Wednesday 20 February 2013


Final year History student Elyse Clarke reports from backstage and the catwalk at Ziad Ghanem:

For someone who is admittedly too obsessed with make-up, for my first London Fashion Week experience to be Ziad Ghanam’s show was like candy to a baby. I knew that Ghanam favoured avant-garde make-up looks in his shows and his A/W 2013 show “Candy…. Darling?” proved to be no exception. Inspired by the actress Candy Darling, one of Andy Warhol’s ‘Warhol Superstars’, the heavy contouring, bright colours and fully painted faces that came down the catwalk were so refreshingly different to the minimal make-up that so often graces the catwalks. As fellow make-up junkies will attest, piling it on is half the fun and Ghanam’s team did just that.

Backstage the key makeup artist told me that the look they were going for was a very linear, contoured and bright make-up with an emphasis on the eyes and lips. While some models were given a relatively pared down look with a twist on the smoky eye, she said that Ghanam tends to lean towards an almost Drag Queen aesthetic for his shows (which makes sense given that I’m pretty sure a few of the models actually were Drag Queens!). Each model had different make-up but all had elements of the overall look of the show – serious cheekbones, eyelashes up to the sky and a great sense of fun. The products used to create these looks varied but there was a lot of Illamasqua and MAC Pro floating around, which is unsurprising given the range of colours both brands make, with MAC Pro especially specialising in body paint. Individuality was the order of the day, as many models came dancing down the catwalk to the 80s soundtrack, their own tattoos on display and their personal style incorporated into Ghanem’s show.

The hair again varied in its style. Some models had their hair scraped back into buns, with the crown of their head sprayed bright yellow or blue. Others had big bouncy curls and voluminous up-dos dyed baby blue and red, while others simply had their entire head painted. The bold colours in the make-up and hair reflected the use of colour in the collection and lent a theatrical and fantastical element to the collection that made it come alive on the catwalk.

A final highlight of the show was witnessing Made In Chelsea’s Marc Francis and Victoria standing awkwardly in the middle of the runway pre-show because there were no seats for them in the front row. After a few more minutes of tiptoeing around, while simultaneously maintaining their pouts, the MIC stars were finally given some front row seats. Unfortunately for Marc, it was a ‘two between three’ situation and he was piggy in the middle, which, as he would say, was “so not chic.”

While I may not be sporting these extreme looks across campus any time soon, the make-up and hair at Ziad Ghanam show was fun, vibrant and refreshing, and it really was a joy to watch.

Words: Elyse Clarke
Pictures: Elyse Clarke

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