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From Grey to Y2K: Four memorable beauty looks from London Fashion Week AW24

Sophie Smith
20 February 2024

As London Fashion Week comes to a close, reflects on some of the season's most iconic beauty looks. From grey hair to rose-embellished eyebrows, here are four hair and makeup picks from the AW24 catwalks.

Grey hair reigned supreme at JW Anderson

Grey hair took centre stage at JW Anderson’s latest London Fashion Week show. The Northern Irish designer sent models down the runway with super curly grey wigs, giving what some fashion fans on Instagram were calling 'granny chic'.

Meanwhile, minimalist beauty brand Merit was responsible for the makeup, which ranged from all-natural to bold red lips. "The look for JW Anderson this season was focused around the idea of a strong, tough beauty," said makeup artist Lynsey Alexander.

"Many of the models sported a statement red lip – a bold matte colour in shade Vermillion (£28, launching 22 February) – which Alexander said turned them into powerful characters.

"We juxtaposed subtle and loud looks. When a red stamped-on mouth was not applied, the girls were instead groomed in the classic boyish JW Anderson manner, paying attention to a handsome boy brow and luminous athletic skin."

Sinead Gorey taps Y2K beauty trends  

Sinead Gorey's AW24 collection is a love letter to British teenage culture, drawing inspiration from her own vibrant adolescence. Presenting punk-ready looks at London’s iconic Heaven nightclub, the British designer teamed up with Ed Hardy for a coming-of-age collection that blends both brands' signatures.

Even the makeup looks, from thin brows to concealer lips, could've been plucked out of a magazine from the era. The models also donned bold eyeshadow, bright purple lipstick, and those iconic spiky silicone earrings as facial piercings and nail art - creating the ultimate noughties throwback.

From loose hair rollers to side ponytails, hairstylist Carlo Avena also added to the Y2K vibe, with iPods used as hair accessories and Ed Hardy caps completing the looks.

Richard Quinn brings eighties glamour to the catwalk

Royal-favourite designer Richard Quinn presented a feminine, romantic and floral-themed AW24 collection during London Fashion Week. Backstage, Terry Barber, the creative director of makeup artistry at MAC Cosmetics and key artist for the show, said he was inspired by the eighties, Victorian times, mannequin skin and how some characters looked in The Hunger film.

Most models were wearing MAC retro red matte liquid lipstick in Feels So Grand. "I wanted the lips to have a tight shape," said Barber. "We kept it quite straight, tight and structured. So they just looked uber chic, like how YSL models used to look back in the day.

"We didn't do a lot of coverage on the skin. We used a lot of powder and the MAC strobe dewy tint, with some concealer and foundation all around the face, including the eyelids and underneath, to make the eyes almost look faded away, almost quite Victorian, paired with a really hard red mouth. Though it’s just skin and a lip, it’s two elements that were very worked and perfected."

Some models also had their hair in vintage French rolls, which hairstylist Sam McKnight also admitted was inspired by YSL models of the late 1970s and early 1980s. "They were beautifully sculpted, shiny up’dos, reminiscent of eighties couture shows," said McKnight.

Simone Rocha goes gothic with rose-embellished eyebrows

Simone Rocha’s AW24 collection explores the theme of death, taking inspiration from Queen Victoria’s mourning clothes. The designer considers the three collections she created in the past year to be a "trilogy." The final, titled The Wake, was recently presented during London Fashion Week at the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great in London.

Rocha enlisted Thomas de Kluyver to create darker, gothic makeup looks to accompany her designs. This was achieved in the form of rose-embellished eyebrows, complimented by picture-perfect skin serving as a blank canvas for the concept.

Meanwhile, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman built upon the Victorian-inspired brief with sleek, flat hair and little rolls paired with earrings made of bows and beads.

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