“She’s a little naughty—she likes to break the rules a bit,” coiffing star Orlando Pita said backstage at Derek Lam of the designer’s sixties-era, college coed muse. What kind of rules does she like to break? The decade’s rigid coiffing norms, for starters. “It’s a little bouffant, but not perfectly done,” Pita explained of the high hair, which he slathered with Phyto Professional Intense Volume Mousse and spritzed with its Workable Holding Spray before blowing dry, back-combing, and crafting two different variations on the style, including a faux bob and a low, messy ponytail. “There’s no uniformity,” Pita reaffirmed.
“She has a twisted mind,” Estée Lauder creative makeup director Tom Pecheux said, adding to the character profile. Like Pita, Pecheux chose to keep things almost perfect—creating a flawless base with Lauder’s forthcoming Invisible Fluid Makeup and carving out an “oval” eye using the burgundy and black shades from its new-for-fall, limited-edition Pure Color Eye Shadow Palette, which he emphasized with black mascara on the top lashes and brown on the bottom using his brand-new, dual-ended Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara. Cheeks were given a pretty wash of rosy-beige pigment with a mix of Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Blush in Alluring Rose and Brazen Bronze, which was dusted below the apples of the cheeks, rather than on top, to slightly contour and prevent a feeling that was “too teen,” according to Pecheux. Lips were painted a similar shade using a blend of its Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Crystal Pink and its Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Vanilla Truffle that Pecheux matted down—as he’s been wont to do this week—with a finger patting of white powder. But there was one slightly “off” element that helped convey the bad-girl directive Lam had given his glam squad: Pecheux drew lashes onto the skin below the lower eyelid so that the models looked like dolls—”twisted dolls,” he asserted.
According to Redken creative consultant Guido Palau, Victoria Beckham is still creating her image. “Her image has been her, but she’s really moving away from that, and over the next few seasons it will become more apparent.” There’s still a ton of Victoria in everything Beckham does, though—which is to say that her special brand of streamlined sex appeal continues to be inherent to her collections, their beauty components included.
To complement her Fall offering, Palau opted for very simple, minimal hair, as we’ve seen him do at shows like Alexander Wang already this week. “This woman is much more rich, much more uptown,” he said, comparing the two shows, both of which included blow-outs with Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion and extensions that were razor-cut into a uniform, blunt length. The key difference was that Beckham’s models got deep side parts and a super-flat, glossy finish. “It’s dead, dead flat,” Palau reiterated, coating the sides of the head with Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist and smoothing out the hairline with its Hardwear 16 Super Strong Sculpting Gel for “a little flash in front.”
“You don’t need to build hair up for glamor,” he insisted—although adding a gorgeous, velvety red lip to the equation certainly helps. “[Victoria] wanted the girls to look really strong and beautiful but still fresh,” makeup artist Diane Kendal explained, prepping skin with a combination of Sunday Riley Juno Serum and its Good Genes, which she topped off with Riley’s brand-new Tinted Primer for a veil of light coverage. As for that perfect crimson mouth, Kendal precisely lined lips before using a brush to paint on strokes of Riley’s new Lipstick in Persuasive. To add intensity and “a more modern feel,” Kendal dusted Riley’s Soft Focus Loose Powder in Transparent Light onto the pigment, topping that off with a sprinkle of bright orange blush. “It gives a little more of an edge,” Kendal said of the matted-down mouth, a trend that’s becoming an early favorite among face painters in New York.
If the editor response at Joseph Altuzarra’s Fall show was any indication, real women are going to be pretty excited to wear his clothes next season—and that was exactly what hairstylist Paul Hanlon was banking on. “It’s like what an everyday girl on the street would wear,” he said backstage of the corresponding hair look he designed for the occasion. Making sure that models’ strands had none of the volume indicative of a more fussy ‘do, Hanlon set about creating “skinny hair,” prepping with Frederic Fekkai Coiff Anti-Frizz Silkening Cream, which he applied from the roots through the tips to really weigh hair down so it had an “old feel.” If models’ natural texture was too thick, Hanlon went so far as to pin down a braid that he hid underneath a top section to thin things out. Spritzing Fekkai’s Coiff Oceanique Tousled Wave Spray through the lengths for a slight texture, Hanlon completed the look with a bit of Coiff Nonchalant Piecing and Forming Wax that he rubbed into ends for pieceyness.
The Altuzarra girl got her requisite dose of “punk, grunge couture,” courtesy of Tom Pecheux, who set about crafting “minimal but powerful” makeup. Eschewing foundation, the face painter opted to use a lot of moisturizer instead, massaging a series of emollient lotions into individual complexions. In another rare move, Pecheux also skipped the heavy brow that made a splash here for Spring. “We didn’t want the girls to look like soldiers,” he said. Instead, the makeup artist focused his attention on a double-lined eye. Using MAC Chromaline in Black Black, Pecheux traced the upper lashes with an elongated stroke that extended toward the temple in a straight line—”there’s no wing, so it’s not retro,” he emphasized—before adding a corresponding line on top that started at the inner corner of the eye, at the nose bridge. As a finishing touch, Pecheux smudged an iridescent brownish green-blue pigment on the inner corners of models’ eyes to add a hint of shadow and shine for the runway.
