Even before the first model walked the runway, the world knew this was going to be a London Fashion Week to remember. As the UK collectively processes the Queen’s death, the show goes on – as always – but not without added chaos. Luckily, London seems to be doing what it does best: creating unforgettable works of art both on the catwalk and behind the scenes. British fashion designers have long drawn inspiration from youth culture, and their shows’ beauty looks often follow suit. At the Poster Girl SS23 show, brow slits received a high-fashion update thanks to notoriously eccentric makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench’s eponymous line and her unique vision. Just days after the start of the most-watched London Fashion Week in a long time, things are already getting off to an exciting start.
If you’ve attended high school at any time in the last 30 years, you’re probably familiar with eyebrow slits or trims. Sometimes it is actually scar tissue that cuts through the brow, but more often than not, the wearer simply trims the brow hairs with a razor or even approximates them with makeup. Exactly where the style originated is often debated — some say it harks back to old-school gangsters, though eyebrow cuts have been a mainstay of both hip-hop and LGBTQ+ culture for decades — but the striking nature of the Looks is undeniable.
At the Poster Girl Show, Ffrench parted the models’ brows into sleek spikes with her ISAMAYA Browlacq Brow Laminator, cutting a lot of visible flesh through the hair. The striking eyebrows looked even more extreme and exciting when combined with the barbell piercings in the models’ lips, nose and eyebrows. The youth-in-revolt theme continued with sweat-like eye gloss – made with Ffrench’s aptly named eyeshadow, Sweat – for a wake-up feeling all night long.
Aesthetically, Poster Girl and Ffrench couldn’t be more coordinated. The makeup artist and design duo share a love for the glamorously twisted and unconventional, culminating in this grunge-themed collaboration. Stars like Cardi B, Paris Hilton, Chloë Bailey and Megan Thee Stallion are all documented Poster Girl fans – Poster Girls for Poster Girl, you might say – while Ffrench’s clients include Bella Hadid, Madonna and Kate Moss. Together, it’s a perfect storm of it-girl synergy.
Ffrench’s London Fashion Week is as packed as it gets, working as lead makeup artist on other shows including the glitter-soaked KNWLS LONDON presentation and 16Arlington. What kind of cosmetic theater she’s planning next is unclear.