Phoenix Cosmetics once again took to the NZFW runway yesterday, with a fluoro-and-hairspray-charged show set to a soundtrack of classic ‘80s hits. Fashion shows that make cosmetics the focus are unusual – Phoenix is the only company to have ever done so at NZFW – but without a traditional format to reference the directive seems simply to be ‘go wild, and have fun’.
The name of the show – ‘Truly Outrageous’ – might ring some bells for fans of ‘80s cartoon ‘Jem and the the Holograms. If not, the makeup certainly would: rainbow stripes of pinks, yellows and purples running across foreheads, exaggerated eyeshadow, graffitied cheeks and bold lips in all manner of eye-popping colours, finished with mega-watt smiles. The hair can be summed up in one word: hairspray. I wouldn’t be surprised if OSH had required the use of gas masks backstage.
Equally outrageous were the costumes. I spotted (among a multitude of other things) Barbie dolls and My Little Ponies made into tutus, cassette tapes woven into hair, fluoro-pink-leopard print leotard (on Kimberly Crossman, no less), and studded shoulder pads taller than the models themselves. To describe each look individually would take more than can be fit into this review, as each was a work of art in its own right – Lady Gaga would have been in tears.
Behind the scenes a team of 18 makeup artists had been working for up to six hours on each look. A long day – but they’d clearly been having a blast. Phoenix Renata aims with her shows to show how makeup can be an art form. Mission accomplished – the only accessory to add would have been the artists’ signatures.
– Delaney MacDonald
Images: Giana Patel