THE POETICS OF BEAUTY
Reach the level of fine art with this season’s beauty, which takes cue from extraordinary women who were immortalised in cultural creations. By Aisha Hassan.
What kind of woman inspires poetry, or compels an artist to spend hours at his easel, tracing the sloping contour of a cheek, or the gentle valley of her cupid’s bow? She might be breathtakingly beautiful, like Christopher Marlowe’s Helen of Troy, or possess some intangible lure, like Vladimir Nabokov’s nymphet Lolita. To have art created in your honour denotes exceptional beauty, no matter the exterior veneer. These kind of women are manifold, and arose once again in a season that celebrated diversity. Think varying make-up at Gucci, or as hairstylist Odile Gilbert asserts about the inspiration behind Zac Posen, “Nobody looks the same ... so why not have different hair for everybody?” Amongst it all, literature and art resurfaced to emphasise the enduring power of such women.
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY
Backstage at Prabal Gurung, a copy of Lord Byron’s 1814 poem, “She Walks In Beauty”, was at the centre of the mood board. In its company were inspirations from Spanish painter Francisco Goya and French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The spirit of Romanticism was a driving force, and make-up artist Diane Kendal and hairstylist Anthony Turner channelled an ethereal muse wandering in the woods. Turner elaborates, “The idea is that the hair was once very perfect, but she’s gotten lost in the forest.” Turner’s words recall the mysterious fairy from John Keats’s “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, and combined with Kendal’s ruddy cheeks and peachy lids, emulate Byron’s lines: “And all that’s best of dark and bright/Meet in her aspect and her eyes.”
The models at Rodarte also encapsulated this multifaceted spirit. According to Joseph Free, the renowned LA-based florist who provided flowers
The age of Romanticism revived at Rodarte
A legacy of Russian elegance continued at Andrew GN Fall/Winter’16