43 posts tagged "Alexander Wang"
Throwback Thursday is a column on Beauty Counter in which we pore over the pages of our favorite glossies from decades past in search of a little modern-day makeup and hair inspiration.
The Moment: Lived-in Locks
The Motivation: Remember the days when your mother told you to brush your hair before leaving the house, and a perfectly coiffed ‘do was the look du jour? Well, those days are long gone. Never has there been a time more obsessed with looking undone (Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Burberry, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, and Bottega Veneta—cases in point). Our inspiration? The above shot from a 1989 issue of French Glamour. The French have always been masters at achieving the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-look-like-this hair, and if the carefree strands we’ve seen on the New York, London, and Milan catwalks are anything to go by, we’re bound to see the style in its natural habitat: Paris.
The designer put his stamp on pretty much everything that walked down the runway—emblazoning his logo on the backs of dresses and even leather gloves. But when it came to the makeup (or lack thereof) Wang didn’t aim to make a statement. Instead, he let the girls’ “raw” beauty shine through, explained face painter Diane Kendal. As far as products and tools are concerned, all of them fit into one Instagram frame. NARS Skin Aqua Gel Oil-Free Moisturizer gave skin a slight texture, a clear balm was dabbed on lips, concealer was only used to camouflage blemishes or redness, and brows were brushed up but not filled in. “The collection is very sexy. He used [men's] shirt fabric [throughout] and trouser material for skirts. We wanted to keep that masculine element in the face,” she said.
The hair required slightly more work, with the nineties grunge period being referenced yet again and an early Claudia Schiffer as the inspiration. “It’s not sexy beach hair,” explained Guido Palau, but more of an easy, natural look. He used two products from Redken: Quick Tease 15 to bulk up roots and Powder Refresh 01 to lend a matte finish to strands. A large curling iron added movement—Palau instructed his team to wrap the hair around the barrel, but not use the clamp, to create loose waves before a final finger-comb.
The chalky beige shade on the nails, a combo of Essie Sand Tropez and Matte About You top coat, brought back memories of the infamous clay-coated hair from Spring 2011. Lucky for the hairstylists at the following show, things were kept a bit cleaner all around this season.
Many of the big questions surrounding the Fall shows were answered this morning when Alexander Wang presented his first collection as the newly named creative director of the house of Balenciaga. How’d he fair? Pretty well, where this site is concerned. Our own Nicole Phelps called the debut a “sure-footed start” for the man who replaced the inimitable Nicolas Ghesquière. But what about the man who replaced the inimitable Guido Palau? After years of helming the hair here, Palau was curiously missing from the backstage fray, replaced by strands superstar, Julien d’Ys. An editorial mainstay who is on constant rotation in American Vogue and whose backstage engagements are typically limited to Comme des Garçons shows, d’Ys was called up by Wang for his Paris premiere to deliver a sleek hair wrap accessorized with a gauzy black swathe of fabric. It was a coiffing coup of sorts, made that much more interesting by the fact that Palau created nearly the same look at Nina Ricci a mere matter of hours later, albeit with a softer finish and a Peter Copping-designed black knit band. What does it all mean? Not all that much, save for the fact that Wang and Palau are likely on a similar wavelength, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the Redken creative consultant has been charged with hairstyling duties backstage at Wang’s New York show essentially since he started out six years ago. It merely adds up to a funny bit of coincidence that has mounted some extra intrigue, as if this show needed any more.
Fall 2013 marks a season of firsts for Alexander Wang. In addition to showing his debut collection for the house of Balenciaga in Paris next month, he also moved his namesake show to a brand-new financial district venue in New York. It may be a new year, but backstage, it was pretty much the same Wang. “It’s still his girl,” Diane Kendal contended. “There’s no real color in the face.” In its place was NARS Single Eyeshadow in Lhasa, a steely gray, that Kendal dragged through the crease of the lid, using its forthcoming greasy Eye Paint in Transversal, a dark slate, to beef up brows and diffuse the shadow into a soft wash for a “hooded effect.”
While a dearth of catwalking superstar surprises generated a bit of backstage buzz among a crowd used to seeing the likes of Gisele Buündchen, Shalom Harlow, Carmen Kass, and Liberty Ross take to Wang’s runway, the Ukrainian stunner who opened his show last season still appeared to be very much on his mind. “It’s based on Irina’s hair color,” Guido Palau said of Irina Kravchenko’s henna-treated “cognac” strands that he implemented on every girl with a custom-dyed ponytail extension, courtesy of the Whittemore House’s Larry Raspanti. “Alex really wanted a pop of color,” Palau explained as he pulled lengths into a sleek updo, coating the top section of hair with Redken Hardwear 16 Super Strong Sculpting Hair Gel as he went. “It’s quite futuristic,” he continued of the two-tone style, which served to unify the models into a roving tribe of Irinas. “The fakeness of it clones them a bit,” Palau added of the color’s effect. Then, right before models hit the runway, he coated razor-cut ends with Redken’s forthcoming Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine Intense for a multidimensional glossiness, which was evident even underneath the medieval-hoods-come-hats that models like Julia Nobis, Jamie Bochert, and Juliana Schurig wore down the runway.
Following two seasons of platinum blonde loyalty and a Fall outing that made shades of deep brunette the runway hair hue du jour, the Spring 2013 shows are at a little bit of a color impasse. Castings have been relatively equal opportunity, with a lot of designers—Alexander Wang and Roberto Cavalli to name a few—requesting deliberately dark and light-haired models for the corresponding black and white sections of their presentations; Marc Jacobs, who ushered in the graphic trend with his Edie Sedgwick sixties salute, went as far as to have Laurie Foley take models black or white-gold, accordingly. Which is why it’s been hard to miss Irina Kravchenko. The Ukrainian newcomer who, despite opening Wang’s show, had a slow start in New York is killing it in Europe—not least because she remains one of the only redheads in this season’s catwalking crew. After staring at her from afar at Prada, Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Marni, and Roberto Cavalli this week, we finally managed to get the scoop on those gorgeous ginger-auburn locks—despite some initial trouble understanding one another (beauty is an international language, don’t you know). “It’s blonde naturally,” Kravchenko revealed after we maniacally pointed and gestured to her hair (then ours). The word “salon” helped solicit the revelation that she has no need for one, as she does her dyeing herself with—get this—”chenna.” Henna? “Chenna—from grass,” Kravchenko reiterated. That’s right; those rich, show-stopping strands are the result of an at-home application of the plant that has long been used to dye fabrics, skin, nails—and hair. The style set’s superstar colorists are no doubt chomping at the bit to get their hands on this one.