From Rico Nasty's faux-freckled appearance at Mowalola, to Gabrielle Aplin's 'My Mistake' soundtrack and poisoned pastel eyeshadow at Richard Quinn's twisted romantic fantasy, London Fashion Week has seen artists of every genre bring high fashion flare to 2023's beauty moodboard. Over at Feben's highly-anticipated AW23 show, English singer-songwriter Jorja Smith joined the week's musical theme, taking to the runway adorned with razor sharp eyeliner and a voluminous near-retro 'do.
'We wanted something that was sexy but also slightly lived-in, slightly dragged down and slightly grunge,' key make-up artist Bea Sweet, who created the look using an array of Pat McGrath products, told ELLE UK backstage. 'Feben needs that element of darkness to what she does and that's what we've been doing here.'
For Smith's starring role, Sweet created a unique take on the look, personal to her. 'We're giving Jorja a version of the look that is similar to it but not exactly the same so that she feels in the same world. The other models have this elongated eyeliner that goes all the way along their lower lash, with Jorja, we've kept it more lifted out towards the ends and not done the dragged down look. She is the lifted moment.'
Over on hair, Toni & Guy, led by key stylist Efi Davies, placed natural texture centre stage with the odd nod to the traditional oh-so-chic French twists.
'What Feben really wanted was to maintain a very natural texture throughout, to really celebrate each and every natural texture,' Davies told ELLE UK backstage. 'It's quite unkempt, but it's done at the same time. Everything is going to be quite windswept around the front, as if it dropped and down and they've been wearing the hair for a little while.'
Once again, Jorja's look veered ever-so-slightly from the rest of the models' brow-scraping liners and lived-in lengths, with her personal hairstylist Zateesha Barbour zhuzhing the 'Be Honest' singer's look with a tousled vintage spin.
'The brief was a slick backed look with a few hairs around the face, framing the eyes,' explained Barbour. 'With Jorja, we're going for more of a classic pin-up, slick back with a c-curl so it's quite vintage old school classic,' she continued. 'Me and Jorja typically just chop it up. She liked the brief but she wanted it more pulled back and lower down, so we're creating a bit of a beehive shape at the back of her head.'
Smith's ensemble was polished off with a steel tread plate nail texture created by artist Angel My Linh and, despite the shot of retro referenced, it's safe to say the overall look was anything but dated.
Check out the rest of AW23's best beauty looks here.
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