Mark Fast is one of my favourite designers at London Fashion Week. He always seems to push the boundaries a little bit further than anyone else and he has a naturally naughty edge to his designs that really sets him apart. Other brands can seem a bit try-hard when they do grunge or punk – with Mark’s designs, it just feels right. He takes knitwear and makes it cool. He basically shreds it and puts holes in it and works as much with the gaps between the yarn as the yarn itself.
There’s always plenty going on in the hair and makeup department, too. You may remember that I reported backstage at Mark Fast last year (you can read that post here) and there were frizzy, gingery permed wigs cut into a bold wedge shape. Well this year there were wigs again – black, longer wigs cut into raggedly so that the ends were straggly and uneven. Very grungy, very un-Spring/Summer! The head stylist was Nick Irwin for TIGI. He seems to like a wig, does Nick. “The cheaper the better”. He used heat to melt down the wig’s synthetic strands and TIGI Salt Spray to create a weird matted texture. He backcombed the wigs so that the ends were sparse and there was more volume around the crown, he then sprayed with TIGI’s Your Highness Hairspray and repeated this process on dozens of wigs.
Nick Irwin seems to revel in the fact that he can go quite crazy with the hair – I can see why he and Mark have such a good thing going on. He’s not scared to move away from the traditional and I imagine that working with wigs is quite entertaining in that he can melt and chop and razor away to his heart’s content without having to damage a single model hair! Personally I love the use of the wigs because it creates this sense of uniformity – the models are like a little Mark Fast Army, marching down the catwalk.
Makeup (by BareMinerals) was also very un-Spring/Summer; a dark, petrol lip and completely bare eyes. Skin was flawless and glowing, though, highlighted around the eyes and on the cheekbones to really offset the dark lips.
Nails by Butter London were designed by the lovely Katie-Jane Hughes; she envisaged a “gorgeous gothic raver girl” look that used black polish beneath a deep oxblood red with a top layer of ‘petrol’ to add an extra dimension. All of this black and petrol and raggedy hair made a brilliant change to the pretty, pinky, glowing looks that I saw elsewhere. I can’t wait for next season!
You can also see some footage in the vlog that I made that day – click this link if you can’t see the video box below!