Spring 2022 Menswear Beauty Trends Nod to ’90s Nostalgia

Neil BarrettPhoto: Courtesy of Neil Barrett

As the Prada boys flounced beachside on the coast of Capo Carbonara in late June, it was apparent that menswear was ready to enjoy life again. Raf Simons noted in the press release that this particular collection was a “notion that living your life can be a euphoric experience.”—a sentiment that foreshadowed the Spring 2022 trend in men’s beauty.

Almost a month later, I couldn’t help but think of Simon’s statement while viewing Anthony Vaccarello’s recent Saint Laurent collection. The clothes were romantic, the hairstyles and make-up liberated with curly long mullets and dramatic middle parts. At Casablanca, Rick Owens, Lemaire, and even Alyx, men’s hairstyles were far from prim and proper. Rather, they were flamboyant and free-flowing with short trims replaced by long locks. And hairstyles weren’t the end of it, either, with facial piercings of all sorts at both Burberry and Alexander McQueen. Tattoos bridged the way into couture season at Valentino, where hairstylist Guido Palau carefully tucked hair behind models’ ears and offered high-shine by way of Oribe’s styling cream. “I think designers are really inspired by how men care about the way they look now, and for men it’s kind of liberating to actually care,” Palau told Vogue.

It all feels like a flashback to the free spirit prevalent in the ’90s, back when The Face magazine’s signature raw attitude launched the grunge boys of the London streets like George Clements, Nick Moss, and Charlie Speed into the supermodel ranks. But should we be surprised? After a year of restrictions, it’s only natural that men’s beauty, alongside pretty much everything else, would want to act in rebellion. Whether that means being released from the shackles of gendered hairstyles or dipping into cutting-edge facial embellishments, men’s beauty is taking a trip on the wild side.

Peruse some of the European beauty trends below, and get ready to partake in the revolution.

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