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Martine Rose challenges beauty standards at Milan Fashion Week

The SS25 collection questions what defines beauty by highlighting Black exclusion in beauty standards
Fashion
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / CatwalkPhotos

Prosthetic noses, disheveled tresses, and decorated acrylics took center stage, challenging Eurocentric beauty standards at Martine Rose’s Spring-Summer 2025 (SS25) show in Milan. Known for her surprise appearances on the Fashion Week calendar, Martine Rose’s debut in Milan was nothing short of provocative.


Martine Rose’s SS25 collection, showcased at Men’s Week, posed a crucial question: How do we define beauty? The British designer believes beauty lies in the cracks and crevices of culture, embracing the unusual, unseen, and unpredictable.


“The Spring-Summer 2025 Collection is dedicated to expressions of beauty spawned from the likes of disturbance, humour, and sex,” read the show notes. The 34-look collection featured maximalist nails adorned with crystals, floor-sweeping black wigs, and prosthetic noses, all designed to fuel a confrontational look. These elements highlighted featurism and Black exclusion in beauty standards.

Pushing against a European standard

Rhinoplasties, often modeled after Eurocentric noses, are a common cosmetic procedure. In 2022, over 44,000 nose jobs were performed in the U.S. Martine Rose’s show in Milan, a city known for its mainstream beauty standards, pushed against these norms with wide, taped-on noses and hard wig, soft life hair looks.


Hairstylist Gary Gill and colorist Tasha Spencer were behind the messy, knotted hair looks, tying up disheveled tresses and making thin bangs go airborne. From noses to hair and nails, the body-modifying elements questioned conventional notions of beauty, character, and anonymity.

In the historic setting of Porta Romana, with recycled sheet-covered seating, Martine Rose’s SS25 show emerged as a tense, untried, and curious evolution of beauty.

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