London Fashion Week Men's shows dark twists on Euphoria recalling makeup.
Last year, a groundbreaking HBO series about teenage apathy and addiction set off a massive trend: Euphoria-inspired makeup made neon, sparkling waves through the world’s beauty communities, runways very much included.
The looks were high-gloss hallucinatory and, while nodding at the temporary elation of both drug-induced and hormonal highs, they were also perfectly executed. There wasn’t one wiggle on the cloud outlines that surrounded Hunter Schafer’s eyes. The show's makeup, seemingly, was intended to amplify the chemical giddiness of it all.
There’s something of a shadow-Euphoria beauty aftertaste afoot on London Fashion Week: Men’s catwalks, which include all genders despite the event’s title. At Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Jeffrey included facial applications that almost looked like warts or abrasions. At Art School, Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt incorporated milky contacts and pitch-black, smeared eye shadow.
Perhaps it's not surprising: The world is collectively anxious now, but with Brexit looming on January 31, the United Kingdom is especially on edge, and fashion and HMU talents may be projecting something that is…well, anti-euphoric, but no less precisely administered.
For a look at London Fashion Week: Men’s’ best, boldest—and most defiant—beauty, see below:
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
Charles Jeffrey's Fall collection found its roots in a pagan ceremony that's occurred, consistently, for over 200 years on the Orkney Islands (which lie to the northeast of Scotland). Jeffrey has become famous for deep-diving into London's late-night scene, but this collection had a bit more polish—and bite—about it. In his accompanying communication around the show, the designer made it clear that he is angry with his generation's predecessors. Yet, from the fringe, he has long shown resilience. The hair and makeup here is at once hyper-modern with its neon dye and like something from the dark ages, with its crusted accenting on the chin.
Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt's Art School showed a serious, almost somber collection. Here, an opaque contact lens could connote either an unintended obstruction of vision (due to our current ongoing state of confusion) or an intentional blindness, with the media cycle having become too much to bear.
This makeup mirrors Euphoria's airbrushes of unexpected color, but here, the impression becomes more sinister: as someone, up for days, unable to sleep yet also unable to tear themselves away from the onslaught of bad news.
Up-and-comer Bianca Saunders, who is making a name for herself by developing her namesake line with sustainable practices, added a phantasmagorical spin for her models' hair. Almost cartoon-like, curls and swirls of flattened hair appeared on a handful of her cast — who, keeping any existential dread at bay, danced the morning away at Saunders's presentation.
Nigerian-British designer Tokyo James is one to watch. For his Fall collection, his beauty look consisted of what appeared to be fake snow. Take that for what you will: it's cold out, or it's nuclear fallout. Regardless, there's something fantastical about the visual, yet haunting in the undertone—if fashion is where an ideal, or at least a visualization, of humanity is manifested, James imagined us coated in ash.