Fashion Week Trends: Beauty imbued with escapism and colour cures

by | Feb 22, 2023

The British Beauty Council team has reviewed the 192 London and New York shows to spot the key fashion week trends you need to know before heading into AW23

Every February, fashion lovers flock to the streets of the world’s fashion capitals to lap up net-gen trends. And, beauty fanatics become one with hairdryers, prosthetics, hairspray and make-up backstage. This year, New York came through with an elevated luxury and London saw and raised with its unique energy. Here, are the fashion week trends we spotted stomping down the runway…

Fashion Week Trend 1: Colour therapy

Colour induced mood management was a definitive theme – whether it was to uplift and invigorate or to soothe and centre, tones spotted at SS23 continued, delivering an underlying message of hope and balance as we all work this year to boost and balance heavy spirits amid a tough climate.

In fashion, this presented as vibrant shades of green (Stine Goya), yellow (David Koma, Erdem Moralıoğlu, Richard Quinn) and orange (Carolina Herrera, Erdem, JW Anderson, Molly Goddard), with bursts of rust orange to fuchsia (Roksanda Ilincic) and pink (Standing Ground) to bold, AI-generated prints (Christopher Kane). Meanwhile, rushes of chilli pepper red fired up Eudon Choi’s and David Koma’s shows.

Beauty-wise, Lucy Bridge unveiled mauve and green-washed eyelids at Conner Ives, whilst models at Richard Quinn wore calmer rings of pale purples and blues courtesy of M·A·C’s Terry Barber. 

WGSN’s 2023 cited colour of the year, Digital Lavender also made appearances at David Koma. As WGSN describes, Digital Lavender translates to stability, digital serenity and escapism that many of us are craving to protect our mental health in difficult times.

Fashion Week Trend 2: Coven cured

In contrast, other designers placed the power of escapism in the hands of witchcraft, as seen at Nensi Dojaka and David Koma with gothic detailing and sheer fabrics. While very evident Wednesday Adams-inspired hair and makeup were seen at Bora Aksu, replicating her signature pigtails, from black bonnets to black lips. 

Rodarte also took this further with dramatic jet-black ball gowns and caped dresses, accompanied by sweeping winged eyeliner. Edward Crutchley presented all-black satin and hues, and Huishan Zhang opted for dramatic black lace, ribbon and ruffles, while Chet Lo unveiled a more ominous hooded look. 

Fashion Week Trend 3: Fantastical faces

This theme of escapism continued with more dramatic cum-elegant showpiece makeup with crystal-embellished lips by way of David Koma – all the way to celestial embellishment at Thom Browne, and molten metallic effects created with gold leaf seen at Harris Reed. 

While Sofia Tilbury opted for a more subtle but supernatural touch at Christopher Kane, creating a high gloss finish to the skin for an ethereal glow, Isamaya Ffrench went the extra mile at several shows. She used appliqué LED lights and Skinlacq to adorn faces for Mowalola.


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However, she took the current mood further for Dion Lee by insinuating the shedding of old skin to reveal new with stunning airbrushed reptilian-like scales in luminescent pinks and greens – echoing the mood of the nation as we look to build afresh in the wake of the permacrisis.

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