This isn’t the first season Michael Halpern’s vision has looked back to the ultra-glamorous days of Studio 54—and it likely won’t be the last. The London-based designer has gained a reputation for borderline-gaudy glitz (the queen of metallics, Donatella Versace, asked him to consult for her atelier’s couture collections), and today’s presentation at One Great George Street was a familiar mix of sparkling textures and old-school luxury that extended beyond the clothes. The enormous low-slung chandeliers and surprising runway soundtrack—a mix of classical music and ’70s disco—were reminiscent of the kind of re-imagined Hollywood glamour the house has helped bring back into the spotlight, while the beauty offered two twists on vintage allure.
The same shimmering waves that were teased on the show’s invitations crashed across the first four opening looks, followed by yards of violet lamé, and icy sequins topped with metallic floral headpieces. Positioned over several models’ ears, the sparkling ornaments were further showcased against the backdrop of Sam McKnight’s effortlessly slicked-back hair. With a mist of Modern Hairspray from his eponymous label, McKnight took “the crinkles” out of lengths by running a BaByliss straightener through sections before crimping the ends in a subtle nod to ’80s styling. Manicurist Marian Newman lent her hand to the nails with sets of CND press-on acrylics painted in a reverse French manicure (the throwback style dujour), their transparent tips extending into dangerous-yet-decadent points.
The glittering swoops of inky black shadow that makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench dreamed up for the collection offered another modern twist on retro razzle-dazzle. Rounded curves of MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Fluidline gel liner were painted onto models’ lids and pressed with a dusting of holographic black glitter for a set of inky, reflective wings designed to mimic the shape of vintage sunglasses. The artist continues to lead the charge for multifaceted gazes—her lid-work on models last week at Christian Cowan featured iridescent star-shaped appliqués. And just as we’ve come to expect from Ffrench’s work during shows based in her hometown, a clever alternative to dark shades is just the kind of optical illusion that translates as easily to the dance floor as the catwalk.
Originally Appeared on Vogue