At Simone Rocha, Jane Austen Beauty Gets a Modern Touch

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The need for escapism has always been clear to Simone Rocha. Accordingly, this season, as the world continues to cope amid the global pandemic, the British designer conjured “castles in faraway places” for her spring presentation.

While it was voluminous, curved hip coats and dresses cast in gilded brocade that set the mood below the neck, aloft it was stylized Regency-era curls worn alone, or draped in crystal-embellished headpieces. “The challenge was how do I translate this in a modern and unfamiliar way?” explains hairstylist Cyndia Harvey of conceptualizing the hair look. “It’s a delicate balance for this look not to lean on the romantic side, but rather something organic and lived-in that anyone could wear—timeless and nonconforming.”

To create the cascades of tightly-wound ringlets, Harvey wrapped sections of hair around a small barrel curling iron, then pulled the lengths back into a low slung, “offset and easy” shape, pinning forehead-grazing curls around the face. A few models—including Evie Harris and Precious Kevin—had their waved coifs topped off with an intricate bonnet embellished with crystals or pearls for a touch of sparkle.

Carrying on the fairytale with a modern, off-kilter twist, makeup artist Thomas de Kluyver gave each model an individual look. Mixing up washed-out green, orange, and gold pigments inspired by Rembrandt and Richard Prince paintings, Kluyver shaded brows, lightly washed lids, and swirled blush on the apples of the cheeks to doll-like effect. “I wanted to use makeup in an expressive and modern way, but still capture the characters unique to Simone’s vision,” explains Kluyver. “We took the colors that they used in old paintings, and used them in a new way.” The look was finished with a bare, true nude matte manicure painted on by nail artist Ama Quashie.

Proving that transportive beauty can still skew soft, Simone Rocha’s reimagined Regency touches were fresh and romantic all at once.

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Robe Fashion Home Decor Evening Dress Gown Human and Person
Photo: Courtesy of Simone Rocha

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