Even in the bon vivant capital of the world, the gravity of the current state of things could be felt throughout Paris Fashion Week. And it resonated all the way above the neck, too, where beauty looks ranged from dreamily escapist to stripped back and austere, providing a visual commentary on—and real world strategies for—this complex moment in time. From transportive hair statements to the week’s favorite makeup trick for wearing your emotions above your face mask, here are seven unforgettable backstage moments from the Spring 2021 runways.A New WFH Hair Strategy Is Born … at DiorDiorPhotographed by Acielle / Style du Monde
Ruminating on today’s lockdown landscape, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri requested work from home-friendly hair, and hairstylist Guido Palau obliged by crafting undone updos with a distinct DIY quality to them. To elevate the look further, he topped off the wispy styles with knotted headbands—a chic, one-stop solution for getting Zoom-ready. Setting the stage for an en masse embrace of black eyeliner, makeup artist Peter Philips slashed matte onyx pigment along the upper and lower lash lines in heavy-handed fashion.Cinematic Smoky Eyes Get an Update at ChanelChanelPhoto: Getty Images
"We have to think about our eyes now that we use them a lot more to express our feelings," said makeup artist Lucia Pica who meditated on Chanel’s ode to Hollywood old and new—as well as what it means to wear makeup in moments of upheaval—landing on a perennial cool-girl favorite: a matte charcoal smoky eye. To give the look a “’90s Winona Ryder feel,” Pica smudged four different black and gray eye shadows across lids and finished the look with fresh skin and rosy nude lips.French-Girl Cool Meets Surfer-Girl Attitude at ChloeChloePhoto: Filippo Fior / Courtesy of Chloé
To complement this season’s laid-back clothes, Chloé’s French girl beauty formula was reimagined with a swell-chasing attitude. It began with the wet-look hair, courtesy of sleek gel that Guido Palau glided through lengths and gently diffused for “surfy” tousled texture. To further the edginess, makeup artist Pat McGrath introduced an array of “experimental” black eyeliner looks, from classic flicks to sharp double wings.Gravity-Defying Hair Goes Sky High at Christopher John RogersChristopher John RogersPhoto Credit: Emmanuel Monsalve / Courtesy of Christopher John Rogers
“Christopher isn’t afraid to layer references and take creative risks,” hairstylist Naeemah LaFond, said of Rogers, whose dazzling lineup of directional hairstyles spanned decades in shape and texture. The undeniable standout? A set of “flying twists” that LaFond sculpted into the air with extra reinforcement by way of fishing wire.Colorful Hair Accents As Art at Dries Van NotenDries Van NotenPhoto: Viviane Sassen / Courtesy of Dries Van Noten
While conceptualizing Dries Van Noten’s spring hair look, hairstylist Sam McKnight was inspired by American artist Tony Viramontes and the bold, graphic lines he famously drew on his illustrations and photographs. As such, McKnight molded models lengths into glossy finger waves accented by a single neon streak along the hairline, and then added stacks of colored bobby pins between the waves for an unexpected pop art punch.Gothic-Chic Twinning Has a More is More Moment at Maison MargielaMaison MargielaPhoto: Courtesy of Maison Margiela
Echoing the gothic undercurrents of his tango-inspired collections, John Galliano’s Maison Margiela beauty look hinged on extreme after-dark beauty touches. The standout moment? Models and twin sisters Maddie and Margo Whitley channeling the The Shining with matching pencil-thin brows, smoky eyes, and black lipstick. Let the Halloween moodboarding begin.Quarantine-Proof Fringe Rules at Paco RabannePaco RabannePhoto: Getty Images
While the spring collections saw many takes on bangs—from micro to side-swept—it was at Paco Rabanne that the style had its most dramatic moment. In a nod to the current moment and its call for hairstyles that can go months between salon visits, hairstylist Duffy gave select models long, cheek-grazing fringe that intentionally covered their eye offering at least one way to steer clear of a DIY bangs fail.