Daring ingénues were flouncing around in fields of rapture, cheeks flushed like roses and headphones wrought with diamanté flowers. This season, blooms of all varieties sowed the seeds for prettiness. By Li Ying Lim.
The last thing expected at Moncler Gamme Rouge—a brand well known for its sportswear and parka coats—was a show set with grassy fields, speckled with primroses and tulips. But the culmination of Spring’s obsession with flowers seemed fitting. Creative director Giambattista Valli describes the rambling garden as “Versailles meets abstraction”, and had models cavorting with half-braided hair wreathed with floret headbands and floral embroidered sneakers.
Flowers—their alluring beauty, colours, textures, scents, as well as crepuscular and volatile nature—have always played muse to all things beautiful. Just as such, beauty that is inspired by flowers is timeless and inevitable. “It’s about the classic idea of using one stand-alone element to make a makeup statement, but finding new ways to make this point,” says Val Garland, make-up artist extraordinaire.
This season’s scarlet lips, as seen at shows like Jason Wu’s, were reminiscent of the velvety insides of a red rose. Hair was threaded through with blooms to lend blushing cheeks and pouts an artful freshness.
Delicate features were framed by cascading curls, and glowed with a luminosity akin to an English rose, and were the subtle interpretation of the floral theme that inspired this season’s Alexander McQueen show.
Creative director Sarah Burton was evidently turned on by the prettiness of flowers for spring, but the story ran deeper. Burton was particularly drawn to a gothic aspect of history that linked back to the late
British fashion designer’s bloodline— the Huguenots, French Protestants that escaped the throes of persecution in France to settle in East End, London.
“I loved the stories of how they arrived with very little, bringing seeds and bulbs in their pockets to grow,” muses Burton, who was also born in the countryside, where her innate love for nature blossomed. “They were gardeners, and they wove their French flowers into the patterns on their silks.”
Spinning wheels, folk tales, and rural gardens—hair maestro Guido Palau was enchanted, too. “You know when you’re sewing something on a machine and you pull the thread and the whole thing ruches? That’s what we’re doing to the hair.”
Clé de Peau Beauté creative eye Lucia Pieroni, whose make-up for the show was a signature radiance, describes the look: “There’s a bohemian elegance.” Using Clé de Peau Beauté’s cream blush and MAC Strobe Cream, she gave transparency and luminosity all at once. “It’s that warm pink you get from walking, the slight ruddiness of the cheek,” she says. “You don’t look like you’re wearing make-up; you just look amazing.”
TAMING THE QUEEN
In Milan, flowers were decidedly more regal and most certainly, not for the average wallflower. The queenly beauties of Dolce & Gabbana wore tiaras and crown jewels adorned with Spanish flowers— scintillating marigolds and frosted carnations intermingled with rubicund hibiscuses, while seaside-appropriate headscarves sported exotic floral patterns.
The hair was once again helmed by Palau, who describes the knots and wispy fringes that framed the faces as “feminine, soft, pretty”. Besides the customary cinematic Italian feline flicks around the lids, the flushed complexions were also gorgeously camera-, or should we say, selfie-ready.
“The new eye of the make-up artist is not to put make-up everywhere,” says Lyne Desnoyers, MAC director of make-up artistry. Backstage make-up artist Terry Barber agrees: “Skin has to appear through everything for it to appear modern.”
Veritable queen of the night Diane von Furstenberg also inspired her eponymous line—models sported fantastic ’70s curls à la Studio 54 laced with exotic flowers by the ear, as well as an emerald-green eye palette. “It’s a nod to the time Diane went out without straightening her hair,” says makeup artist Pat McGrath. “The first time she went to Studio 54—it’s carefree.” Hair maestro Orlando Pita, who had a vintage shot of Furstenberg’s disco curls and side-pinned oversized flower on his mood board, was thankful for the reprieve from sleek, blow-dried hair. “I’m so happy that people are embracing texture. It’s so beautiful.”
SEED TO BLOOM
“I grew up in the countryside, and I know there is a beautiful side to nature but also a very harsh one,” Burton elucidates. “The last show was really about beauty and decay—the fact that there’s beauty in age also.”
Unpredictable, fragile, and equally wild and natural, flowers cast a spell because of their mysterious quality to become something unexpectedly beautiful. To quote Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers, “It wasn’t as if the flowers themselves held within them the ability to bring an abstract definition into physical reality. Instead, it seemed that ... the very belief in the possibility [of change] instigated a transformation.”
Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic photo of herself played muse at her show this season Eyes were cast in hot pink, inspired by tropical florals at Giamba Spring/ Summer ’16
The must-have floral headphone crown at Dolce & Gabbana Spring/ Summer ’16
At Giamba, hair took on a dusty pink shade reminiscent of English wildflowers Abstract eye make-up inspired by the orchid’s shape at Issey Miyake Spring/ Summer ’16
DSquared2 girls with raw skin and sleek beach hair wore accessories in shapes and forms of flowers