(Rick Owens F'15)
The "extreme" beauty that graced some of the more interesting Fall runways for 2015 brought to mind for me Alex DeLarge, the Beethoven-obsessed and eXXXtremely violent dandy/anti-hero of Stanley Kubrick's 1971 classic. His look is simultaneously fabulous but frightening, an offkilter blend of Twiggy-worthy eyelashes encircling his right eye, all-white with shades of cream (this despite the fact that blood stains and other signs of struggle are a real bitch to remove), a dapper black bowler hat and combat boots, believed by aficionados to be vintage paratrooper jump-boots by Corcoran (the 1500 model).
In fact, the Alex ensemble designed by costumer Milena Canonero continues to resonate so strongly with fans, they spar, tussle, spat and collaborate in loooooong threads over every single detail of his outfit, from the exact width of the bowler, to how to construct a codpiece to whether it matters if the sole of the boots are split - as they were in the movie. (image)
Clockwork's weirdly cool mashup of dandy-meets-thug seems oddly relevant again, especially now that the 90s is creeping back "in" again- and it, in turn, referenced key elements from the 70s. Like the nihilistic, "come as you are" vibe that Kurt Cobain rode to such iconhood.
But some of this kickback is nothing more than that - kickback against the sheer snoozeworthiness of normcore. "If a backstage beauty novice were to study the rumpled waves and the seemingly makeup-free faces from the past few seasons, one might say there was much ado about nothing," notes Vogue. "For so long, the hair and makeup on the catwalk only dared to whisper."
And then came Fall 2015. “We got to do stuff that we’ve been held back from, to be really honest,” opines hairstylist Eugene Souleiman. “It was nice to see really crazy makeup,” agrees makeup maven Pat McGrath, approving of the gold-leaf gilded faces (Rick Owens), Givenchy's 3D embellishments (above), bold scribbles sketched in around the eyes (Anthony Vacarello) and full-on tribal-warfare chic at Vivienne Westwood Red Label (below).
NOTE: The aggressive feel of this beauty trend is very congruent with the vibe of the Apocalytical fashion tribe which has a chic (but somewhat depressing) cloud of effitalltohellalready Doomsday & End Times that seems to follow them everywhere. For more of my posts and podcasts about the Apocalytical tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.