Preternaturally voluminous hair that embodies the Italian bombshell past and present. Embellished hair accessories that frame the face to head-swiveling effect. Cool washes of pigment on the lids and cheeks in shades that recall the muted colors of the host city’s antique architecture. At Milan Fashion Week this season, the beauty looks stayed true to the glamour of la donna Italiana—while channeling the conceptual edge that has made its design industry world famous.
There was an overarching romance to it all, from Alberta Ferretti and Etro’s West Coast–inspired—think pared-down, yet gorgeous—waves to Fendi’s fairy-tale sculptings of fuzzy ringlets reminiscent of decades past. Not to mention, the shimmering, soft-focus gazes at Moschino and Missoni that added a hint of whimsy. Of course, there were also edgier, more boundary-pushing moments, such as Prada’s subversive twist on the ’60s with freshly shorn jagged micro-bangs and boyish pixie cuts and Marni’s graphic, jet-black negative space liner, which riffed on ancient Greece with a futuristic slant. Here, the six beauty trends from the Milan runways that are already taking hold of the collective conscious.
Romantic Hair Reigns Supreme
While the topknot is today’s prevailing throw-up-and-go style, high-slung twists received a Victorian-meets-the-’70s upgrade at Fendi where hairstylist Sam McKnight added a few whisper-light tendrils on either side of the face with universally flattering results from Kendall Jenner to Hiandra Martinez. McKnight executed a similarly retro-meets-right-now win at Max Mara, where a trail of waist-grazing braids, secured at the base with tone-on-tone thick leather cord, were a powerful homage to the signature plait of the brand’s former designer Anne-Marie Beretta. And naturally, Dolce & Gabbana could be relied upon for an array of garden fresh looks, from a floral-adorned Afro to a wispy updo affixed with a single red rose, as seen on Emily Ratajkowski. Meanwhile, Alberta Ferretti and Etro riffed on California life and surf culture, each delivering insouciant, air-dried waves that walked the line between cool and sexy.
The Cat-Eye Gets Conceptual and Colorful
The Milanese catwalks offered a vast spectrum of takes on a classic cat-eye. On one end, there were Marco de Vincenzo’s sleek, straight-across flicks extended out just past the outer edge of the brow. On the other? Marni’s graphic wings traced in an intricate, serpentine shape reminiscent of the kohl-rimmed eyes of ancient cultures. At Prada, Pat McGrath used a muted gray eye pencil to create a shadow backdrop of faux lashes on the outer corners of the eyes to intensify the effect of the ’60s-inspired fringe. But it was at Versace that McGrath added shocking color to the equation: jolting each gaze with a set of geometric wings, blending shimmering acid green pigment from the inner corners towards the outside of the eye in a linear triangular shape.
Imaginative Hair Accessories Are the New Crowning Touch
Head dressings have been steadily gaining momentum since the breezy bandanas on the Michael Kors Collection runway in New York, and in Milan, they took on new life at Etro with the array of tropical-print silk scarves wrapped into elegantly tied turbans to accent the collection’s seashell earrings. In the spirit of polish, Prada put forth glamorous puffy headbands in gold-studded leather, dizzying prints, and neon satins, while Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini topped off easy waves with wearable halos of woven rope and Marni tucked discreet sections of hair beneath the collection’s statement sunglasses.
Pastels Look That Much Prettier
“I wanted the girls to look tough and strong,” explained makeup artist Lynsey Alexander, who put a powerful new spin on shimmering pastel hues of lilac, aqua, lime, and silver by dabbing them at the inner corners of the eyes at Missoni. It was a similar story at Emporio Armani, where tiny, light-toned square sticker decals were pressed above the lash line for an off-duty athleisure vibe. And proving that millennial pink doesn’t have to veer too, well, millennial, Tod’s and Giorgio Armani provided sophisticated renditions. The former, with a burned matte finish and the latter with a smoked-out veil of glimmer that glowed underneath the runway lights.
Pixie Cuts Make a Comeback
Inspired by Jean Seberg, who famously chopped off her hair for her breakout role in 1957’s Saint Joan, hairstylist Guido Palau gave six rising models androgynous, micro-fringed pixie cuts backstage at Prada. Of all the transformations, Netherlands-bred newcomer Nikki Tissen was among the most striking, parting with her chest-grazing dark blonde mane for a close crop that accentuates her angular bone structure. “This kind of cut creates a new character,” said Palau. And his boy cut fever didn’t end there. The next day, ahead of Versace, he convinced Edie Campbell to razor off her shaggy mullet for a pixie of her own, and then add even more dimension with skunky, white-hot highlights and lowlights for a two-toned effect.
Curl Power Is Alive and Well
In recent years, skyward-reaching ringlets and natural hair have rightly (finally!) become a mark of freedom and individuality on the runway, replacing cookie-cutter uniformity and encouraging legions of women to embrace their true texture. Offering proof that unique beauty and scene-stealing self-confidence aren’t going anywhere, this season’s proverbial mic drop came by way the Versace show: Supermodel Shalom Harlow—a beacon of hope for curly-haired fashion obsessives who found themselves in her angel hair ringlets during the straight iron–obsessed ’90s—closed the show with her cloud of coils teased to the heavens and looking bigger and better than ever.
This article first appeared on Vogue.com