “Totally a London look. It’s an honest portrait of beauty that’s timeless and classic – who wouldn’t want to look like that?”

Thus, skin was beautifully crafted, brows groomed and lips dabbed with a nude brown stain. “Don’t you love it when things are uncomplicated?” she asked. Indeed we do.

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