By  on November 14, 2008

Fashion shows are, by nature, a celebration of unfettered creativity mixed in with a dash of commercial viability. But the spring 2009 season was different—the global economy was in free fall during the collections, imparting the proceedings with an air of surreality. As we were putting together this issue, our annual look at the interconnection between the fashion and beauty worlds, we asked, how relevant is high fashion when a financial tsunami is washing away much of the world’s wealth? And what role beauty, a category conventional wisdom considers recession proof?


Whether it remains so is a different matter, but the world’s top hairstylists and makeup artists are certainly doing their part to help boost the industry. At many shows, rather than being constrained creatively by the dire goings-on, they unleashed their imaginations in a riot of color, shape and texture, resulting in a season full of strong hair and makeup trends. We’ve collated the most directional runway looks from the New York, London, Milan and Paris collections into “The Beauty Report,” followed by a roundup of the 14 most influential artists who are largely responsible for originating them in “The Creative Coalition.”

Another very small but powerful group that has an oversize impact on the prevailing notions of beauty are fashion photographers. In “Hot Shots,” Molly Prior peels back the curtains on this insular world, with a look at who the most influential photographers are, how the world of high-stakes editorial and advertising shoots works and what the perks of power are (to wit: a day rate of between $70,000 to $130,000 is not uncommon).

Though each of the top photographers has a different style, one thing they no doubt share in common is the desire to get WWD Beauty Biz cover model Coco Rocha in front of their cameras. As Rocha says in “Coco in Motion:" “Don’t book me if you want plain Jane!” Her oversize personality—this is a woman known to dance down the runway—has won her kudos from both the fashion and beauty worlds, placing her firmly in an elite group of models who deliver bankable results. And, as the economy’s tumultuous times continue, we could all use a sure bet.


NEXT: "Making the Cut" >>

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