The most spectacular beauty trends from Couture Fashion Week

Right on cue, Paris’s biannual Couture Fashion Week arrived to banish our January blues. Providing a much-needed escape from the grim realities of today, for SS21, designers whisked us off on unlikely adventures: a time-spanning, gender-blurring encounter with the Bloomsbury Group for Fendi; an enchanted, flower-strewn wedding for Chanel, and a date with destiny for Dior, as characters from 15th-century Visconti-Sforza tarot cards were brought to life.

As for the beauty looks, there was a smörgåsbord of fantastical features. With so many to choose from, we asked Vogue’s global network of beauty and style editors and directors to pick their favourite trends from the SS21 couture runways.

© Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

“While there was no shortage of romantic, ethereal, flower-encrusted beauty moments from the couture shows — a nod to the more classical ideas of hair and makeup from these elevated collections (Dior! Giambattista Valli! Chanel!) — it was Schiaparelli for me. Daniel Roseberry pushed boundaries with a riff on mascara courtesy of beaded eyelashes and a new definition of coiffure, which he reimagined with thousands of gold beads sewn onto a black cape to resemble cascading hair. There was also a perfectly gelled quiff-turned-gilded headpiece. You love to see it.”

Celia Ellenberg, beauty director, American Vogue

“I couldn’t get enough of Sam McKnight’s wet-look sculptured hair at Kim Jones’s Fendi couture show. It was romantic, modern, artistic and timeless. It tapped into the elements of fantasy and theatre that couture should be all about, and yet it felt incredibly cool and chic, too. There was much fanfare about the show’s larger-than-life earrings and micro-embellished handbags, but I will be obsessing over the bejewelled enamel hair accessories for some time.”

Jessica Diner, beauty director, British Vogue

“Giambattista Valli: the team played with hair volumes, which worked fabulously with all those tremendous tulle dresses. I absolutely adore the work of makeup artist Karin Westerlund. Odile Gilbert was responsible for hair, and she gave us that wonderful Marie Antoinette vibe with the bows, silk ribbons and fresh flowers.”

Alyona Ponomarenko, beauty editor-in-chief, Vogue Ukraine

“The gold illuminations at Valentino, applied by the Pat McGrath team to both men and women. A spirit of inclusivity and diversity that Pierpaolo Piccioli has been championing for years. Also, Francesco Pegoretti’s fantastic fairytale hair that brought tarot card characters to life at Dior.” Frédérique Verley, beauty and wellness editor-in-chief, Vogue Paris

© Daniel Roseberry : Courtesy of Schiaparelli

“Dior: the multicoloured hair — so crazy, so punk and so couture. Valentino: the extra-long and straight hair on model Mariacarla Boscono — with lockdown restrictions, many women have been forced to let their hair grow and they’ve discovered the naturality of it. Schiaparelli for the red lips, because red is red. Always powerful, bold, hot. I love it. Giambattista Valli for the fluffy hairstyles because they’re so fairy and dreamy, and we need to dream. Alexis Mabille: the red lips.”

Susanna Macchia, beauty and features editor, Vogue Italia

“Viktor & Rolf: half punk and half 1980s Pat Benatar. Makeup artist David Koppelaar applied bright blushers, pale-silver eyelids, metallic blends and lips that conjured feelings of fairytales moved underground. A whole mixture of courage embodied in pigments is what we need today.”

Claudia Valdez, beauty editor, Vogue Mexico and Latin America

“Viktor & Rolf: half punk and half 1980s Pat Benatar. Makeup artist David Koppelaar applied bright blushers, pale-silver eyelids, metallic blends and lips that conjured feelings of fairytales moved underground. A whole mixture of courage embodied in pigments is what we need today.”

“The flower crowns at Chanel. I find the contrast between the strict, straight hairstyles with precisely drawn centre partings and the lush flowers particularly exciting — polished with a touch of flower child.”

Stephanie Neureuter, chief creative director and beauty director, Vogue Germany

“Chanel: I absolutely loved the sleek hair and matte makeup. It’s very natural and easy to wear, but the coppery-brown shadow really makes the eyes pop.”

Michalina Murawska, fashion and beauty director, Vogue Poland

“I liked the hairstyles at Giambattista Valli — very consistent with the spirit of the collection. In these restrictive times, which were reflected by bland looks or strict hairstyles that ‘hide’ the nature of hair by sticking it to the head, Valli’s hair has its own protagonism. Odile Gilbert treated it as a precious raw material and showed that an updo can be opulent and luxurious. Playing with volume is a craft and a master exercise.”

