Alexander Wang’s latest show saw models’ faces painted with black America flags

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Hanna Ibraheem
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For his latest show Collection One, Alexander Wang decided on a beauty look unlike any other we’ve seen on the runway.

Unexpected yet widely welcomed, Fashion Week catwalks have become a popular platform for chic clothing and powerful statements in equal measure.

Just last year, New York Fashion Week saw the Council of Fashion Designers of America officially partner up with Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, Johnathan Simkhai took his finale bow in a black sweatshirt that read “Feminist AF”.

Alexander Wang is the most recent designer to bring a rousing statement to the runway.

As well as shaking up standard fashion schedules by choosing to showcase his fashion line in June, the designer also shunned typical ‘autumn/winter’ and ‘spring/summer’ titles, simply calling his show, ‘Collection One 2018’.

Alongside its ambiguous name came a stirring theme: Americana. And no, it wasn’t all red, white and blue.

The collection drew inspiration from Wang’s roots as the son of immigrants and his experience of moving to America.

Leaving a note on each guest’s seat, the designer explained that the show marked “a new beginning, a new identity and a new day for my brand”. As well as looking incredibly edgy, the makeup hit even more of a poignant note.

Lead makeup artist Diana Kendal gave most of the models the fresh skin (NARS Longwear Foundation and Radiant Concealer), perfect brows (Brow Perfector), and moisturised lips (Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm) that we’re accustomed to seeing in a fashion show.

But refreshingly, a handful of the models’ looks were far from anything that’s come down a catwalk before.

Seven models graced the runway donning black American flags that had been painted on to their faces.

Inspiration for the look came from sporting game fanatics who paint their faces for big games. Ditching the bright hues that we’re used to seeing on an American flag – Kendal explained to Fashionista that the traditional colours looked too “kitschy” - her team used a NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Filbuste to achieve the look.

First, makeup artists applied lines of tape to represent the American flag’s stripes. In the gaps, they added cut-out stars.

The makeup artists then filled in the gaps with the jet black NARS eyeshadow. Once dried, they peeled away the tape, just before show time. Kendal shared a video on her Instagram page giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

The technique left behind a chic flag that looked similar to a mask and made as much of a statement about Wang’s America as the clothes itself.

Images: Getty