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The Eighties Are Alive at Chanel Couture

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Baseball hats have become the accessory du jour for many celebs and street-style stars looking to make a statement (or perhaps camouflage a less-than-camera-worthy hair day). And at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld put his own couture spin on the backwards cap (with a little help from Maison Michel), which backstage guru Sam McKnight perched low over a flat chignon and offset with an “eighties boy band, New Wave, spiky quiff.”

To achieve this voluminous pompadour, McKnight and his team crafted more than fifty hairpieces—washing them with dish soap to lend a “dry, malleable texture” before styling. Next, he worked L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Full Volume Mousse through strands, blew them dry, and topped off the finished product with a combo of Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish and Batiste dry shampoo. After slicking models’ natural hair into a tight bun near the nape of the neck, pinning the faux piece into place, and teasing, McKnight set the style with Sebastian Re-Shaper hairspray. Honestly, what eighties-inspired look would be complete without some strategic backcombing and a liberal dose of shellac?

To see a series of iconic looks McKnight has created for the storied French house, watch the video below:

Get the Deets Behind the Mirrored Liner at Dior Couture

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dior-couture-fw-2014-beautyPeter Philips spent his whole weekend single-handedly cutting seventy pairs of silver adhesive eyeliner that he used on the Dior Couture runway. And just hours before the show began, he received word that the house had worked out a way to produce them. (Look for them on-counter around the holidays.) “The collection explored contradictions, so we wanted to keep it pretty and pure. I just wanted to add one element that was highly contrasting and artificial,” he explained. Metallic liner emerged as the ideal counterpoint to the mirror-and-orchid set. Philips calls it the “empty eye”—meaning no mascara—bolstered by a little white kohl to fade out the lower lashes and a sweep of yellow and white shadows from the forthcoming Candy Choc palette under well-groomed brows. To even out the base, Philips reached for Dior’s new Star Foundation (for drier complexions, he used Capture), followed by a combo of Dior Blush in Rose Corolle and Starlight on the cheekbones (available internationally in October), and polished off pouts with Rouge Dior lipstick in Trompe L’Oeil (a peachy nude). Nails, too, were kept short, neat, and nude, with one coat of gel polish in Muguet followed by a layer of Dior Glow. “She looks like a fragile flower but with historical and futuristic crosscurrents,” he said. “When she moves, she catches the light.”

For hair, the look was natural and unforced. “It’s fresh and modern without reference to any past,” noted Guido Palau backstage. “Raf Simons’ Dior woman has put her clothes on and [needn't] over-bother with her hair.” Palau employed Redken Pillow Proof dry shampoo for texture, added a few extensions, and let the parts fall where they may. “We’re entering a transitional time in beauty where things seem to be much simpler. Women can’t complain anymore that they can’t do it,” he noted, adding with a smile, “which means there are no excuses anymore!”

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde / Indigitalimages.com

Wing Women: A Breakdown of the Beauty Look at Atelier Versace

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versace-atelier“Donatella said she wanted to do something different,” explained face painter Pat McGrath. “She wanted couture-modern, but also something graphic, aerodynamic, and fun.” McGrath realized this vision via a thick, two-toned wing in peacock teal. To provide dimension, she applied a lighter shade to the center of the lid and swept a darker hue up toward the temple. A delicate veil of shimmer powder, faux fringe, and “tons of mascara on top lashes only” completed the eyes. The rest of the face remained neutral: Groomed brows, light contouring on perfect skin, and a pale lip balanced out the dramatic shadow. Ditto for nails, which were “natural pale” but ultra-shiny.

The hair was high-gloss, too. “This chignon is very un-Donatella,” conceded hair guru Guido Palau. To lend topknots edge and structure, the pro employed Redken Hardwear gel to shape models’ strands. He then moved the classic style closer to punk territory by using Forceful 23 hairspray and ironing the bottom few inches into a geisha-style flourish. Stella Tennant stood out and received a customized look sans extensions. “Along with the makeup, it’s very rock ‘n’ roll,” noted Palau. “This is a strong woman.”

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde / Indigitalimages.com

The Summer Buzz Cut Seen at Christopher Kane

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buzz-cutThere are days that I wake up and just want to end the endless battle of bed head by picking up my boyfriend’s buzzer in lieu of a brush. (I imagine Britney Spears experienced a similar morning back in 2007.) One model who’s taken the pixie trend to an entirely new—and minimalistic—level is Alina Levichkina, who is featured in Christopher Kane’s latest Resort lookbook. Paired with the designer’s floral motifs and Day-Glo parade of neon lace, her no-frills crop provides a nice juxtaposition to the unconventional-but-still-feminine clothes. I’m adding this catwalker to the list of ladies—Lupita Nyong’o, Erykah Badu, Demi Moore, Grace Jones, and Natalie Portman among them—who shed a gorgeous new light on losing every inch of length.

Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Kane

Mile-Long Locks Materialize at Moschino

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Dreadlocks are nothing new—they were worn by ancient civilizations in Africa and Asia, and the style is closely tied (if not intrinsic) to the Rastafarian movement. Celebrities (such as Lady Gaga and Lauryn Hill) and designers even commandeered the look for the red carpet and the runway. Hairstylist Sam McKnight created two versions for Chanel: one in 2012 and the other for Fall 2014. And only hours ago Jeremy Scott sent his own towering iteration down Moschino’s menswear catwalk. Models like Lindsey Wixson, Leomie Anderson, and Soo Joo Park sported piled-up twists and belly-button-grazing braids by pro Paul Hanlon, along with bikinis emblazoned with the world’s flags and soda-pop-themed sweatshirts. We like to think of the hair at Scott’s show much like his designs: tradition turned on its head.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com