Hairstylist Eugene Souleiman said he didn’t look to the actual collection for inspiration, but instead thought more about the Stella McCartney woman. “There are a lot of florals in this show, and the prints are quite textural and light, so I didn’t want to do anything that bore a resemblance to [those elements],” he explained. The solution: A boy-meets-girl ponytail on fresh strands. “I’m a huge advocate of swamp hair, but the reaction to that this season is something much cleaner,” he said. Using zero product, he added a bit of volume with a round brush and blow-dryer, then made a deep side part, “like an old man’s hairstyle, when he’s trying to comb over a piece of hair to hide something,” Souleiman quipped. The length was tied back at the nape of the neck with a string of black elastic—a method the pro prefers over a band because it keeps the tail “tight and controlled.” Any loose bits that fell out were left alone, as they lent a notion of fragility to the strict style. The end result was a “masculine shape,” described Souleiman, with a soft, free-flowing texture that kept things feminine.
As for the makeup, Pat McGrath said it was “rebellious,” imploring graphic liner to lend some edge. The look was based on a photo McCartney saw of Guinevere Van Seenus in Craig McDean’s new book (Amber, Guinevere, and Kate Photographed by Craig McDean: 1993-2005), for which the face painter had created a winged eye. To make it runway-worthy, McGrath ran a “brown-gray” pencil along the upper lash lines and flicked it out onto the outer corners and pulled it down toward the tear duct—forming sharp points on the diagonal. The lower lashes were also rimmed in the chestnut hue. For intensity, a hand-mixed, liquid version of the liner shade was run over the top. “She’s a stronger, tougher girl this season,” added McGrath. But with the beautifully painted ceilings of the Opera Garnier floating overhead and Sir Paul McCartney sweetly playing the harmonica for his granddaughter backstage, I felt worlds away from the slightly badass image the designer had in mind.
“She’s more intellectual than previous seasons,” hairstylist James Pecis said of the Chloé girl. “This is a woman that’s done and has healthy, expensive hair.” Now, those are three words (“done,” “healthy,” “expensive”) we haven’t heard all season—with organic and slightly grungy textures reigning supreme for Spring 2014. To achieve the sleek and luxurious look, Pecis washed the majority of models’ strands with Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Shampoo and Conditioner in the two tiny sinks backstage (a step necessary for getting the lightness and bounce he desired on the runway). For fullness, he misted TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray from roots to ends and blew hair dry using a paddle brush for smoothness. Extensions were added for extra body before a flat iron was run through thin sections. A precise center part was made with the pointed tip of a rattail comb and set with L’Oréal Elnett hair spray. “It’s the little touches that are going to give the look strength—like a hard, clean line in the middle of the head,” he explained.
In contrast to the hair, however, the makeup by Diane Kendal was par for the course: barely there, but beautiful. She prepped skin with a moisturizer and applied a light-coverage foundation. The top and lower lash lines were rimmed with MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Duck before a cotton swab dipped in moisturizer was used to wipe it off, leaving a shadowy sepia tone behind. The hollows of the cheeks were subtly defined with MAC Pro Sculpting Cream in Copper Beech and the apples topped with Cream Colour Base in Bronze. Kendal added a touch of the sculpting cream in Accentuate (a pale beige) to the tops of cheekbones and just above the brows to catch the light. Similar to the technique used to achieve the foggy leftovers around the eyes, she worked moisturizer over the entire face to produce a “residue” that rendered complexions luminous.
Messages against overfishing were abundant at Kenzo—with No Fish No Nothing scrawled across the doors of the La Cité du Cinéma and a sweatshirt in the collection. The idea was also reflected in the iridescent fabrics (with a sheen similar to that of scales), sunglasses with fish-eye-like baubles that wrapped around ears, an “aquatic sound system” in middle of the catwalk that jolted with every beat, and a floor-to-ceiling waterfall that served as the backdrop for the runway.
To reflect the marine movement, makeup artist Aaron de Mey mimicked the “crest of a wave” by drawing a graphic band of MAC Acrylic Paint in White across the tops of lashes with an angled brush, abruptly ending the line at the outer corners. “It looks like zinc on the lids—[providing] the reverse effect of classic sixties eyeliner,” he said. In addition to oceanic inspiration, de Mey cited Black Flag (a punk band hailing from Hermosa Beach, California): “I experimented with black, but it was too heavy and literal—punk is a feeling of being opposite to everyone else, and the blunt shape makes it feel more aggressive.” The rest of the face was kept bare, applying concealer only where necessary and dabbing a heavy cream on the tops of cheekbones, chin, and down the bridge of the nose to lend a dewy finish.
To give strands an underwater—yet androgynous—feel, hairstylist Anthony Turner blew them dry using mousse and his fingers for texture, then made a boyish side part and slicked the top section back behind one ear with a wet-look gel. “It’s almost how a boy would grease the side of his hair,” he explained. And in lieu of schools of fish, a gang of tough L.A. girls (similar to the idea at Prada, but with a far more West Coast vibe) served as the pro’s muse. Turner left the length dry, but used a curling iron to create ridges and marks—his interpretation of how women in the street “badly tong” their hair. He topped everything off with a liberal amount of L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium hair spray for added shine and control.
Press-on tips designed by Naomi Yasuda were based with MAC Nail Lacquer in Nocturnelle (an ebony hue) and streaked with Vestral White using a skinny liner brush. The abstract art not only picked up on the patterns at the beginning of the show, but popped against the cobalt, fuchsia, acid yellow, and sea foam green colors splashed across dresses, blazers, midriff-baring tops, minis, and floppy beach hats. If taking a stand looks like this, I’m ready to join the cause.
In contrast to the futuristic-looking golden arches, gilded lids, and flashes of color rimmed along the upper lash lines (more to come on the maquillage later), the hair created by Guido Palau was “classic Dior.” “Raf [Simons] didn’t want to reference a particular era,” the hairstylist explained—so, when in doubt, a simple chignon was made modern with a “boyish” side part and a slick comb-over. Palau used Redken Hardwear 16 (a strong-hold gel) for hold and shape, twisted strands into a low knot, and secured in place near the nape of the neck. Shine Flash 02 was misted all over to mimic the metallic finish created with makeup only inches below.
The mantra of Spring 2014 continued at Lanvin: “Designer’s aren’t so concerned about the normal constraints—they just want it to feel easy and not too thought about,” said mane master Guido Palau. In contrast to the metallic fabrics, precise micro pleats, and oversize necklaces, the hair was kept minimal yet again—with a soft, “slightly broken” low ponytail that loosely swooped across the forehead. “It should feel as if you haven’t tried…which we haven’t,” he added. Strands were blasted with Redken Guts 10 for texture, and Quick Tease 15 (a volumizing spray) was used at the roots so that the finished product would appear more “bed-head-y” than flat.
The same logic applied to the makeup, explained Pat McGrath, who noted Alber Elbaz wanted to mimic how model Jamie Bochert showed up to the fitting. The girls were simply “enhanced” with brown mascara worked into the roots of lashes, a wash of taupe shadow around the eyes, a light touch of highlighter in key places (like the lids, inner corners, Cupid’s bow, and chin), and rose blush dusted across the cheeks. Due to the unusually warm temperatures in Paris this week, McGrath did her best to “mute” the naturally flushed faces of the girls. But despite the steamy backstage conditions, the summery weather seems to have inspired a wave of laid-back looks.