There’s a fine line between inspired and poseur that one hopes never to cross. That boundary was a blur on spring runways, where makeup artists used all methods of fakery to emulate the steely fearlessness of yesterday’s punk, the brash brightness of ’90s ravers and the androgynous aloofness found on downtown streets today. But how to do so—short of actually piercing and shaving? The answer came in the form of trompes l’oeil, and models looked just as cool as if they donned the real thing.
Rows of hoop “piercings” covered entire brows at Rodarte, glued on, avoiding any of the ice or infection. In a similar sleight of hand, the centred “lip ring” at Dries Van Noten was but a thin stripe of metallic liner—no rubbing alcohol required. At Anthony Vaccarello, what at first seemed like ear gauges (the kind of jewellery that leaves you with a lifelong saggy-lobe hangover) was upon closer inspection a rendering drawn on with black liquid liner.
And there were more tricks to be had, as artists used cosmetics in unpredictable ways to produce a rebellious effect. To achieve the ravey orange streaks he created at Peter Som, Maybelline global makeup artist Yadim recommends using not shadow on the lower lids but the brand’s Color Sensational Vivids Lip Color in Vibrant Mandarin. “You want something creamy and pigmented to swipe on the inner corner of the eye for a bit of a surprise,” he said backstage. At Marc by Marc Jacobs, where hair was twisted into four Björk-like knots down the centre of the head, wisps were spritzed with Evian water and cheeks glistened with lip balm, as though catwalkers had swanned in slightly sweaty from an all-night EDM fest.
Dewy skin was the thing at DKNY, too, where models mimicked the culture-crashing urban tribes that hung out in the hot streets of late-’80s and early-’90s New York City, with their manga pigtail braids and shellacked curlicue baby hair. And right before the show, Yadim added a nod to warehouse-party humidity: “They’re getting a little bit of Baby Lips on the lids just to wet them, and then I’m going to spray oil on the neck and shoulders to get them all shined up.” If their street cred seemed convincing, it’s because a handful of NYC’s cutting-edge creatives—including DJ May Kwok, provocative nudie photographer Lee Bullitt and music video director Vashtie Kola—lent their authentic swagger to the runway. Some things you just can’t fake.
Get the wet-and-wild street‑style look
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