Traditionally London fashion week is where the kids come out to play. Creativity and exuberance have fuelled London's reputation as the place where eclectic style flourishes and the avant-garde have a cup of tea with the eccentric. However this season, London is trying on grown-up for size and the hair and beauty looks reflected this new adult mood. Perhaps it's not cool to be hair fiddling whilst the euro is burning so the double-dip recessionista is packing away her statement looks and will be wearing her polished and sultry face next season.
There was a distinct lack of colour and the word on the make-up artists' minds seemed to be tonal. Cheeks were contoured, eyes shaded and lips muted. It was all about emphasising face structure and not colour. Limiting themselves to a neutral palette, the make-up artists used different ways to highlight key features. At Felder Felder, make-up artist Georgina Graham created a shiny glossy eye by pressing a shimmery pigment into the lids and at J.JS Lee the key-make-up artist Terry Barber put a 50s eye through an x-ray machine painting on a white cat eyeliner on the models faces but anchored with strong black lashes to avoid an alien look.
Drama on eyes without colour was seen through a variety of smokey looks ranging from the softest grey haze at Burberry through to petrol toned dark lids at Paul Smith where Petros Petrohilos used a dark blue shimmery pencil to shade in the entire eye. Bypassing the eyelids entirely the look at McQ showed a deeply shaded crease and inner corner of the eye for a severe sculpted look which made the models look like frowning statues. Overall the London look next season requires a product list more about skin care and textured products to create dimension, shine, shadow and tones. Blusher has taken the season off.
For hair the natural soft looks dominated. The girls at Christopher Kane looked like they had styled themselves, with natural textured loose hair worn centre-parted for the ultimate youthful natural look although those without naturally gorgeous youthful hair can fake it with a hairdryer and texturising spray. If all else fails backcomb like mad and push it into a low ponytail for an easy versatile style as shown at House of Holland and Paul Smith.
If all this sounds too safe and monotone for the vibrant of heart, take comfort in the nails which rebelled against the pared down make-up at House of Holland. Sophy Robson took the houndstooth pattern from the collection and created a custom transfer to finish the nails in either a mid-tone blue or pink. All bets were off at Meadham Kirchoff where strokes of bright colour were used to paint on the vital lines on the girls' faces for Picasso beauties that had stepped out of the canvas. The rainbow explosion provided an alternative for those whose war paint needs to make a colourful point.