Every season, without fail, designers, hairstylists and makeup artists will often hark back to iconic beauty looks from years gone by to inspire the hair and makeup we see walking down the catwalks. They either copy the iconic styles verbatim or interpret them for the modern day.
Of course, it's not the case at every show; no-makeup makeup or a modern look without reference is common too. But when it comes to crediting film characters and real icons as the source of inspiration, there is a list of names we hear season in, season out. Click through the gallery to see the well-known stars still inspiring the beauty looks we wear today.
Sophia Loren is pretty much Dolce & Gabbana's muse, and makeup artist Pat McGrath draws from her glamorous Italian look each season. Think sultry liner, bold lips and a strong brow. Get that statement lip look with Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick (£31) in Sophia Loren No. 1.
When referencing elegant beauty, Audrey Hepburn, notably in the film Roman Holiday, often springs to mind. Plus, just take a moment to admire her brows… Cara who? (Just kidding).
When it comes to feline eyes or big hair with sex appeal, actress Brigitte Bardot is always the reference point. Re-create that dry texture with Bumble and Bumble's Dryspun Finish (£22).
Actress Catherine Deneuve and the film Belle du Jour are great sources of inspiration for many a makeup artist and hairstylist. That bedhead hair and sultry undone makeup are much coveted today.
Singer Grace Jones wasn't afraid of makeup. Whether it was a strong sculpted eye, contouring with blusher or a worn-in lip, Jones played with colour and mixing beauty with androgyny—meaning there are plenty of ideas to draw on from Jones's fearless approach to beauty.
Blondie's Debbie Harry had that whole super-cool punk rock look nailed. Smudgy, lived-in eye makeup, contouring with blusher and textured hair are all reworked for countless catwalk shows each season.
Getty/John Kobal Foundation/Contributor
The film La Dolce Vita and actress Anita Ekberg are often used as a source of reference when the look in mind is more glamorous and sultry. Re-create that perfect liner with Bobbi Brown's Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner (£19) in Pitch Black.
Be it a graphic eye or a modern interpretation of Cleopatra's look, Elizabeth Taylor's take on the Egyptian queen is so often a point of reference. Want to try your own version? Use Dior's 5 Couleurs Designer Palette (£43) in Navy Design.
Farrah Fawcett is known for her big hair with tons of texture and layering. When it comes to ’70s hair references, hers is at the top of the list—always. Use Tresemmé's Volume & Lift Extra Mousse (£6) and the Nicky Clarke Frizz Control 1200w Blow Dry Styler (£25) to get body into your own hair.
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Faye Dunaway in Bonnie & Clyde has been used as a source of inspiration backstage since shows began. Note the white liner in her lower waterline that brightens the eyes; try it at home with Pixi Eye Bright Liner (£12), a nude shade it's less stark and more flattering.
A more regal or elegant backstage beauty look, and Grace Kelly tends to spring to mind: neutral makeup tones and glossy hair fit for a princess. Impart shine into your hair with Charles Worthington's Colour Revive Mousse Clear Gloss (£10).
Long before we looked to Alexa Chung for cool-girl hair inspiration, we had Jane Birkin. Incredibly, Birkin managed to make her beauty look, like this contoured eye and defined lashes, appear completely effortless. We are not jealous… at all. Fake that piecey texture with Rahua's Defining Hair Spray (£34).
Kate Moss nailed that easygoing '90s beauty with such style that it will be harked back to for generations to come. (Not to mention the rocky bedhead hair she has perfected sine the noughties).
Lauren Bacall's iconic beauty look continues to inspire the creatives backstage every season. Her beauty formula? An arched brow, bright lip and those glamorous side-parted waves.
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The blunt sleek bob, that heavy ringed eyeliner and the colourless complexion from The Royal Tenenbaums have spawned countless copycat looks on and off the catwalks. Smooth your hair with the GHD have spawned countless copycat looks on and off the catwalks. Smooth your hair with the GHD IV Styler (£99).
When it comes to pure, unadulterated glamour, the first port of call is often Marilyn Monroe. Those platinum curls and the red lips are timeless. Max Factor has reissued the original red shade that Mr Max Factor used on the film star: Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Lipstick Collection (£8) in Ruby Red.
Actress Marlene Dietrich had a more androgynous look than some of the other film stars of her time. This is what made her stand out and what makeup artists draw inspiration from today. Those whip-thin brows may not be du jour now, but they can look striking on the catwalk.
At one end of the '80s beauty spectrum sits the likes of Madonna with the over-the-top look suited to a pop star of the time, but Molly Ringwald's character in The Breakfast Club proves that the decade wasn't all big hair and bold makeup. Ringwald is referenced when the aesthetic is '80s but in a lower-key way.
Cara Delevingne single-handedly changed the way a generation thought about brows. BC (before Cara), it was all strong arches and very groomed brows, but now, the bigger the brows, the better, and they can often make up the focal point of a backstage look where before it would have been the eye shadow or lipstick taking centre stage. Give your brows a helping hand with RapidBrow's Eye Brow Enhancing Serum (£37).
Ursula Andress, otherwise known as the ultimate Bond girl, is referenced pretty much every season. For S/S 16, Val Garland referenced Ursula at Vivienne Westwood's London show. Imagine everything a bit more smudged and lived-in, with wet hair: "It's Ursula Andress–esque, but she's not a good swimmer," said Garland.
Veronica Lake and waves are so synonymous that they may as well just be called "Veronica Lake waves" as standard. The actress is so well known for her luscious, cascading waves that it's a reference that pops up every season without fail.
All the ingredients are there for a real sultry look—the glam curls and ruby-red lips—but Gone With the Wind's Vivien Leigh gives it toughness, a quirk that is often used to inspire catwalk beauty looks where the girl should be sexy but not silly.
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Whether it's the plaited pigtails or the tobacco-stained eyes, Wednesday Addams has become a somewhat unlikely beauty icon over the years. Re-create that soft smokey eye with MAC Eyeshadow (£13) in Quarry.
Who's your favorite runway beauty icon? Tell us in the comments box!