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Safe. That was the general consensus among attendees of New York Fashion Week for Spring 2012 when it came to the clothes, and it largely applied to beauty as well. While there were pops of color here and there, makeup was mostly natural. Happily, hair filled the beauty vacuum, providing a decorative element in an otherwise quiet season.
This story first appeared in the October 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Model Arizona Muse (above center) lived up to her name, inspiring makeup artists with her bold eyebrows. The look is groomed, but pronounced—and makes perfect sense in a season when makeup was minimal. Says Robert Sweet William, the brow specialist at Barneys, “When everything goes neutral on the face, the focus becomes the brow.”
Carine Roitfeld has been busy since she stepped down as editor in chief of French Vogue, from writing a book, the upcoming Irreverent, to collaborating on the Barneys New York fall campaign (where she even appears in the windows). That flurry of activity hasn’t gone unnoticed, as designers interpreted the fashion muse extraordinaire’s hair-in-the- eyes aesthetic to edgy effect on the runway.
Color migrated from the face to the hair this season, to great effect. Said Odile Gilbert, who used hues of blue, green and pink at Thakoon, “I wanted the hair to make a strong statement to accessorize the beautiful, bright clothing.” Mission accomplished.
Hairstylists made sure models looked good coming and going on the runway. Tousled, textured braids added interest at Proenza Schouler and Michael Kors, while Odile Gilbert used black feathers for an elegant accent at Jason Wu.
Hair that was slick on top and dry in the back was one of the week’s most popular looks. Said Redken’s Guido at Victoria Beckham, “Some find it difficult to wear their face so exposed, but the boldness and austerity of the forehead is what makes it beautiful.”
Sweeps of opaque pastel colors put eyes in soft focus. At Rebecca Taylor, MAC’s Sil Bruinsma used a “water color palette,” while Lancôme’s Daniel Martin opted for sea-foam green at Chris Benz, offsetting the gentle color with a bright pop on the lips.
From the Starry Night–inspired eyes by Nars’ James Kaliardos at Rodarte to the controlled frizz at Oscar de la Renta by Orlando Pita and chic tousle at L’Wren Scott, some designers dared to explore a bolder beauty statement.