Immaculate style, tempered with a cool gaze that veils fire within. Enter stage right, the modern Hitchcock heroine. By Li Ying Lim.
LBottega Veneta Autumn/ Winter ’13 eave it to Prada to portray filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s heroine at her most vulnerable. Bathed in sinister light, taunted by a heart-pounding orchestral score, girl after girl walked the runway with glazed eyes and glamorous wet hair; the silhouette of a cat poised in anticipation of prey cast a long grainy shadow against the wall, its tail swaying like the pendulum of a clock; and a raven’s beak froze open in a silent scream of terror. Clearly, high drama was the name of the game.
“Very cinematic, very film noir, this season is about a more womanly kind of beauty,” says tress maestro Guido Palau, who gave the girls that all-new, dark, damp finish.
The enduring allure of Hitchcock’s cinema is no secret in fashion. Even fashion’s enfant terrible, the late Alexander McQueen, was inspired by him. So much so that he launched a full Hitchcockian collection for Autumn/Winter ’05.
Fast forward to the present: this season rocked the boat with both beauty and fashion equally mesmerised by the Tippi Hedrens and Grace Kellys of the auteur’s heyday. “This season is all about dark romanticism and celebrating the dark side of glamour,” says Vimi Joshi, MAC’s principal make-up artist. The macabre mood? Think Janet Leigh’s shower scene in Psycho. The glamour? Think Tippi Hedren in The Birds and Marnie.
Referencing Hedren’s alabaster beauty, make-up maverick Val Garland worked a beautiful beige to pale-skinned perfection at Temperley London Autumn/Winter ’13, making this a more mysterious and pensive look. “Lashings of mascara, set off by beautifully groomed brows, shimmering highlights and cheekbones,” quips Garland, who used L’Oréal Paris products for the show. Her partner-in-show Malcolm Edwards twisted up the chignons and painted them blond. He says of the transformation: “She’s a femme fatale.”
At Rochas, Marcel waves went with pale skin and hooded eyes. Lucia Pieroni used Clé de Peau’s nude-pink Extra Rich Lipstick in Vesper to fill in the pouts – just make sure the hue is patted in lightly to get that lived-in effect. “No eyeliner or mascara was used to emphasise the eyes, but I drew the top of the eyebrows in a straight line to add strength.”
For Vera Wang’s show, which ran in a similar Hitchcockian vein, Pieroni played along with the cocoon coats and rich brocades in black with minimalist make-up. “It is clean, except for one focal point – a deep crimson lip, matt and creamy.”
Otherwise, the Hitchcockian muse was almost instantly recognisable – cue the coiffed (preferably blond) hair, deeply seductive rubicund lips, and winged eyes, coupled with pencil skirts, feminine hourglass curves flaunted in tailored pencil skirts, and epic affairs with sumptuous coats. Just look to Pat McGrath’s and Palau’s creations for Raf
Dior Autumn/ Winter ’13
Temperley London Autumn/ Winter ’13 Rochas Autumn/ Winter ’13