The Best Graphic Hairstyles at Milan Fashion Week Featured Swirls, Curves and Lots of Gel

MILAN — Still thinking about the Prada fall 2024 show in Milan? Blame it on Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ poignant combination of somber masculine, 1940s wartime-feeling tailoring with the loveliness of silk lingerie that offered one of the strongest collections seen in the city, but also on the beauty look that hair wizard Guido Palau created for the show.

Even under the lovely velvet hats and brightly colored officer’s caps seen on the catwalk, Palau’s work stood out thanks to his intricately gelled hairdos that balanced retro flair with futuristic vibes.

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“Prada was inspired by both the past and the future,” he told WWD. “So I was looking and I spoke with Mrs. Prada and Raf Simons about Art Nouveau — the period that was all about the swirls and the curved lines and creating this kind and very compact head shape with high gloss gel.”

“Often when you look at films about the future they reinterpret the past, and that’s what I did,” he continued, explaining how he divided the mane into different parts, gelled the hair and shaped the sections to create movement or “almost wave-like sculptures” in order to get the futuristic hairstyle.

The beauty look created by Guido Palau for the Prada fall 2024 show in Milan.
The beauty look for the Prada fall 2024 show in Milan.

“There’s almost like a Medusa feeling, it’s very specific,” said Lynsey Alexander, the global makeup artist of Prada Beauty, who after the show explained how she worked in tandem with Palau on the beauty look.

“Our inspiration was really vast and wide. It was ‘30s, it was ‘40s, it was ‘60s, it was late 19th century, early 20th century. They said to me things like cyber aliens, space, modern, concrete, graphic. So when we were trying to create the makeup, we did so many things,” recalled Alexander. “When [Palau] created this hair, this was so severe… And when you add gel to hair, it becomes darker. So what we wanted to do [was] to make [hair] more extreme and make everything else softer,” she added.

The makeup Lynsey Alexander created for the Prada fall 2024 show in Milan.
The beauty look for the Prada fall 2024 show in Milan.

Alexander explained she complemented Palau’s work by focusing on perfecting complexion with the Prada Augmented Skin The Serum and lightening the eyebrows by either bleaching them on some girls or brushing foundation on them. “Because if we’d had dark hair and dark eyebrows, the features would have started to compete against each other and you’d lose the romantic sort of feeling.”

Eugene Souleiman offered another great take on the intricate head trend at Jil Sander. He also used gel profusely, but opted for flat swirls that created a graphic effect.

Jil Sander Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear
Jil Sander Fall 2024

Souleiman additionally worked on the Antonio Marras show, interpreting the Sardinian designer’s rich narrative and the medieval undercurrent in his collection with a softer finish. There, he framed faces with a crafty look by underscoring a middle part with a little braid and magnifying the technique by braiding locks under models’ chin and around their necks, too. The gimmick also served the purpose, and kept models’ low ponytails in place.

Backstage at Antonio Marras Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Milan Fashion Week
Backstage at Antonio Marras, fall 2024.

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