Think biker gangs, think vampires, think gothic femme fatales – this season the underworld has influenced the fashion world and the runway results are nothing less than dramatic, edgy and surprisingly chic. Here are our pick of the sexiest subversive styles:
Sins of the skin
Be it patent, pre-loved, or PVC, nothing conjures up images of bondage or bikies quite like leather. Gucci, Cavalli and William Rast all channelled street-tough style; Armani gave an eroticised take on the traditional skirt-suit-and-jacket; while the models at YSL and Alexander McQueen looked ready to step off the runway and whip you into submission.
If the word lace has you imagining scenes of innocence and purity, think again. Gothic reigned supreme on the runway - Christian Lacroix and Dolce & Gabbana incorporated sheer cobweb netting to create sinister yet oh-so-sexy dresses; while debauchery lurked within the feathers and lace of Valentino.
Victorian romanticism got touched by the dark side this season with floor-skimming antiquated-inspired gowns. Twilight fever hit at Jean Paul
Gaultier and Elie Saab as vampire queens slunk along the catwalk; bereft widows hid behind veils of seduction at Karl Lagerfeld; and
Collette Dinnigan had black-clad child brides gliding down the aisle.
Complement this feisty fashion style with a vamped-up beauty look. Here’s how to do it:
Skin: A soft, flawless face is a must. Smooth on your chosen foundation before lightly dusting your face, neck and chest with a translucent powder for an ethereal effect.
Eyes: Create a smouldering stare in minutes. Simply define the inner and outer rim of your eyes with a black kohl pencil before blending a smoky shade of your choice into the line you’ve just drawn and up around the contour of each eye. Sweep a lighter, pearly hue across the centre of your eyelids and finish with a slick of lash-lengthening black mascara.
Lips: Just-bitten lips are key to perfecting this look. Prep your pout with a lip-plumping balm before carefully applying a berry-tinted stain or blood-red lipstick.