As seen on the spring 2019 runways, beauty is what you make of it — whether you choose to chop your bangs, layer on glitter or experiment with abstract eyeliner. Here, the boldest looks from the recent shows.
1. Baby Bangs
Anointed by Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday,” and then popularized again by riot grrrls in the ’90s, micro bangs made their return on a number of spring runways. The fringe at Prada barely grazed the models’ foreheads, and at Miu Miu, cowlicks, irregular cuts and piecing were all fair game; at Gucci, where individual beauty looks reigned, the various versions of baby bangs each had a D.I.Y. vibe. The hairstylist Sam McKnight further challenged conventions at Dries Van Noten by fastening dyed feathers to the head, which from afar appeared to be short bangs spread over the brow.
2. Skillful Braids
We had to look closely to spot this season’s most interesting braids, which were woven into the backs of the head or discreetly tucked into otherwise styled hair. At Erdem, the hairstylist Anthony Turner made two separate plaits, stitching them together at the nape to form a tight coil that swung down models’ backs (and that wasn’t visible from the front). The braids at Paco Rabanne were similarly blink-and-you-miss-it: Models wore a single, razor-thin braid that snaked along the center-part line until diffusing into a beautiful tangle at the neck. Eugene Souleiman took yet a different approach at Preen, wrapping small sections of hair in string, creating a crisscross pattern that resembled a braid but was more bohemian than the real thing.
3. Glistening Hair
Hairstylists had a smart answer to the unpredictability of springtime weather: Leave the dryer in the drawer. Wet, saturated tresses were the starting point for a number of beauty looks. At Balenciaga, high-shine and super-slicked-down manes were pulled back to reveal the strong lines of the models’ faces, echoing the angular silhouettes of the collection. At Alexander McQueen, a band of models wore warrior-inspired braids that were also drenched, giving them an even fiercer countenance. Elsewhere, the trend was subtler. At both Marni and Proenza Schouler, for example, the dampness was concentrated at the crown, mimicking the dual texture of hair that is still drying after a walk in the rain.
4. Haute Headbands
Rarely is the humble, functional headband thought of as a sophisticated accessory, and yet designers fully embraced it this season. Prada paired all 50 of its looks with oversize wraparound styles, made from either fabric or leather and embellished with studs, crystals and bows. Dior put its own spin on ballerina-inspired headbands, with sleek strips that curved around the head and matched the earthy tones of the collection. And for a dreamily romantic version, Simone Rocha sent out tiara-like headpieces adorned with gems — which the hairstylist James Pecis set atop loose, windblown updos for a slightly fairy-tale effect.
5. Radical Eyeliner
Makeup artists proved the never-ending possibilities of kohl and ink this season, with unusual patterns around the eyes. Pat McGrath played with negative space at Marni, drawing on dramatic swoops that extended from the tear ducts to the outer edges of the brows. Models then slipped on huge, boxy sunglasses for the runway. Cleverly unfilled-in cat eyes appeared at Rochas. In stark contrast were the graffiti-like designs created by Peter Philips for Dior: The thick slashes on the outer eyelid that extended toward the temples were inspired by the choreographer Sharon Eyal, who often wears abstract liner and whose dancers performed at the show.
6. Twiggy Lashes
For spring, makeup artists dispensed with painstakingly perfect mascara in favor of clumpy lashes, a look that’s only difficult to achieve if you can’t resist fixing it upon seeing your reflection. The models at Prada resembled modern-day Twiggys, with tiny smudge marks intentionally extending up into the brows. At Chanel, in keeping with the show’s lazy summer vibe, the makeup artist Lucia Pica created a more lived-in look. And at Vaquera, the quirky sentiment was taken to the extreme with one model who wore a smattering of jagged liner; from a distance, it looked like lashes exploding around her eyes.
7. Nothing but Red Lips
The appeal of a strong red lip — paired with not much else — wasn’t lost on makeup artists. There were multiple iterations, from Burberry’s matte ruby to Givenchy’s satiny cherry to Gabriela Hearst’s saturated vermilion. But at Escada, Pat McGrath took a purist’s approach, applying a classic red (her brand’s new MatteTrance lipstick in Forbidden Love). No matter the hue, the idea was clear: Keep the rest of the face bare for a striking contrast.
8. Sparkly Eyes of All Kinds
Glitter continued to crop up on the runway — but the applications ranged from understated to outré. For just a hint of sparkle at Simone Rocha, the makeup artist Sam Bryant pressed glitter above the eyelids, creating a shimmering swath that blended into the skin. But the Swarovski crystal-embellished cat eyes in emerald, bright pink and iridescent blue at Valentino, done by Pat McGrath, were the real showstoppers, wrapping around models’ eyes like a masquerade-ball mask. Versace offered a simpler Saturday-night version, swapping in jewel-toned shimmery eye shadow sculpted in the same dramatic shape.
By KARI MOLVAR