An Illustrated Ode to the Beauty Looks of S/S17

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Illustration by Alexandria Coe

Alexandria Coe interprets a quartet of the season’s most memorable make-up moments

The relationship between make-up artistry and the act of painting and drawing is entirely symbiotic. Take the opus of beauty maestra Pat McGrath, for example, and her creative alliance with Galliano, or Val Garland's aesthetic collaborations with McQueen and Isamaya Ffrench; it’s impossible to prise the two fields apart. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Alexandria Coe felt inspired to interpret a selection of signature beauty looks from the S/S17 runways into a series of illustrations mirroring the brushwork formed at the hand of a make-up artist. “I think that’s what most of the beauty on the catwalk is,” Coe explains. “It’s not about making someone look glam; what it often does is transform the person into a living canvas.”


Alessandro Michele ensured that pink was omnipresent at Gucci S/S17. The show space was clad in carpeting in a deep shade of raspberry, and Michele’s maximalist ensembles were injected with a vast array of sickly sweet, rosy tones. The make-up looks themselves were subtle in contrast, yet colour still made its way onto the face, with fluffy brows tinged to a powder puff hue.

Victoria Beckham

At Victoria Beckham we were presented with an abundance of crushed velvet and slouchy silhouettes erring on the side of sporty. The make-up looks, created by Pat McGrath, appeared rather oxymoronic in nature: pared-back skin was offset by eyes that were simultaneously graphic and soft, lids beautified with a bold smudge of iridescent cobalt.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

The clothes were awash with touches of the occult at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi; from folksy stars and beaded foliage, to swathes of sheer black lace juxataposed with tailoring. The make-up, however, was an altogether sweeter story – dried and pressed daisies, ferns, cornflowers and forget-me-nots were pressed onto models’ fresh faces, lips and collarbones, creating the overall impression of a young girl who’d awoken from a nap under a tree covered in a cascade of blooms.


Simon Porte-Jacquemus transported us to a summer spent on a dairy farm in the south of France for S/S17, through a collection that saw wide-brimmed straw hats and gorgeously structured crisp cottons aplenty. Hair was tied back with strips of a hessian-like fabric, and the make-up was similarly organic and agriculturally inspired: ‘au naturel’ lips and cheeks appeared flustered, stained to emulate the ruddiness that only comes from toiling out in the sun a little too long.