Backstage At Proenza, Where Simple Beauty Is Anything But
Paul Hanlon was psyched backstage at Proenza Schouler. “This collection is quite exceptional—it’s beyond,” he effused. “These guys are always ahead of the pack.” This will be the hairstylist’s fifth season with Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, and at this point, he’s got the “Proenza girl” pegged—as well he should; Hanlon’s special brand of downtown cool has helped further define the designers’ woman. “She’s not a good girl, she’s a dangerous girl,” he offered—”whose hair looks like it needs a wash.”
With Kurt Cobain’s iconic, languid locks as his guide, Hanlon set to work on building a “vey stringy” texture, misting hair down with water and using his hands to layer Frédéric Fekkai’s Perfectly Luscious Curl Wave Activating Spray through the lengths. Every girl wore a stretchy latex, leather black cuff to elongate her neck, and rather than pull center-parted strands through the accessory, which he felt would look “too conceptual,” Hanlon had other plans. To give a “natural effect,” he braided under sections to remove extra weight and gathered hair into a ponytail, the base of which he spritzed with Fekkai’s Sheer Hold Hairspray. “We’re going to cut it right before they go out,” he explained of the elastic, tying mesh scarves on top of the cuffs and around the ponytail to further set the resulting indentation. Hanlon added a final “electric” element by using his fingers to rub the crown of the head for a frizzy, static effect, which created a further dichotomy between his contribution and the clothes. “You’ve got these incredibly expensive fabrics and hair that’s just whatever,” he said—a directive that came right from McCollough and Hernandez. “They’re really good at describing hair,” Hanlon attests. “I’m sure Lazaro was a hairdresser in a former life.”
Makeup artist Diane Kendal is a similarly longstanding member of team Proenza, and she too is well versed at channeling the house’s “urban feel,” which reliably calls for strong brows, smudged lids, and clean skin. Using MAC Studio Finish Concealer where needed, Kendal applied a nude-pink lipstick on the apples of the cheeks to get a sheer flush with a bit of sheen. Lower lash lines were then lined with its Eye Pencil in Coffee, which was also placed in the crease and blended over lids for a subtle stain. Skipping the mascara, Kendal’s finishing touch came via her signature “boyish” brows, which were filled in and brushed up. Even “real girl”-inspired beauty requires a few extra steps.