THE GENTLE(WO)MAN

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Inspired by what he described as the ‘Working Girl’, Thom Browne’s show this Paris Fashion Week AW19 fittingly took place at Beaux-Arts, France’s National School of Fine Arts. Browne filled the classic setting with stylish typewriters, reminiscent of the working girls of the 1950s. Encased in a frame built out of gloomy looking office blinds, Browne’s commentary on what it means to be female (and fashionable) in the working world shone throughout the collection.

The looks are a, “Celebration of men’s tailored sensibility, for women”. Throughout – we are reminded of what it means to be both strict and playful. The measured rules of tailoring worked hand in hand with the frivolity attached to the gorgeous accessories. The full wardrobe is consisting of, “Chesterfield coats, jackets, trousers are interpreted in inlays, intarsia, buillon embroidery, satin stitch embroidery on tweeds, checked tweeds, down filled tweeds, Shetland wools.”

For ghd Fashion Week ambassador, Eugene Souleiman, working with Thom Browne is a particularly delightful part of the Fashion Week Calendar. Of the designer, Eugene says, “When working with Thom, you get a level of wit and an added ‘sense of humour’ to the collection. Everything we do is about creating a moment – trying to do things you’ve not seen before…”

To compliment Browne’s collection, Souleiman drew his inspiration from the world of iconic men from history. From Montgomery Clift to Fred Perry, handsome remained the word of the day. These icons carry that dreamy, vulnerable but masculine sex appeal that truly secured them as icons of their time. Browne is taking his expertise of tailoring and applying it to the female world – in doing so, the chic hair has to be “groomed to perfection” – giving the impression of a fresh trip to the barber as opposed to an afternoon at the salon.

The Key Technique
  1. To create the look, the hair is slicked back, smoothed using the ghd platinum+ styler (£175) and sculpted using traditionally male grooming products.
  2. Wella Professionals EIMI Texture Touch is rubbed in the palms and then evenly distributed on to the model’s dry hair. The hair can then be reworked, over and over – ensuring that Eugene is able to get the perfect side-parting, creating the ideal masculine hairline.
  3. The hair is then pulled to the back and braided in to a low braid, which sits just at the nape of the neck. It is fixed with Wella Professionals EIMI Perfect Setting to combat any flyaway stragglers.
  4. Wella Professionals EIMI Just Brilliant Shine Pomade is applied to the sides of the parting and the hairline around the ears, allowing Souleiman to shape with precision, giving the impression of neatly cropped hair. The front of the hair is fuller, crafted from the EIMI Texture Touch and combed over to present as a small quiff. It is dried with the ghd air professional performance hairdryer (£99) holding its artful preciseness in place.
  5. A further spray of EIMI Perfect Setting is required to hold the look and voila… parfait! On completion of the look, the feminine braid is tucked in to the smartly tailored, statement, Chesterfield jackets, the star of Thom’s collection, making its own comment on the increasingly blurred lines between gender roles.

The result is a look that is at once timeless and extremely modern. Yes, these are masculine looks but the end result has a transformation between inspiration based on ‘handsomeness’ and models that are truly beautiful.

This is male tailoring in the female world and for Eugene, the perfect opportunity, he says “to blur the lines between what we consider merely beautiful and what we consider elegantly empowering”.

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