Partying With Mermaids and Unicorns at The Blonds

A bleak, grey gloomy sky hovered over NYC’s Spring Studios, the nucleus of NYFW shows and events, on the last day of the NY circuit. The Blonds—the quirky brand founded by David and Phillipe Blond—had the antidote: fantasy.

Each season, The Blonds takes us deeper into their fantasy world where sex, party, and glamour collide, an endless tribute to the NYC nightlife scene that brought the duo together. While partying is always top of mind for The Blonds, this season, so were mythic creatures. But these weren’t the cuddly, colorful creatures Disney fed us throughout our childhood. These characters have switched over to the dark side, but not without a full-fledged transformation to match. That looked like long, stiletto-pointed nails, lived-in glittery lids, and ass-grazing 40-inch waves that pared down the innocence and ramped up the sexy.

Walking backstage to the corner of Spring Studios where The Blonds beauty prep team was held, the show’s models were split into two categories: mermaids and unicorns. On makeup, key makeup artist Baltasar González Pinel was tasked with creating a perfectly undone look inspired by the mythological world. Those in the mermaid group were treated to a lighter eyeshadow color palette, while unicorns were given a darker one. On the lids, Pinel prepped the space with Vaseline before using a variation of M.A.C Cosmetics’ pigment and glitter products across the four looks. A few models’ eyes were doused in the Pink Pearl Pigment in addition to the Glitter in Transparent Pink. Then, he added M.A.C 88 Stunner Lash for flair. On the cheeks, Pinel skipped contouring and illuminated the high points with a mix of the Vanilla Pigment and Taupe Blush with Shine Mixing Medium Gel. “My blush technique here was inspired by the 90s usage of blush—it was basically contouring. With blush, you are reinforcing your bone structure and transforming the natural shadows with color,” he says. For the lips, Pinel outlined the shape with the M.A.C Cork Lip Pencil (or Chestnut) and added a subtle sheen using the Transparent Pink Reflect Glitter with Lip Glass.

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new york, new york september 13 a model walks the runway during the blonds spring summer 2024 fashion show at gallery at spring studios on september 13, 2023 in new york city photo by randy brookewireimage

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On the other side of the room was Oribe principal artist of global design and key hairstylist Kien Hoang attaching long, flowy blond extensions to Gigi Gorgeous’ hair. “The inspiration was mythology. You’ll see unicorns, you’ll see mermaids, you’ll see a lioness. There are scorpion details on the clothing. So, what we’re doing with the horse or unicorn look is extending 30 to 46 inches of hair to replicate the mane of a horse,” he explains. The lengthy hair was parted straight down the middle from the hairline to the nape of the neck to create a clean space for the line of crystals to sit on. To protect and smooth the hair, Hoang used Oribe Invisible Defense Heat Protectant, and then added Oribe Maximista to create some thickness for the extensions to seamlessly adhere to. As for the mermaids, Hoang used the Oribe Foundation Mist as well as the Superfine Strong Hair Spray.

Like every presentation from The Blonds, it’s all about the details. Down on the nails, sculptural nail artist Juan Alvear transformed Kiss Nails Acrylic Natural XXL and Bare But Better XXL nails into runway goodness. Using jewels and sculptural chrome, Alvear created stiletto and coffin-shaped nails in four different looks, ranging from a seafoam green chrome set to a black, stiletto look with crystals sprinkled from the middle to the tip.

the blonds

Getty Images

the blonds

Getty Images

“I love how a coffin nail looks, but there’s something very dangerous about a stiletto that feels very vixen, very hot,” Alvear says. Dangerous. Vixen. Hot. What better way to describe a Blonds muse?

Headshot of Nerisha Penrose

Beauty Commerce Editor

Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.


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