The quintessential grounds of Regent's University and the in-bloom rose gardens of Regent's Park spoke of a very serene location for this season's Topshop Unique show space. Backstage, however, told another story entirely.
It's 2:15 and only five of the expected twenty-nine models have arrived so far. It's only forty-five minutes until showtime. It's bedlam.
Once the models did (finally) arrive, it was straight into the tanning tent, where skincare expert Nichola Joss was armed with St. Tropez Instant Tan Wash Off Face & Body Spray in Medium/Dark. "I'm going for a statement tan," Joss said. "She's a global girl and we want her to look like she has been [sunning] all summer."
The world-traveler theme was echoed in the makeup as well, where face painter Hannah Murray used a new Topshop matte bronzer (out for spring) to bronze and contour the girls' faces. "We want her to look like she has just woken up on a beach somewhere—maybe Ibiza—after partying all night," Murray explained. "Her makeup, applied the night before, is sultry and even a little decayed." A brown gloss was painted over lids and a metallic silver pencil (also out for spring) was sketched into the inner corners of the eyes to play with textures. Mascara was kept just to the roots of lashes so the ends looked slightly lighter and sun-exposed, and a touch of plummy blush was dusted over the apples of the cheeks.
For hairstylist Anthony Turner, his inspiration was Daria Werbowy. "This season the Topshop girl is sexy, almost Amazonian-like, and definitely not as grungy and rock 'n' roll as she has been previous seasons," he explained. "There's more oomph and va-va-voom about her." The oomph came courtesy of L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Volume Lift Mousse and a one-and-a-half-inch curling iron. Hair was waved in random sections before a small amount of conditioner was scrunched in at the roots for a slightly wet look. And there you have the va-va-voom.