Paging Mariah Carey: Butterflies Are a Beauty Trend Once Again

Are you digging out your old plastic butterfly clips now or... now?
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Nora Crotty
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Are you digging out your old plastic butterfly clips now or... now?
Alexis Mabille, Yiqing Yin, Jean Paul Gaultier. Photos: IMAXtree

Alexis Mabille, Yiqing Yin, Jean Paul Gaultier. Photos: IMAXtree

Spread your wings and prepare to fly / For you have become a butterfly...

We have no way of knowing what kind of music the makeup artists and hair stylists at the Spring 2014 Paris couture shows were listening to while they were making their face charts, but we're willing to bet there was at least a little mid-'90s Mariah Carey involved. Or, perhaps more likely... Crazy Town.

Throughout the week, there have been no fewer than three references made towards butterflies, with designers showing various iterations of the delicate winged insects on both faces and in hair.

The Paris-based Alexis Mabille accented his airy, goddess-like collection with 3-D white paper butterflies stuck to his models' hair, then trailing down onto their faces and clavicles. Similar butterflies decorated the runway set as well, creating something reminiscent of a spastic insect swarm -- think The Birds, but with fewer flesh-tearing beaks.

Chinese couturier Yiqing Yin went straight for the eyes, covering several of her models' faces with feathery faux butterflies to form kaleidoscopic moth masks. It was a romantic look, yes -- but also one of strength and natural beauty. Aside from the curated insect clusters, the models were barefaced with natural hair.

OG butterfly lover.

OG butterfly lover.

And then there was Jean Paul Gaultier, who took a decidedly more experimental route. "Life is a butterfly! So all the collection is that!" he told Vogue before his spring couture line, which included several explicit references to les papillons, took flight. To mirror his butterfly-themed wares and accessories, a few of Gaultier's girls sported 'dos that --- get this -- were shaped like actual butterflies (see top right). We're talking next-level, is-there-a-motorized-helicopter-in-there hair show shizz. Sadly, these weren't of the wing-flapping variety (C'mon, Jean, we have the technology!)-- but suffice it to say, we'll never be impressed by a lowly hair bow again. (Sorry, Chanel.)

But bug weaves aside, are you digging out your old plastic butterfly clips now or... now?