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Elevated cornrows reach new heights on runways

Glitter sparkles amid resurgence of red lips

Nokubonga Thusi Beauty editor
Image: Getty Images

Paris Haute Couture Week might be over but the beauty looks that sashayed down the runway are still firmly imprinted in our minds. There was a mood of fantasy and hyper-femininity as runways showcased generous amounts of glitter, facial embellishments, swipes of vibrant clashing colours, graphic lines and the prettiest braids that we honestly want to copy right away.

Major trend: elevated cornrows  

The beloved protective style got a fancy revamp on the haute couture runways with models being sent out with some sort of cornrow variation that finished off in a low bun or loose plait at the nape of the neck.  As seen at the Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Giambattista Valli shows; cornrows were either braided all to the back, featured a deep middle parting, mixed accent cornrows at the hairline with slicked back hair or combined with voluminous textured ponytail pieces. Cornrows were made a showpiece at the Alexis Mabille show as simple cornrows were generously embellished with black or gold rhinestones that added a subtle twinkle to the hair.

Baby high top fades

Natural, Afro-textured hair was taken to new heights at the Jean Paul Gaultier show as models sported baby high top fades paired with sculptural garment designs. Casting our minds to cultural icon Grace Jones’s famous high top fade staple; the cuts were boxy but kept shorter than a conventional high top fade with the sides kept shorter than the crown but not severely faded.

Image: Getty Images

Sparkle overload

Let’s face it; the world is still obsessed with a dash of sparkle so it was no surprise that the runways at the Fendi and Iris van Herpen shows reflected a glitzy mood. The models at Fendi showcased an overload of sparkle and shine with eyelids laden with silver glitter pigment while temples and cheekbones were drenched in silver undertone highlighter.  At Iris van Herpen, sparkle took a more celestial approach as the inner and outer corners of models’ eyes were layered with flecks of sparkling chunks in silver and copper hues.

Image: Getty Images

Extreme liner

There is only so much you can do with classic black liner right? Wrong! The Balenciaga and Giambattista Valli shows were proof that black liner can be taken from simple to visually captivating with the most subtle of tweaks.  Models at Balenciaga sported a barely there black liner that was far from bold in colour saturation but was made visually interesting by creating severely extended wings jutting out from the outer corners.  The Giambattista Valli interpretation took a more graphic approach with a double winged liner shape hugging the upper lash line and finished off with a sweeping 1960s inspired liner curving along the eye crease.

Image: Getty Images

Statement reds

Red pouts are having resurgence on the runways and solidifying their title of being a true bone fide classic.  At Schiaparelli and Jean Paul Gaultier, stamps of red lipstick colour were showcased in true red, juicy cherry red or slightly darkened red hues with matte finishes.  Peaking from under shadowed wide-brimmed hats, punchy reds lips were the only statement needed at Schiaparelli – and we were here for it.  

Image: Getty Images

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