The women that walked Chanel Pre-Fall last night wore their war paint well—baring cheeks, lids, and temples that were burnished with gold and silver cross-hatching, inky black mascara and liner on top lashes only, and natural, pink-toned lips. To complement the makeup created by Peter Philips, Sam McKnight tucked double-C stamped feathers into select models’ wind-tousled low ponytails, while others sported a Lady Gaga (the early years)-style bow comprised of actual strands. Who knew playing cowboys and Indians could be so chic? Well, I suppose Karl had an idea.
Rag & Bone looked rather sporty for Pre-Fall 2014, incorporating racer stripes, mesh, and leather into its black and white collection. To complete the athletic apparel, the designers added an accessory that is perhaps a precursor to what we’ll see on the ice (worn by figure skaters) at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi: scrunchies. This isn’t the first time the extravagant hair ties have made an appearance on the runway—they showed up at Marc Jacobs in Spring 2010 and at Ashish for Spring 2013. Carrie Bradshaw may have made this astute observation on Sex and the City many moons ago, “[Women wear scrunchies] in the bathroom maybe, when they’re washing their faces…No woman who works at W magazine and lives on Perry Street would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie,” but times, they are a-changin’. If Birkenstocks can make a comeback among the street-style set, anything is possible.
The look at Victoria’s Secret hasn’t changed much in the eighteen years since Angels in lacy underwear and million-dollar bras captured the world’s attention in more than 185 countries, but it’s the subtleties, hair pro Orlando Pita explained, that make all the difference. “In the past we’ve done a dry, sandy, beachy texture, but this year it’s shiny and glossy,” he said. While this may appear like a minor change to the naked eye, it makes a major impact on high-def cameras.
For face painter Dick Page, he aimed to make the girls look a bit more “scruffy,” which caught the attention of one of the executive producers of the fashion show. (Scruffy and sexy might not normally go hand in hand, but when it comes to Page, you have to trust that the finished product will be spot-on.) During the huddle with both beauty gurus, last year’s look was discussed: Lipstick should give way to a more balm-y, just bitten mouth; the shadow should be a bit more smudgy (and therein lies the scruff); and absolutely no glitter should be used.
To get the glistening waves, Pita prepped the strands with Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Body & Hold Volumizing Mousse and blew them dry with a round, vented ceramic brush from ghd to build body. Next, he glued in multiple levels of extensions—opting for a tone that played up the lightest shade seen in each model’s roots. “Dark hair, especially, can look really dense on television; this [trick] gives it depth and makes it look more natural,” he said. The ends were razored to approximately each girl’s natural length, and strands were misted liberally with So Sexy Style Hold & Finish Hairspray. Using his signature technique (where the middle of the hair is wrapped under and over the barrel of a curling iron, in this case a 1.5 inch version—leaving the ends out), Pita created loose curls before finger combing and finishing with more hair spray. To get the look at home, however, he suggests using an easier-to-wield flatiron, like the forthcoming tri-zone styler from ghd. As for the part, there was great debate as to whether it should be in the middle or slightly off center, but the final decision was to follow the way each model’s hair naturally fell—keeping their individuality intact. (If you’re wondering, Karlie Kloss will be maintaining her signature bob.)
“I’ve been given a very strict directive, but I’m going to fuck with it like I do,” Page said of the makeup. After the recent death of Lou Reed and listening to The Velvet Underground & Nico, the master of maquillage came up with the “scruffy Angel” concept. To achieve it, he used a black-brown liner pencil on the inner rim and ran it imperfectly along the top lashes before smudging the pigment up and over the lid. To intensify the outer corners, Page dusted the dark chocolate shade from the VS Makeup Eye Shadow Quad in Eye Contact in a “V” shape, then applied the shimmery gold color over the inner half of the eye to catch the light. Instead of traditional blush, he warmed up Color Drama Lipstick in Taken on the inside of his forearm and used a cosmetic wedge to apply it to cheeks (a similar method was employed at Narcisco Rodriguez this past season). “I want them to look like they’ve had a really good shag, or anything else unorthodox that would make you pink in the face…like excitable shopping,” Page quipped. The skin was then layered with a sheer foundation using a brush—allowing the color to come through much like a natural flush. “I want to have final control over the complexion,” he said of his approach. Color Drama Lipstick in True (for models walking in the Pink portion of the show) or Flawless (worn by the rest of the girls) was pressed onto lips, then top lashes were coated with Volume Lift Mascara in black, and brows were lightly defined with a pencil as a finishing touch.
The only things left to complete this slightly undone Angel: wings and sass. “This show is probably the closest you get to real modeling, where the girls are truly animating the clothes,” said Page. Or in this case, the lack thereof.
In lieu of the “diaphanous” green shadow employed at Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2014 show in Milan, makeup artist Linda Cantello opted for a more subtle hue for his “One Night Only” celebration, held last evening at SuperPier in New York City. She dotted a forthcoming taupe formula in between the lashes to avoid any harsh lines, then applied a hint of the same color through the crease. But if designer’s most recent Privé collection was any indication, beige in the world of Armani is anything but boring. “Everyone is doing the nineties nude [this season], but this is a naughty nude,” explained the face painter of the sexy champagne tone. To keep the eyes looking soft, she skipped mascara. The skin was perfected using the brand’s CC cream (launching in March), which cancels any redness but lends a transparent—not cakey—finish. “He hates blush,” revealed Cantello, so obviously cheeks were kept bare per the boss’ orders. The lips, however, were dabbed with a custom-blended berry-pink lipstick that looked “lived in.” “We come with thousands of products and huge suitcases, but never have the right shade,” she said. Hence the reason the backstage team travels with a mobile beauty lab (essentially all the pigments and colors used by chemists to create the house’s cosmetics in a stationary location). “Of all the designers I’ve worked with, he pays the most attention to detail,” Cantello revealed, saying that Mr. Armani notices everything—including the tiny amount of gloss that wasn’t matted down before his second show this past season. But as his breathtaking couture illustrated last night, perfection, in addition to longevity, is all in the details.
I have firmly committed to the lipstick camp, mainly for one reason: I refuse to pull my hair off my mouth every time the wind blows. Sure, that shine is tempting, and I highly recommend gloss to girls who can deal—I just don’t happen to be one of them. But that factor I can’t stand was exactly the point today at Miu Miu. “Pat [McGrath]‘s doing a very heavy gloss, and then I took the hair and stuck it to the lips,” said hair pro Guido Palau. “It lends a little bit of sexiness and [provides] a naive sexuality.” Let’s just say I won’t be taking this look from runway to reality.
As far as getting that natural texture we’ve seen all season long, however, that’s something I can get into. Palau prepped damp strands with Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment, then dried them with a round brush to add a bit of bend. Next, he scrunched sections with his hands as he dried, using a curling iron to add additional movement where needed. A messy center part was made before tucking hair behind ears. The final touch: gluing a few pieces to models’ pouts via the gooey but gorgeous cosmetic. Pretty slick.