“Did you see Gisele?!” came the flurry of questions when we arrived backstage at Alexander Wang before the designer’s Fall show. And while we hadn’t spied the Brazilian supe on our initial survey of Pier 94, we did see Frankie Rayder. And Carmen Kass. And Karolina Kurkova. Is that Shalom Harlow? (It was.)
Wang recruited a gaggle of big girls this season, but they were given the same hair and makeup as their lesser-known catwalking compatriots. “She would like to wear her hair as it is, so I have to convince her to wear it a little less beachy. It just takes a bit of gentle persuasion,” Redken creative consultant Guido Palau said of Bündchen, whose sunny gold locks were getting Wang’s signature downtown cool girl makeover. “Within the simplicity, there is a point of view,” Palau insisted of the straight style, which was prepped with Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion and split down the middle. “The exact part gives a lot of strength to the shape,” he continued as he coated long, blunt-cut extensions with its Outshine 01 Anti Frizz Polishing Milk and tucked the lengths behind models’ ears—Gisele’s included.
Mrs. Tom Brady was less accommodating with the makeup and seemed content to apply most of it herself. But she followed makeup artist Diane Kendal’s lead fairly closely. “Keeping it quite boyish is the major thing [at Alexander Wang],” Kendal emphasized. “It’s all about finding that balance between sexy and androgynous,” which she did with contours, sculpting well-hydrated skin with MAC Pro Sculpting Cream in Coffee Walnut, which she also blended over lids. Kendal then added highlights on the tops of cheekbones, down both sides of the nose, and along the cupid’s bow of lips with MAC Pro Sculpting Cream in Accentuate, a subtle champagne. Strong, straight brows—a classic Kendal move—finished the look.
Also on view was the latest installment of Wang’s new nail polish collaboration with Sally Hansen that debuted last season. Models wore two coats of Bandage, a cool beige. “He actually gives them fabric swatches,” manicurist Jin Soon revealed of the inspiration for the three colors in the range, which include Pumice, a green gray, and Ion, a dove gray.
“The casting’s really considered, so I thought the hair should be, too,” hairstylist Paul Hanlon said backstage at Prabal Gurung yesterday, where the designer’s “uncursed”-themed show, which explored the ideas of heaven and hell through periods of black, then blue, then gold and white, necessitated a similarly linear coif. “The girls at the beginning have dark, dark hair but towards the end of the show, it’s almost white blond,” Hanlon explained, prepping strands with Tigi Catwalk Curl Collection Curlesque Strong Mousse, blowing them dry, then adding a hit of its Your Highness Weightless Shine Spray, section by section, for a high-gloss finish. “It’s like Sissy Spacek—flat, narrow hair that’s very pure,” he added, fashioning middle parts that kept the hair deliberately graphic so that it didn’t conflict with the embellishments in Gurung’s clothes.
While Hanlon took the designer’s other influence, the Japanese blue rose, as a green light to mimic Asian hair—”it’s very straight; there’s no movement”—makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury chose a much more literal translation of the prized bloom, playing with turquoise, teal, and cobalt shadows and liners for what she deemed a “hypnotic” eye. “There’s always a story here,” Tilbury said, referencing last season’s “intoxicating” tri-colored lips before throwing out Fall’s makeup references, which included Avatar and scarab beetles. Prepping skin with MAC Face and Body Foundation for an “innocent, fresh” finish, Tilbury used blue and green shades from its forthcoming eye shadow palette in Delft, as well as its Pigment in Blue Brown and its Eyeshadow in Fresh Water, to create a wash of iridescent color. MAC Technakohl Liner in Smoothblue was used to rim both the upper and lower lashline. “There’s a dual tonality,” Tilbury said of the corresponsing flashes of aquamarine and teal, which she described as “precise but very raw” (while examining her team’s handiwork, the flame-haired face painter would proclaim, “more like the feather of a bird of paradise” if she felt the pigment had been applied too angularly). “I don’t want to see a mess—it’s still beauty,” she chirped.
The same blue was echoed in the nails in the form of Blue Rose, one of four new polishes in Prabal Gurung’s continuing collaboration with Sally Hansen. Manicurist Jin Soon coordinated the steely shade with Onyx, a black she gave to the show’s first group of models, and Gilded Lily, a dense gold she applied to its final group, who wore the celestial gowns at the end of Gurung’s show. Ivory Skull, the fourth varnish in the collection, will also be available when the range hits stores in October.