Even before the first model stepped foot onto the catwalk, the world knew this would be a London Fashion Week to remember. As the United Kingdom collectively processes the death of the Queen, the show goes on — as it always must — but not without added chaos. Fortunately, London seems to be doing what it does best: producing unforgettable acts of art both on the runway and behind the scenes. UK fashion designers have a long history of drawing inspiration from youth culture, and their shows’ beauty looks often follow suit. At the Poster Girl SS23 show, eyebrow slits got a high-fashion update thanks to notoriously edgy makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench’s eponymous line and her singular vision. Just a few days into the most closely-watched London Fashion Week in recent memory, things are already off to an exciting start.
If you attended high school any time in the last 30 years, you’re probably familiar with eyebrow slits or cuts. Sometimes it’s actual scar tissue slicing through the brow, but more often than not, the wearer simply cuts the eyebrow hairs with a razor or even approximates it with makeup. Where exactly the style originated is often debated — some say it dates back to old-school mobsters, though eyebrow cuts have been a mainstay of both hip-hop and LGBTQ+ culture for decades — but the look’s striking nature is undeniable.
At the Poster Girl show, Ffrench parted models’ eyebrows into slicked spikes using her ISAMAYA Browlacq Brow Laminator, leaving plenty of visible flesh slicing through the hair. The eye-catching brows looked all the more extreme and exciting when paired with the barbell-style piercings in the models’ lips, noses, and brows. The youth-in-revolt theme continued with perspiration-like eye gloss — made with Ffrench’s aptly-named eyeshadow shade, Sweat — for an up-all-night feel.
Aesthetically, Poster Girl and Ffrench couldn’t be more aligned. 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 — posters 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 jam-packed as it gets, working as the lead makeup artist on other shows, including the glitter-soaked KNWLS LONDON presentation and 16Arlington. What sort of cosmetic theatrics she has planned next is anyone’s guess.