New York Fashion Week usually delivers a well-balanced beauty diet, and this season, said menu was personalised. Though trends born of media (both mass and social) permeated artists’s approach to hair and make-up, the details were tailored, in part, to the wearer, with an aim to enhance natural attributes and energy.
From earthly (see make-up artist Diane Kendal’s cadre at Khaite) to otherworldly (see Isamaya Ffrench for Thom Browne, who gave the make-up artist full license to create), autumn 2023’s looks spanned aesthetic realities, merging over-the-top application with barely-there finishes to at times startling effect. The result was a beauty buffet that both appealed to innate tastes and supplied enough charisma to encourage us all to sample something new. Here, five hair and make-up trends that defined New York Fashion Week, the official foray into fashion month.
The Wednesday effect
The release of Netflix’s Wednesday in late November came with a want of polished goth to which no one is immune – including the artists behind autumn 2023’s runway looks. Slightly sinister “goth fairy beauty” beauty reigned at Rodarte, with various takes on exaggerated siren eyes paired with noir lips and nails, Sandy Liang, with accessories (hello, snoods) and moody pouts, and at Batsheva, where a few eccentric details felt directly referential.
The molten metallics
Scintillating escapism made its way into more than one show this season, shapes and shades of refractive metallics guiding looks into fantastical territory. A selection of models at Prabal Gurung offered a gilded “third eye,” while Isamaya Ffrench’s out-of-this-world creations at Thom Browne played heavily in metallic elements. And at Altuzarra, shimmering brush-stroked lids offered a copy-cat worthy method of application.
Glossy, slicked hair
This season, practicality emerged with minimalist-leaning aesthetics led by a sleek finish. The shellacked centre parts at LaQuan Smith showcased a satin-finish and pulled-tight ponies, while the nape-of-the-neck tie-backs at Tory Burch and Michael Kors showcased a similarly polished lean.
Skin is always in, but the new guard of complexions are more sumptuous than ever before. Velvet finishes and a celebration of the natural contours of the face – accentuated by brushes of bronzer – combined in an elevated interpretation of no-make-up make-up; Eckhaus Latta went (mostly) unadorned; and both Khaite and Brandon Maxwell featured flawless faces that had onlookers everywhere dialling their favourite facialists.
Off-kilter colour placements
Bold colour is one thing; irreverent colour is another. Prabal Gurung’s grunge lengths were punctuated by carmine powdered parts and gaze-encasing frames of turquoise, tangerine, and fuchsia. The predominantly naked faces at Eckhaus Latta made the mask-like make-up and liquid latex glove moments all the more striking, as the lids touched in neoprene pastels lent additional whimsy to Palomo Spain’s runway.
This article was originally published on Vogue UK.