Beauty took a strong new direction at the autumn/winter ‘12 international ready-to-wear collections. Bold, graphic statements eclipsed or enhanced the ever-present minimalist trend that has reigned supreme over the past several seasons. Virtually every reinterpretation of retro-inspired make-up looked fresh on the runway—from polished ‘90s grunge to the continuous evolution of the cat-eye to the most important trend, matte lips—while the multitude of hairstyles ranged from very tame to slightly tousled. Beauty is the most important and accessible statement for a/w ‘12.
The ever-present minimalist beauty look was punctuated in many cases by a graphic eye, bold lip color or strong brows (from full and completely unsculpted to boyish and geometric shapes). Our favorite examples of the season were Pat McGrath’s graphic cat-eye and bare face at Lanvin and Peter Philip’s bejeweled eyebrow strips with soft facial contouring at Chanel. As previously mentioned, matte lips were the major statement acorss many collections, of which our top selections include Rick Owens, YSL and Gregory Parkinson’s deep plum lips in New York (designed by yours truly).
Hairstylists also took a far more diverse approach than in previous seasons. Texture varied from very dry to very wet, while styles ranged from wearable, classics to a refreshing multitude of updated, youthful looks. From center or side partings in somewhat slept-in looks to more sleek versions, often accented with vibrant or contrasting color, hair became an added statement of youthful experimentation. Wet looking or slicked back styles were a significant trend as well. Standout looks of the season were Rodney Cutler’s textured curls at Gregory Parkinson in New York and Guido Palau’s severe center parting with contrasting dark or colored roots at Jean Paul Gaultier as well as his youthful, severely side parted textured hair with side-swept bangs for Celine.