August 21 2014

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Talking Surf Hair And Sunscreen With Carolyn Murphy


As August transitions into September and models return from their respective vacations (“I’ve been in Hawaii!” a glowing Alana Zimmer told us backstage at Richard Chai), a lot of girls are sporting gorgeous, naturally bronzed complexions at the Spring shows. But there was one summer tan that stood out from the crowd as we scanned the room at Jason Wu yesterday, our eyes coming to a firm stop on Carolyn Murphy. “Jason and I are actually friends,” Murphy said of Wu, who asked her to open his presentation yesterday. “I don’t really like to walk in shows,” the nineties supe admitted, “but I adore him. I really, really love his work and there’s a personal admiration there.” As Odile Gilbert coiffed Murphy’s almost corn-silk-streaked strands into a sleek braided updo, conversation turned to surfing. “I did look in the mirror the other day and think, ‘Oh my God—I’m too tan and too blond,” the longtime Estée Lauder face joked—the happy aftereffect of two months spent riding waves in Montauk, where Murphy has a fail-safe for keeping her hair and skin healthy while exposing herself to the elements. “The trick for me is to wet my hair first [before I get in the ocean]. Then I put a conditioner on it, like coconut oil or olive oil”—or Kérastase Chronologiste Essential Restorative Concentrate, if Gilbert has anything to say about it. “That’s the one we have to give to you,” the super stylist chimed in as she finished the show look. For sun protection, Murphy swears by SPF 50 or higher, like Coppertone’s Water Babies, but recognizes getting a little color is unavoidable. “I’m not going to wear one of those visors with a string around my chin. It’s just not gonna happen.”

So, is this the beginning of Murphy’s catwalk comeback? “Maybe,” she says coyly, pointing out that Wu will definitely be her only stop in New York—both on the runway and in the front row. “I kind of feel like being selective is a little more chic,” she says about show-hopping. “I’ve paid my dues after 20 years in the business.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

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