45 posts tagged "Alexander Wang"
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.
The supermodel surprise that caused more than a few oohs and ahs backstage at Alexander Wang last season was notably missing for Spring, save for a catwalk cameo from Erin Wasson. But there was still plenty of shock value in the catacombs of Pier 94. Following the Kristen Stewart affair scandal that dragged her name through the international tabloids, Liberty Ross was getting ready for the runway; then there were those strips of scalp tape.
“It’s severe and simple-looking,” Guido Palau suggested of the pieces of black—and, in some cases, glow-in-the-dark white—electrical adhesive he stuck to slicked-down middle parts. “It looks more futuristic and takes [the style] to another level so it’s not too simple,” he continued of the accessory he added to a classically placed low ponytail that he prepped with Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow Dry Lotion, adding a slight bend to the lengths with Sultra’s The Bombshell oval curling iron. Enhancing the modern, otherworldly feel were fingers painted with two coats of Dune, the neutral beige that is part of Wang’s latest collaboration with Sally Hansen (which also includes White Out, a sheer alabaster), and about ten sets of bleached brows, purposely lightened by L’Atelier de Laurie’s Laurie Foley, and modeled by the show’s blond closers including Iselin Steiro, Magdalena Frackowiak, and Daria Strokous.
The makeup was “bold, strong, and sexy”—words we imagine Diane Kendal has all but memorized after seven-plus seasons of building up Wang’s signature “boyish” brows and not much else. Her focus was on arches again this season. Using NARS Eyeshadow in Blondie or Bali to create depth and thickness after treating complexions to a slathering of NARSskin Optimal Brightening Concentrate and a light coat of its Sheer Glow Foundation, Kendal dusted the high points of models’ faces with its new-for-Spring Light Reflecting Setting Powder. Simulating a slight flush with NARS Blush in Zen, she continued, contouring lids with its Cream Eyeshadow in Cayenne, a rich milk chocolate. Then Kendal did something that is gaining popularity for Spring: She skipped the mascara altogether, because glossy black lashes “make you look more pedestrian and normal,” she said. And the intrigue mounts.
There are t-minus four weeks until New York fashion week gets under way, and already we’ve got some breaking backstage beauty news for you. After a longstanding partnership with MAC, it appears as though Alexander Wang has chosen NARS as his makeup sponsor for Spring 2013. What does it all mean at a show where the words “boyish” and “brows” often come into play? That Wang’s favorite face painter, Diane Kendal, will likely be relying on a slew of NARS’ expert brown and mauve pigments and pencils when she reinterprets Wang’s flair for “that balance between sexy and androgynous” for Spring. Stay tuned.
It was hard to miss Gisele at Alexander Wang yesterday, what with the cavalcade of photographers that followed her around as she moved from hair to makeup to dressing room. But another supe walked among those of us backstage at Pier 94, albeit one that was considerably more difficult to recognize. A straight-haired Shalom Harlow sat in face painter Diane Kendal’s chair but without her signature ringlets; we had to do a double take before making a positive ID. Harlow felt just as anonymous with her freshly blown-out strands. “I do not to both,” she said of straight versus texturized styles. “I prefer the way that God made me, which is curly.” Turns out the statuesque brunette whose cheekbones are truly something to behold in person has plenty to say on the subject. “Being a curly-haired girl is kind of like trying to learn how to tame a hurricane—it’s a force of nature,” Harlow joked of learning how to manage her mane. “I have a whole thing that I do, but it took me 20 years to figure it out. Now I know I should only wash my hair once a week, which, to some people who have straight, limp, oily hair, may sound disgusting, but that’s all my hair needs.” A devotee of Chaz Dean’s line of WEN cleansing conditioners and a seaweed-based shampoo she picked up at Serge Nromant’s salon in L.A, Harlow cites hair masks as her big curly-girl staple. “It’s a total must. I’d like to say I do it once a week, but that’s kind of a lie. I probably do it twice a month.” (She like Normant’s Meta Morphosis Hair Repair Treatment.)
Otherwise, the catwalking legend revealed that she never, ever diffuses—”I bought myself one of those hair salon three-pronged infrared heat lamps. It sits in the corner of my room. It sort of looks like a lamp and kinda goes unnoticed”—and she always believes in the “hair fairies.” “A lot of curly-haired girls are too afraid to brush their hair, but I find that if I brush my hair at night, then the next morning, it gets a little bed-tousled—like freshly fucked hair.”
While Alexander Wang will be Harlow’s one and only NYFW appearance (“I couldn’t refuse an invitation from [him]. I like his approach to femininity. I feel like he would dress Athena,” she gushed about the designer), Shalom did let us in on another little surprise she’s got in store for the season: “You will see me in Europe.” We sure will.