By  on November 9, 2007

Twice a year, the world’s top hairstylists and makeup artists unleash their creativity during a monthlong fashion show extravaganza. In London, New York, Milan and Paris, trends for the upcoming season are created, the pros and cons of big hair or bold makeup debated. Here, we’ve compiled an overview of the best each city had to offer for spring 2008. As you’ll see, it’s one of the liveliest seasons in years.

Long known as a hotbed of creativity, London lights up the fashion scene with its mix of avant-garde bright young things and established design beacons.

Although many makeup artists took the season’s popular natural route, when they did detour, it tended to be via pops of color on the lips or eyes, statement-making eyebrows or high-drama flicks of eyeliner. Take at Danielle Scutt, where exaggerated brows in gold were the headline—literally. “We’ve given them a bit of attitude,” said makeup artist Andrew Gallimore, who dreamed up the look.

Creating coifs was child’s play—at least for seasoned stylists such as Guido Palau and Eugene Souleiman. At Luella, Palau created bunches recalling cartoon characters and played with quirky bangs and cute floral clips, while for Giles, Souleiman wove braids reminiscent of a beautiful (if disheveled) fairy-tale princess. Elsewhere, hair had an effortlessly romantic feel, as at Peter Jensen, where textured, volumized updos created a sense of modern nostalgia.

trend watchers had much to celebrate for spring. While two words usually prevail in new york—neutral and natural—strong colors and voluminous styles dominated on runways uptown and down.

From subdued corals to neon tangerine, orange was the hand’s-down favorite for lips—a natural evolution from winter’s must-have red.

Most often used as an accent or highlight, makeup artists gave white a life of its own. At Ralph Lauren, Tom Pecheux used it around the eyes to offset rosy cheeks for an updated 18th-century look, while the vibe was more modern at Zero, where painterly swipes adorned an otherwise bare face.


Bigger was better for many stylists—but it wasn’t one (big) size fits all. Styles ranged from Guido Palau’s sexy Seventies dos at DKNY to his voluminous masses at Marc Jacobs. “It’s a hair attack!” he gleefully declared.


Get ready to decorate! From head wraps to brightly hued scarves, Sixties-style hippie lanyards to quirky head bands and +barrettes (encrusted with Legos at Marc by Marc Jacobs, adorned with flowers at Diane von Furstenberg), hair accessories had a huge presence on runways this season.

The tousled barrel curls that are a staple of New York runways took on many iterations for spring. Particularly newsworthy was the varied lengths, to the ears as at Costello Tagliapietra and Derek Lam or super-duper long as seen at Sue Stemp.


Hair that was slightly left—or right—of center was a popular option, be it minimalist deep parts or skewed decorative braids and buns.

As an accent or the main event, blue was the color of choice on fashion-forward runways.

Rule breakers—those were the words buzzing around backstage, coined by none other than makeup artist extraordinaire pat mcgrath to describe the bold looks on the milan runways. rather than spring’s traditional swipe of lip gloss, sweep of bronzer and bouncy hair, color and texture were in full effect. Just about every big house went the bold route, among them prada, dolce & gabbana, giorgio armani, missoni and moschino. “it’s about going all out with very strong looks for spring,” said Mcgrath, “and striking out with something different.”— Stephanie Epiro

A strong, multifaceted face dominated runways. McGrath created a feathered, insect-like eye at Prada, then went smoldering at Gucci, while Charlotte Tilbury opted for a turquoise glittered eye at Missoni, Aaron De Mey glossy black and silver at Armani and Tom Pecheux masked the entire eye with a vibrant pink at MaxMara. Usually, makeup rules state that a strong eye needs a pale lip. Not this season, where the intensity was ramped up with electric red-orange lips at Bottega Veneta and deep red at Dolce & Gabbana.

Stylists championed dry textured locks that were arranged into unconventional styles. At Moschino, Guido Palau positioned an askew oversized bun on the top of models’ heads, at Prada, he worked straw-like strands into an undone messy braid and at Roberto Cavalli he pinned lashings of texture-dense hair into a billowing cloud. Odile Gilbert created a bushy ponytail at Fendi, while Malcolm Edwards “kissed” the hair with a crimper at Burberry. Eugene Souleiman insisted on pinning the arty loose curls on every one of the 52 models at Dolce & Gabbana himself. “There’s no technique,” he insisted. “It’s just a feeling.”

Beauty was in full bloom in paris, where the hair and makeup looks devised for spring 2008 were among the most creative to date. from out-of-this-world concepts, colors and textures, there was no lack
of originality—and the bar kept being raised higher. Each show created a beauty fantasy land that perfectly complemented the creations designers sent down the runway.

“They’re almost like wood nymphs,” said makeup artist Pat McGrath, of the look here. To help create the otherworldly aura, hairstylist Odile Gilbert powdered and feathered coifs.


Faces and hair alike were awash with bright color to create a new tribe of fashion-forward clown.

Smoky eyes stood out from under hat-topped and fabric-draped hair, whose undulating waves and braids emphasized the pirate theme.

The look here was inspired by Chinese New Year, militant Communist Chinese women, traditional Japanese hairdos and a dash of punk.

Beauty, designed by McGrath and hairstylist Orlando Pita, was character-driven, taking a cue from the idea of Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, the Great Gatsby and Marlene Dietrich. Unifying all of the looks were thick eyebrows drawn with a hard pencil and textured hair resulting from sprtizes of saltwater.

With winged creatures in mind, Peter Philips adhered soft gray and pink feathers to some models’ faces. One had her shoulders covered in plumes, while others retained their natural, practically unmade-up looks. Of the hair, Eugene Souleiman was inspired by late Forties-early Fifties pin-up glamour.

Echoing a hue of fabric used in Valli’s fashion collection, some models’ makeup included a cloudburst of airbrushed turquoise. Their updos were all about volume in the back to enhance the ethereal feeling.

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