21 posts tagged "Alexander McQueen"
Guido Palau may be most well-known for his work with hair. He straightens it, curls it, teases it, twists it, and ties it up into all manner of updos at the shows each season, thus setting trends for months to come. But a little-known fact about the Redken creative consultant is that he moonlights as an accessories collaborator. “The head treatment we came up with was a beekeeper—bees, life, sexuality—that was the brief,” Palau explained backstage at Alexander McQueen, emphasizing that “There’s no hair [here].” There was, however, an elaborate veil/hat hybrid that Palau and McQueen designer Sarah Burton worked on together. “It evolved after I did the Met,” Palau elaborated of his relationship with Burton that saw him create a series of masks—crafted out of lace, leather, fur, and even feathers—for the museum’s heralded exhibition on Lee McQueen, which were meant to illustrate the fact that the late designer’s dresses often became a part of Palau’s hair looks. Palau has made a point to honor that legacy since Burton took over, turning out Spring 2012′s gorgeous lace masks and Fall 2012′s silver see-through visors and platinum blond wigs that caused a stir on the runway—and later on the street-style circuit. “When I come in with Sarah, we create a character. She shows me the clothes and if it involves hair, it does; and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” he continued, seemingly content to throw a little Redken Hardwear 16 Super-Strong Gel onto strands, create a hair wrap, and simply cover it with a wig cap. So who is the McQueen character for Spring 2013? “She’s empowered but feminine at the same time,” Palau surmised, pointing out the sexually charged black vinyl that he and Burton chose for the headpieces, which sat on top of the black wig caps. “She’s not a shrinking violet,” he added—and for those of us looking to be wowed at the end of a very long month of shows, that’s a very good thing.
As one of this season’s new brunettes, Patricia van der Vliet has been through the hair-dye ringer. Just days before the shows started, the natural blonde went a shade of rich coffee for the New York shows, only do be dyed even darker—and cut shorter—by Guido Palau at the end of the week. Last night at Alexander McQueen, Palau gave her yet another new persona: platinum blond Hitchcock heroine turned manga cartoon character. “It’s so fun to see yourself transform,” van der Vliet told us backstage. A willing participant, the Dutch stunner is actually all for the constant makeovers. “It makes my job so much more interesting; being the pretty blonde gets boring.” While van der Vliet admits that the icy flaxen wig she got to wear at McQueen was amongst her favorite Fall looks—”I was trying to be Storm from the X-Men for Halloween and this is what I should’ve done,” she joked—she’s partial to the twenties-era flapper cut and color that she got back in February. “It’s so much easier, and I so enjoy being the tough girl,” she says of the style that admittedly brings out her blue eyes and bone structure more than her former golden glory. “I’m definitely going to keep it for—now,” the catwalker has decided. “But I’ll have to see what happens when Spring/Summer comes around.” It’s all up to the fashion gods, of course, but our money’s on a red resurgence. Until September…
Guido Palau’s hair color statement of late has leaned overwhelmingly towards the dark arts; after taking Kasia Struss rich chestnut brown last season, he broke out a deep espresso hue last month at Calvin Klein, notably dyeing the flaxen-haired Patricia van der Vliet a shade of near black. But the man who brought icy blond back in a major way for Spring 2010 still has a little bit of a platinum streak left in him. “I was thinking of Village of the Damned,” Palau said backstage at Alexander McQueen, where he referenced the 1960′s sci-fi horror flick as well as Hitchcock’s Vertigo when discussing the white-gold bobs he gave all 34 models.
“Sarah [Burton] lets me play around with the whole area,” Palau said of everything above the neck, which he set to “depersonalizing” this season so as not to conflict with Burton’s personality-filled collection. “It’s very manga-feeling,” the coiffing star continued of the uniform wigs he razor-cut and then heavily spritzed with Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray to mold strands away from the hairline. To further the futuristic effect he was after, the Redken creative consultant affixed a reflective visor that he designed in collaboration with Burton to each style, explaining that he had been looking through Japanese cartoons—”all the Speed Racers”—and wanted to re-create that “helmet” shape with the hair. “I tried couture hair because ideally you want the hair to be done,” he said, but ultimately the weird and wonderful won out over the demure and dainty. “The head has to be dynamic [here],” he affirmed.
