Trends, trends, trends. We focus so much on the common threads and uniform looks running through each season, then DKNY goes and throws a spanner in the works by celebrating uniqueness, quirks and individuality.
Being faced with the staggering beauty of Joan Smalls and Pamela Bernier backstage on a daily basis is equal parts annoying and breathtaking, depending on what time in the morning I’m forced to look at them with my tired eyes. But the models I’m drawn to give more than a passing glance and a sigh of envy to are, more often than not, the girls with the kind of imperfections you don’t expect to see on a supermodel. Ola Rudnicka has a weird shmushy nose, which I’m kind of obsessed with:
Hanne Gaby Odiele is unconventional-looking, but has charisma by the bucketload:
And I’ve overheard Georgia May Jagger make self-deprecating jokes about being much shorter than her fellow catwalkers more than once (I know, I know… Cry me a river, right?).
Using 50 per cent models and 50 per cent regular joes, DKNY threw together an eclectic cast for the runway at New York Fashion Week. Black, white, Asian, boys, girls, transgender, short hair, long hair, fringes, undercuts, afros, cornrows, nude lips, bold lips, tattoos, piercings, heavy brows, bleached brows… You name it, they had it.
Backstage, Wella Professional’s Global Creative Director Eugene Souleiman (who’s a unique character himself), told me the inspiration behind the AW14 show’s casting and aesthetic. ‘There’s no real direction, I’m deciding what to do as I see each model,’ he said, bucking the planned-to-perfection trend. ‘It breaks the monotony – not that doing the same look on everyone is a bad thing – but a little diversity is great. The show is about very unusual and interesting-looking people. Everyone has a look that suits them and people should be less concerned with wanting to fit in.’
So, imperfection is interesting. Embrace your weirdness! Here are some backstage tips on how to do just that…
1. Forget Foundation
Lots of moisturiser and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream was the base of choice at DKNY, allowing skin to breathe without caking on the make-up. Dab on Mac Studio Finish Concealer where you need it.
2. Mess Up Your Tresses
Blow-drying + straightening = damaged hair, achy arms and the crushing disappointment that you’ll never get it to look as smooth and glossy as the hairdresser does. Step away from the heat-based styling tools and reach for the product. Undone, messy-on-purpose hair, whether up or down, is all over NYFW. Backstage at Rag & Bone, top hair stylist (and my Fashion Week crush) Paul Hanlon used Osis Dust It to add a matted ‘couldn’t-be-bothered-to-wash-your-hair-on-a-Saturday-morning’ texture. That’s a texture I can get on board with. And you don’t argue with Fashion Week crushes.
3. Quit Relaxing
Having recently watched Chris Rock’s Good Hair documentary, I’m totally Team Afro. The film about the lengths African-American women go to to fight their natural ‘do also inspired Thandie Newton to embrace her curls, so her daughters wouldn’t feel insecure about their’s.
4. Say No To Tweezers
Use a men’s beard/sideburn brush (or a toothbrush will also do the trick) and a little clear MAC Brow Set to tidy, rather than pluck, unruly brows. The 90s might be back, but lets leave the pencil-thin sperm brow where it belongs, yeah?
5. Draw The Eye To Your Good Bits
Dab a little Revlon Illuminance Crème Shadow along the cheekbone, the bridge of the nose, the chin and cupid’s bow for a subtle luminous glow like Jessica Hart.
It’s also been ALL about the natural look at New York Fashion Week…