Halima Aden Proves That #MuslimGirlsCan—And Did—Conquer Milan Fashion Week

See the model's breakout MFW moment at Alberta Ferretti

Thanks to the frantic pace of the digital age, the average person has the attention span of a goldfish. (No, seriously. This is a fact supported by an actual study.) Seeing as the fashion sphere changes its mind even faster, we decided to provide you with a condensed report from backstage this season. As much as we’d like to pen novels in the name of lipstick and hairspray, we get it—you’re busy. Here, the beauty version of CliffsNotes (all facts, no fluff) that you can easily skim in eight seconds…because science says that’s all the time you have.

SHOW: Alberta Ferretti

CITY: Milan

KEY PLAYERS: Makeup artist Tom Pecheux, Hairstylist Guido Palau

THE LOOK: “A dark romance, but not a gothic romance,” noted Palau.

INSPO: “The girls are in Venice late at night and it’s a bit dangerous,” said Pecheux.

BEAUTY MVPs: MAC Chromacake in Basic Red, Redken Windblown 05

TOP TIPS: Pecheux reached for an unexpected pop of red to offset smoky eyes. “Alberta wanted something a bit dangerous and it’s quite dangerous to put red on the eyes, no?” he said of the crimson hue. “It’s just when you blink that you see the color—like when you’re at a traffic light and it suddenly turns red.” He pushed the red pigment into the center of the lid with a damp brush for intensity. Next, he blended a creamy black liner around the bright pop of color with a small fluffy brush, set the shape with an equally inky powder shadow, and polished off the inner corners of eyes with a shimmering gold.

WORDS FROM THE WISE: While most models received a simple-yet-romantic, three-strand braid pumped up with plenty of texturizing spray and a curling iron, others kept their signature cut or look. “It feels funny now to do a show where everyone has a blanket ’do,” said Palau. “Girls with natural curls or bobs will be left, and Halima [Aden] has her scarf and she’s just going to be her.” 

The hijabi model made her very first appearance at MFW alongside veteran catwalkers like Isabeli Fontana and Elsa Hosk. “Getting great tips from a supermodel sure does help,” said Aden on Instagram, showcasing a shiny set of braces alongside a smizing Gigi Hadid. She added that rubbing elbows with Hadid, Candice Huffine, and Paris Jackson on the set of CR Fashion Book (Aden scored one of the magazine’s two covers this month) also helped her prepare for this breakout moment in Milan. 

Then again, we think Aden has plenty to teach storied supers about confidence and courage after strutting across the Miss USA stage in a hijab and burkini (the first woman ever to do so at the competition) in an effort to “spread a positive message about beauty and diversity, and to show other young Muslim women that there is room for them.” As the model noted next to a photo of a group of girls wearing headscarves similar to the one she sported on today’s runway: “This is for you #MuslimGirlsCan.” 

TREND TALLY: Colorful smoky eyes were seen at Brandon Maxwell, while individuality was celebrated at shows like Marc Jacobs and Gucci.

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