With much of the face under cover, Peter Philips’ job was pretty easy. “It’s just foundation,” he said bluntly, brushing on a full-coverage application of Chanel Mat Lumière Fluid Makeup or its Pro Lumière Professional Finish Makeup, leaving both the brows and lips visible rather than blocking them out. “You don’t see the face, but you feel the face,” he continued, mentioning that the goal was to make the girls look statuesque so nothing could distract from the clothes. “There’s not a gimmick; it’s purity,” he explained—a mantra that guided manicurist Marian Newman as well. To make tips look “über-done,” Newman layered a soft white lacquer on top of a beige sheer, the second French manicure sighting of the season—and a telltale sign that after the great nail art boom of 2011, the politics of polish have come full circle.
Nude nails made a comeback at the Fall shows and continued to dominate more outlandish, allout nail art experiments for Spring—with a few notable exceptions, that is. Missoni and McQueen got minxed and Sophy Robson etched individual hieroglyphics onto tips backstage at Topshop Unique, while Jin Soon christened the “slim silhouette” backstage at Prabal Gurung. But as the battle between neutral and next-level manicures raged on, we noticed another trend rearing its pretty polished head: matching lips and tips. Before Mary Quant started picking nail lacquers according to clothes rather than lipsticks in the 1960s (the British designer revolutionized more than just hem lines), it was all about corresponding pout and polish colors. Both Jason Wu and Donna Karan reprised the tradition with classic crimsons and deep burgundies at their shows in September—and makeup artist Maud Laceppe and manicurist Michina Koide have modernized it in the new issue of Numéro with an electric blue mouth and fingers lacquered in the same powdery shade. We’ve personally moved on from the-crazier-the-better varnishing acts, but we’re always plenty happy to give credit to creativity where credit is due. Would you do blue?
If the lace masks at Sarah Burton’s show for Alexander McQueen looked familiar, it’s because anyone who made it to the wildly successful exhibition celebrating the house’s late namesake designer at the Met this summer has seen something like them before. “The idea came from the masks we created for the McQueen exhibit,” confirmed Guido Palau, who dreamt up another series of similar headgear with Burton for Spring. “People expect a little fantasy from this show,” Palau pointed out, which he delivered by weaving tight, half-inch-thick rings of braids all around models’ heads. “It’s like a wig wrap, but I wanted it to look more embellished,” he explained—which happened to be the complete opposite of Peter Philips’ M.O. “It’s almost like a sculpture,” the famed face painter said of the full-body muting technique he employed, applying a continuous wash of Chanel Pro Lumiere foundation on faces, limbs—anywhere skin was showing. “It’s all the same color; we wanted to make sure everything was covered,” he said, taking the season’s monochrome makeup trend to the next level. While Philips finger-pressed foundation into lips as well, there was one area of the face that he enhanced: the brows. “We tried bleaching them, but it looked too alien,” he said, opting instead to flatten arches, coating them in the same latex-based glue he used only a few hours earlier at Chanel. “It puts some life back inside those masks.”
The real embellishment was left to Minx co-founders Dawn Lynch-Goodwin and Janice Jordan. Back in London, manicurist Marian Newman told us that Burton had given the women four words to use for inspiration when conceiving a series of different nail overlays for her to choose from for the show; today came the big reveal. “Water, mother-of-pearl, shell, and sea foam,” she said, applying the six winning designs to models’ tips. Using three different bases of pink, beige, and ivory, Jordan and Lynch-Goodwin layered different combinations of Minx in holographic gold and silver on top to create “organic, random” layered patterns. “It took over 1,000 man hours,” Jordan proclaimed. If the crowd at Centquatre wanted fantasy, they no doubt left satisfied.