The ’80s was a decade that gave us punks and supers. The punks embraced originality: exaggerated rainbow-bright eye makeup and textured hair, while the supermodels with their handsome brows, glowing skin and sexy smolder, were the epitome of healthy beauty. Both tribes were explored at Topshop’s test run yesterday, but only one tribe won out. For those unfamiliar with the world of fashion week, a hair and makeup test is a chance for the teams to try out various looks on the models complete with the clothes, to see what will work best on the runway come show time. Yesterday, I played fly-on-the-wall at the Topshop test to see how the look evolved. Keep scrolling for a visual journey and to find out how to re-create the finished look at home…
The mood board for the spring/summer 2017 collection.
I arrive at Topshop’s headquarters in London to the whirring of hair dryers coming from a room down a long white hallway. Hairstylist Duffy and his team are working mousse into model Lily’s long brunette hair, while Sophia, another model, sat in the makeup chair. “I’ve gone a bit Boy George,” says Hannah Murray, Topshop’s Makeup Consultant, to her assistant. I’m not allowed into the room upstairs, where the clothing that will be strutted down the runway is being kept, but all the signs are pointing to an ’80s-inspired collection, one that I’m told you’ll be able to buy online straight after the show (along with the makeup, too).
As Murray draws a pink-hued Lip Bullet (£8) into the crease of Sophia’s eye, it's clear that the wearing lipstick on your eyelids trend is here to stay. There is already a dramatic black wing of liner hugging her lashes and stretching out and up, reaching longingly for her temple.
Manicurist Anatole Rainey is painting the models’ nails with a fuchsia pink gel-effect polish that the Topshop team says will be out in December, but it could possibly be released in the spring.
Murray using her hand as a palette to swatch various products and shades.
Lily’s long, straight hair is being blow-dried and back-brushed. On the table sits long, floaty, pieces of material in soft pink, black and a monochrome floral, which Duffy uses to wrap jauntily around Lily’s head. The models switch seats and Murray says, “maybe I should do three different socket colours—a pink, a red and an orange.”
At this point, Kate Phelan, Topshop’s Creative Director, enters the room to see the progress. The trio discuss the looks as they stand. Sophia has the most wonderful naturally curly hair that pulled into a half up ‘do looks “quite Croydon” as Murray puts it.
Phelan wants to re-create the texture in Lily’s long, straight, brunette hair. To get that natural-looking “lazy curl”, as Duffy calls it, will require a lot of hairstylists working on each of the 40 models walking the show. His team makes a mad dash to Sally’s to buy a ton of chopstick tongs for the daunting task at hand.
Finishing touches are made to both models before everyone heads upstairs to meet with the Topshop design team.
We wait. And wait.
We’re expecting to wrap up anytime, a few final shots of the looks and we’ll be home for lunch. After 20 minutes everyone is back in the room. Makeup is being removed, hair being brushed. “The looks are changing,” Murray says.
The general consensus is that the hair and makeup is too teenage, the design team wants something sexier.
Duffy and his assistants keep the “lazy curl”, proving ’80s curls are going nowhere. The team created the look by working L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art Full Volume Extra Mousse (£10) through damp hair, before blow-drying. They are then tonging small sections of the hair, leaving to cool and misting with water to loosen it naturally. They then section both models’ hair at the front and douse it with L’Oreal Professionnel Infinium Hairspray Soft (£5) before pulling it up into a half topknot to set the root direction. Once set, they cut the elastic and rake the hair over to one side.
On makeup, Murray is keeping the skin dewy as before, and the softly contoured cheeks (using Topshop Cream Blush in Dalliance, £7) are staying too. The standout punky eye is making way for a softer, sexier blown-out smoked eye. It’s a rich russet shade, with a slick of gloss for a sultry, sweaty sheen, that will look just as perfect worn now as it will do come spring.
“The graphic eye was too punky and tough,” Murray tells me. “They want it to be more ravishing and sexy. In the ’80s, opposed to punky Camden there were the supers who would also wear zebra [Ed note: another clue to the collection], they were this new wave of glamour.”
She then uses Topshop Lips in Temptation (£8) a rich red shade to warm up the eye. “It suits everyone, it’s really flattering,” Murray says. Both colours are blended under the lower lashline before Murray uses a tiny flat brush to push the Topshop Kajal Kohl Liner in Lucky 13 (£7) into the roots of the bottom lashes and outer corners of the upper lashes. Mascara is loaded onto the top and bottom lashes. Murray is channelling Brooke Shields with “handsome, thick, brushed-up brows.”
A little Air Cushion Skin Perfector (out in October) and concealer are used to create a sheer but polished base.
“The red gives the eye a toughness, it brings warmth to the eye. At home, start with the brown and gradually add the red. Pink or orange could work too,” Murray says. A little gloss is patted onto eyelids. “I like when it creases, that sexy imperfection,” muses Murray. “If you want, you can use a stickier gloss for hold.”
A little Glow Stick in Play Up (£10) down the nose, on the cheekbones and on the Cupid’s bow makes this look seriously ’80s supermodel–inspired. And who doesn’t want to look like a ’80s supermodel?