Backstage Beauty Reporter: London Fashion Week

Phoebe McDowell brings you the best bits from backstage in London...

London never fails to conjure a spirited breed of beauty. Supplying edge and charm in equal measure, we’ve rounded up the hair, make-up and nail looks and trends that left our mouths agape, (and set our hearts aflutter)...

All Tied Up

Emilia Wickstead

For every five trends that divide editors, there’s one that unites them, and it usually comes in the form of adornment. From the ribbon draped half ponies at Emilia Wickstead to off centre, wrap around velvet bows at Temperley, we say: hotfoot it to the haberdashery.

Sex Sells

Preen By Thornton Bregazzi

A youthful promiscuity reigned free this season. Make-up maestro Val Garland told us ‘the Preen girls have been kissing for hours’, as she blotted mouths with MAC Lipmix in Red, £15.50, before diffusing the pigment outwards. And at Roland Mouret, models dictated their ‘morning after the night before’ a (successful, ahem!) date look. We speak triumphantly because hair stylist Sam McKnight referenced ‘shag hair’.

Frame Of Mind

Ryan Lo

There is a framed nail movement afoot, and it comes with a side helping of precious metals. At Ryan Lo the parameter of model nails were etched in a gilded gold, while at Julien Macdonald, a silver marker pen was deployed to draw half-moons above cuticles. Our favourite of the lot? Sophia Webster’s frosty French – where talon tips were dipped in white glitter. Try it with ORLY’s new Rose Coloured Glasses, £9.95, and MAC’s White Gold Pigment, £16.

No Nonsense Skin

J.W. Anderson

Low-key, lazy girls rejoice, because this season a convincing case was made for going as bare as you dare. Mark Carrasquillo’s J.W. Anderson girls forwent a base in favour of a straight-out-the-shower look that only NARS Soft Matte Concealer, £23, played a cameo in. And to conjure Anya Hindmarch’s Nordic pack, Val Garland reached for MAC’s new Next to Nothing Foundation. You see where we’re going with this.

Bed Head

Gareth Pugh and Versus

Top session stylists at Gareth Pugh and Versus gave the finger to the ‘contrived, over styled hair’ that so often rules the runway. Model manes at the former were plied with Revlon Professional Styling Mousse Modular, £10.60, before being formed into tangled finger waves. And at the latter, texture play gave way to product-heavy, coarse-looking side fringes. Effective? Yes. Wearable? Perhaps not.

Softly Sculpted


The Burberry beauty was every part a realist, and make-up maestro Wendy Rowe made sure of it. ‘I want every model to reveal the truth, so I’m showing their real skin and enhancing what they naturally have’, she has however added subtly sculpting elements to the cheekbones, nose, jawline, but our favourite was the lip contour. ‘I’m using the Face Contour, £25, around the lips of darker girls instead of lip liner, it’s much more natural,' she proclaimed.

Photographs: Jason Lloyd Evans and Marco Vittur

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