Carmen Lanchares, beauty director, Vogue Spain

Valentino

© Courtesy of Valentino

© Courtesy of Valentino

“What I particularly liked about the makeup at Valentino was the lavish amount of glitter that at the same time looked minimalistic. My favourite look was the one with straight, ultra-long hair and a face covered with golden sparkle. Not a typical glamour look, but downright futuristic.”

Nicola Vidic, senior beauty editor, Vogue Germany

“After coveting wavy French-girl-hair for years, Dutch model Jill Kortleve’s straighter-than-straight bob at Chanel made me fall back in love with my hair straighteners. A sentiment only increased by the silky hairstyles at Valentino. (And can I also have Jill’s perfect brows?)”

Nathalie Wouters, deputy editor, Vogue Netherlands

“My favourite looks came from Giambattista Valli. I like the hairstyles because we still need something fantasy and alive, especially during these harsh grey days.”

Valerie Zhang, beauty director, Vogue China

“For many, the flower crown stole the show at Chanel, but my attention was on the razor-sharp haircuts — as seen on Jill Kortleve. Wearable and immaculately cut and styled, this is the opposite of the ‘lockdown hair’ that many of us have been sporting. I predict that it’s that kind of precision we’ll all be requesting when the UK’s hairdressers reopen again.”

Hannah Coates, digital beauty editor, British Vogue

“Wet mermaid hair by Sam McKnight at Fendi did the trick — I only looked at that. Despite the fact that wet hairstyles have already become a long-lasting trend, they just don’t get boring. Fendi’s models looked like Greek goddesses or nymphs emerging from the depths of the sea. And I loved how beautifully the jewellery went with the makeup — Peter Philips masterfully transferred pearlescent shine from hair to skin.”

Arina Shabanova, beauty editor, Vogue Russia

© Courtesy of Rahul Mishra

“The beauty at Rahul Mishra defines my 2021 vibe: lush brows, supple lips, hydrated skin that is the result of sufficient self-care and sleep, and a playful hint of colour on the eyes that’ll reveal itself if you stare just enough — cheeky!”

Sneha Mankani, beauty editor, Vogue India

“I loved the nonchalant allure at Chanel where eyelids washed in rosy-rust eyeshadow were matched with exotic flower crowns and ultra-sleek hair.”

Dana Koh, beauty editor, Vogue Singapore

© Acielle / Style Du Monde

“Having just polished off season one of Bridgerton, I welcomed the extravagant updos at Giambattista Valli. Although they were more 1960s-inspired than Regency, the voluminous creations — complete with feathers, ribbons and florals — were over the top in the best kind of way.”

Remy Rippon, senior beauty and health editor, Vogue Australia

“You can’t beat a Pat McGrath complexion. The gilded cheekbones and temples at Valentino skated the line between fantastical and wearable, giving a golden glow that had just the right amount of glittery theatre for a couture presentation.”

Michaela Somerville, beauty editor, Vogue Arabia

© Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

“With masks covering most of our faces due to the pandemic, we are focusing more on natural skin and letting our eyes do the talking. That’s why I loved the red eyeshadow at Chanel, combined with Lucia Pica’s natural and clean skin.”

Emiko Koichi, beauty editor, Vogue Thailand

“While 2020 was a difficult year for many, Pat McGrath’s glittering gold makeup for Valentino’s 2021 couture show was an uplifting celebration of exuberance, instilling feelings of positivity and hope for the year ahead.”

Ceci Wong, beauty editor, Vogue Hong Kong

“I love how the elegance of golden hair gets a punk touch at Schiaparelli. Perfectly styled bleached-blonde hair with a dramatic red lipstick, which seals the deal. I also love how refreshing thick eyebrows always look. Chanel’s Lucia Pica brings them back to couture and crowns them with the new shimmery ‘Golden Meadow’ eyeshadow.”

Beatrice Graf, lead beauty digital editor, Vogue Germany

“At Giambattista Valli, I felt fantasy and optimism in the hair — it was both classic and modern. We need something that takes us away from reality and I believe beauty has that power. I also like Dior’s thick, straight eyebrows — healthy skin with golden eyeshadow and baby-pink lips looked perfect. Simple, but beautiful.”

Kyoko Muramatsu, beauty editor, Vogue Japan

This article was originally published on Vogue India

Read more on Vogue.fr:

See the haute couture Spring/Summer 2021 collections in video form: From Fendi to Chanel

Step inside the Dior workshops to discover the secrets of haute couture dresses

Vogue Collections: Everything to take away from Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021