The Rise of Extreme Beauty Concepts


Looking back at the last two runway seasons, you’d have to walk with a paper bag over your head not to notice the big changes in beauty displayed on the runway. As Vogue noted accurately “for so long, the hair and makeup on the catwalk only dared to whisper”- with the exception of a few designers like Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Walter van Beirendonck and Vivienne Westwood- of whom we are used to seeing fantastical beauty looks that kick back at the snooze-worthiness of normcore. The purpose of makeup on the runway has always been to help tell a story and project the mood of the collection and inspiration of the designer- applied to sell the look by enabling women to identify themselves with the look on the runway. But as fashion evolves, so does everything else around it. From Saint Laurent’s pale princesses, Jeremy Scott’s suburban Barbies, Tisci’s other-worldly masks, to Luis Vuitton’s Anime warriors-  designers are trying out new things- adding a flair of drama to their runway presentations and challenging traditional beauty standards.

While these extreme looks work amazingly well on the runway, they might not (yet) work in the routine of daily life. But the attainability of runway makeup for the ‘off-the runway-regular-woman’ has always been questionable. This is mainly due to the artificial world of the runway, wherein the conditions are adjusted to the presentability of the garments and the no-less-than-perfect model wearing them- models whom we often don’t know much about in contrast to famous celebs and their millions of followers. Beauty trends have moved under the realm of celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian- who are able to even sell an unknown product, just by posing with it on Instagram. And perhaps we don’t mind, as the world could use an extra 15 minutes of runway fantasy.

Images courtesy of © Team Peter Stigter. Contrafashion courtesy of © MBFW Russia.