Controversial Makeup Sparks Fury At London Fashion Week

Black Eye Makeup Sparks Controversy

Model, Irina Shayk at London Fashion Week. Credit: Mowalola/X

SHOULD fashion have boundaries? The recent London Fashion Week has sparked a heated debate, with the Mowalola brand and model Irina Shayk at the centre of the controversy.

London Fashion Week, held from September 15 to 19, attracts all the iconic fashion brands from around the world, but much of the focus was centred around the Mowala show, and the controversial angle they took, according to 20 Minutos.

Show Stealer With A Twist

Irina Shayk, a top model known for turning heads, became the focal point for an unexpected reason. The talk of the town wasn’t the brand’s attire or Shayk’s stunning presence, but rather the peculiar makeup she donned. The Mowalola show, featuring Shayk, was one of the most discussed events of the weekend.

Striking Imagery Raises Eyebrows

The runway was transformed into a spectacle, as creative directors unleashed their imagination. The aim was to captivate the audience and elevate the presented collections. However, the question arises – are there any limits?

Mowalola showcased its Spring-Summer 2024 collection, drawing inspiration from the 1996 film ‘Crash’. The theme revolved around a traffic accident, influencing the designs and even the makeup. Shayk, adorned with hyper-realistic bruise makeup, showcased a long silver dress and a second look featuring an oversize 2pac T-shirt.

Provocative Artistry Sparks Backlash

Shayk wasn’t alone in wearing such dramatic makeup; her fellow models also sported artificial scars and wounds. Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi, the brand’s creator, used provocation as a central theme, seemingly unaware of the potential backlash. The makeup choice has been labelled as ‘violent’ on social media, with some drawing connections to the portrayal of gender-based violence.

Social Media Erupts In Debate

The controversial makeup has ignited discussions online, with opinions divided on its appropriateness. While some view it as a form of artistic expression, others see it as a distasteful representation of violence.

One group called Feminist Teachers for Coeducation posted: ‘A model parades in the #LondonFashionWeek with a black eye and a t-shirt of a man accused of sexual assault. Turning sexist violence into a “glamorous” aesthetic for the promotion of fashion is absolutely reprehensible and an insult to the victims.’

Another commentator, Dr Charlotte Proudman said: ‘Domestic abuse is the new fashion & entertainment. After I watched people re-enact Amber Heard’s evidence about sexual violence —now a famous model fakes a black eye at London’s fashion week while wearing a 2pac T-shirt of a man accused of sexual assault.’

Others joined in the denouncement of the fashion brand: ‘Absolutely irresponsible but what else would you expect from a fashion designer wanting much needed PR …’ said one.

The debate continues, raising questions about the boundaries of artistic freedom and the responsibilities of designers.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Naimah Yianni

      22 September 2023 • 14:47

      There´s a big difference between being accused of something and being found guilty. Just look at the scandalous way that Russell Brand is being treated at the moment. it´s obvious that he is being set up for telling the truth about how the world is controlled by huge corrupt corporations including the pharmaceutical industry, the power generation industry and the military/industrial complex. he tells the truth and then the lies start

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