Wolk Morais' Third Collection Brings '80s-Inspired Shimmer and Big Hair to the Runway

Brian Gove/Courtesy of Wolk Morais
Wolk Morais

The Los Angeles transplants drew inspiration from the young and vibrant nightlife of the young Hollywood set to create a colorful collection with plenty of shine.

“The '80s” seemed to be the buzzword on the tip of everyone’s tongue backstage at Wolk Morais’ third annual fashion show in West Hollywood on Tuesday night.

Specifically, designers Claude Morais and Brian Wolk noted that the inspiration for their third collection was a mixture of young Hollywood's “neo-romantic late ‘80s revival" as well as the fashionable crowd at their “standing Saturday night rendezvous at Giorgio’s” — the discotheque within The Standard Hotel that also served as the backdrop for their show.

Eighties pop anthems were blasted over the stereo as guests filtered into the hazy room, where pink neon signage glinted off the disco ball and cast a warm glow on the front row filled with the next generation’s international jet set — including Disney starlet Debby Ryan, Transparent’s Emily Robinson and Teen Wolf’s Arden Cho — whom the designers call their muses.


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The collection — styled by THR power stylist Elizabeth Stewart, who dressed Julia Roberts in a custom Wolk Morais jumpsuit this past week in Cannes — featured plenty of throwback elements: liquid lame, feathers and dark denim were styled with lurex socks and thick platforms. However the ‘80s textures were given a modern update with chic tailoring in the form of pleated skirts and fitted jumpsuits.

SPARKLE: Look 16 from Wolk Morais' third collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Wolk Morais)

“We really wanted to design stuff for the women around us who want to go out and dance," Wolk told Pret-a-Reporter. "We mixed elements of denim and couture fabrics — all different things, and made it really fun and youthful and not mature." Oversize bows and bright embellishments certainly gave the already party-ready silhouettes (think: strapless minis with spaghetti straps and bubble hems) the added panache to make the wearer definitely stand out on a crowded dance floor.

The hair and makeup, too, gave the decadent decade’s trends a modern flair. Nars’ lead makeup artist, Uzo, gave models a silvery, metallic eye with heavy eyelashes (“with a little clumping”) and a bit of lower waterline eyeliner that was just a bit messy. “[The look] was centered around the L.A. night life — the high-profile quintessential L.A. girl fleeing the scene and trying to avoid paparazzi after being out for a few hours," she said, adding that Bianca Jagger, Naomi Campbell and even Grace Jones served as influences. 

A tamer version of the voluminous ‘dos from the Saved By the Bell era was created by Paul Mitchell stylist Lucie Doughty, who added a kink to models' hair about three inches below the root so as not to create too much height. To create the look, Doughty wrapped small strands around a hair pin in a figure eight pattern and then added heat with a flat iron. After spritzing with hair spray, the locks were secured with a barrette. Once strands cooled, the clips were removed and the hair was brushed to give a purposely messy look. 

Overall, the effect made for a look that was glamorous without trying too hard — in other words, that aspirational balance that every L.A. girl strives for.