Alexander Wang is nothing if not committed to his own, very specific aesthetic. And over the years, we've often seen that reflected in an equally specific hair and makeup point of view on the Wang runway. In the past few seasons especially, the designer has been known to convince young models to chop off their hair (with some artistic guidance from hairstylist Guido Palau, of course) into dramatic, punky shags for his runway shows. That held true for the Fall 2017 show, as well — and though there were no major dye jobs with the hair this time around, a handful of models did wind up with bleached brows.
The inspiration for the hair and makeup was quintessentially Wang: "[The models] just feel like a very cool gang of girls that you'd really want to hang out with; Alex's girls are always girls you want to be with at the party," said Palau backstage of the grungy, lived-in styles his team created. About six of the models had gotten major cuts — most notably Cat McNeil, who chopped her long hair into a super-short bowl style. "[Wang] always finds some girls that are willing to go for a chop," said Palau. "Cat was the girl who had the most drastic change. It was quite long and then we did that ode to Linda Evangelista's haircut in the '90s; that bold, kind of boyish, choppy look. She seems very happy."
The other cuts were similarly short, though some had a more cleanly-groomed "barber" feel. For the remainder of the models who were able to maintain their length, Palau and his team focused on creating a rumpled, bed-head texture. "The main group of girls has piecey hair; I used Redken Wax Blast in the hair to make it clump together," said Palau. The stylists also back-combed hair at the roots and loosely wrapped the lengths randomly around the barrel of a curling iron for an expertly fuzzy, undone effect. "It has all of those nuances of hair that's been slept in, you've been dancing all night — all those kinds of things are in this girls' hair."
Makeup artist Diane Kendal followed that same concept — party girl who's been out all night — for the show's makeup look. "It's nocturnal; they've been out all night partying, having a good time," she said. After evening out models's skin tones and bleaching some brows ("It just depends on their look. We wanted the girls to have their each individual feel," said Kendal), the focus was lots and lots of black eyeliner. She traced a black pencil (Nars Black Moon Velvet Eyeliner) on the models's inner water lines, and then along the outer rims of the eyes, before smudging it and swiping on a bit of black mascara. Before the models hit the runway, the makeup team added a layer of clear gloss to the models' eyelids to further enhance the grunge vibes. And that was it — bare lips; bare cheeks.
The casting was full of Wang's usual suspects, including Anna Ewers, Binx Walton, Lexi Boling, Hanne Gaby Odiele and Marjan Jonkman. Instagirls were also present: Kendall Jenner walked once again, while Bella Hadid made her Alexander Wang debut (though neither of them, unshockingly, were among the models who bleached their brows or chopped their hair).
Homepage photo: @kyurchik/Instagram
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