Backstage Beauty at The Carpenters Daughter 2010

By Catherine Smith

A model at The Carpenter's Daughter show. Photo / Getty Images
A model at The Carpenter's Daughter show. Photo / Getty Images

The Carpenters Daughter creative director and head of design, Caroline Marr and Sarah-Jane Duff have been mining back through the years looking for eras where curvy women are celebrated.

Last season it was Thirties depression, this year they have ticked back a couple more decades to the Edwardian period.

The natural female form was freed from corsets, women borrowed from menswear and big, beautiful hairdos supplanted up-tight Victorian chignons and ringlets.

Koreen Morrell and her hair and makeup artists from Grandeur built on the theme of feminine wiles, creating sexy big hair with a slightly Gibson Girl twist.

"Wenchy big hair suits the proportions of the models' bodies," explains Duff.

"We exaggerated the height of the bouffant in front to help elongate their faces and show off their makeup."

With product help from L'Oreal Techniart, the girls' hair was curled, backcombed and built up into a bouffant.

A bit of bedroom crept in with softened extensions, the whole lot loosened and dropping down the backs of their necks.

The makeup needed to give a stronger face (this year's show was mostly black, some smoky neutrals, a rare blast of red) so the base was the porcelain skin favoured by Edwardian ladies, powdered to a flawless finish, with a lightly contoured cheek.

Plenty of soft brown and smoky greys on the eyes, with lashings of fake eyelashes to open up the eye.

The focus on the lips, immaculately drawn and sharply detailed in M.A.C's Dark Side finished the strong look.

TRY THIS AT HOME: Don't be afraid of big hair for daytime. Get your stylist to show you how to set and backcomb (or crimp, if you have the right gear at home) the underneath hair, then sweep the top hair over, catching it in clips (with the odd curl). Curl and finger fluff the bottom hair to catch that Gibson Girl gone bad vibe.

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