April 21 2014

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43 posts tagged "Alexander Wang"

Backstage At Alexander Wang, The Future Is Bright


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.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

EXCLUSIVE: NYFW Backstage Beauty Alert: NARS X Alexander Wang


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.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Talking “Hair Fairies” With One Of Fashion’s Original Curly Girls


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.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

“Boyish Brows” And Bündchen, Backstage At Alexander Wang


“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.

Photo: Monica Feudi /

The Alexander Wang Girl Takes A Dip For Spring


“You already know the parameters,” Redken creative consultant Guido Palau said backstage at Alexander Wang, referring to the quintessential Alexander Wang girl. “She’s ‘downtown’ or she’s done her hair herself,” he elaborated, highlighting the beauty elements that remain a constant in the Wang archetype. For Spring, Palau added a new “devil-may-care attitude” to the equation in the form of a wet look—make that soaking wet. Saturated strands are becoming an early beauty trend here in New York, turning up at BCBG, Prabal Gurung, Helmut Lang, and just this morning at Victoria Beckham (more on that in a bit). And so it went at Wang, where the sporty inspirations of choice were car racing and motocross. Prepping hair with Redken’s Full Frame 07 All-Over Volumizing Mousse, Palau coated locks from roots to ends before creating a messy center part and rough-drying. Redken’s new All Soft Argan-6 Multi-Care Oil imparted a high-shine aftereffect.

Makeup artist Diane Kendal also took a page out of the Wang beauty book, in which clean skin, greasy eyes, and strong brows are always part of the plotline. “Urban nineties” is how Kendal described the well-moisturized skin she accessorized with MAC’s Eye Kohl in Smolder. As a final touch, Kendal applied MAC Gloss Texture to the center of lids to bring a sense of the dewy and damp to models’ complexions.

There was one totally new beauty element on display yesterday, though, in the form of Alexander Wang’s three-piece nail selection for Sally Hansen. Available in April, the varnishes include Oxblood, a dark bordeaux; Petrol, a steely blue; and Parchment, a sheer cream that was lacquered onto tips for a polished but barely-there finish.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /