42 posts tagged "Backstage Reviews"
The women that walked Chanel Pre-Fall last night wore their war paint well—baring cheeks, lids, and temples that were burnished with gold and silver cross-hatching, inky black mascara and liner on top lashes only, and natural, pink-toned lips. To complement the makeup created by Peter Philips, Sam McKnight tucked double-C stamped feathers into select models’ wind-tousled low ponytails, while others sported a Lady Gaga (the early years)-style bow comprised of actual strands. Who knew playing cowboys and Indians could be so chic? Well, I suppose Karl had an idea.
Rag & Bone looked rather sporty for Pre-Fall 2014, incorporating racer stripes, mesh, and leather into its black and white collection. To complete the athletic apparel, the designers added an accessory that is perhaps a precursor to what we’ll see on the ice (worn by figure skaters) at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi: scrunchies. This isn’t the first time the extravagant hair ties have made an appearance on the runway—they showed up at Marc Jacobs in Spring 2010 and at Ashish for Spring 2013. Carrie Bradshaw may have made this astute observation on Sex and the City many moons ago, “[Women wear scrunchies] in the bathroom maybe, when they’re washing their faces…No woman who works at W magazine and lives on Perry Street would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie,” but times, they are a-changin’. If Birkenstocks can make a comeback among the street-style set, anything is possible.
The look at Victoria’s Secret hasn’t changed much in the eighteen years since Angels in lacy underwear and million-dollar bras captured the world’s attention in more than 185 countries, but it’s the subtleties, hair pro Orlando Pita explained, that make all the difference. “In the past we’ve done a dry, sandy, beachy texture, but this year it’s shiny and glossy,” he said. While this may appear like a minor change to the naked eye, it makes a major impact on high-def cameras.
For face painter Dick Page, he aimed to make the girls look a bit more “scruffy,” which caught the attention of one of the executive producers of the fashion show. (Scruffy and sexy might not normally go hand in hand, but when it comes to Page, you have to trust that the finished product will be spot-on.) During the huddle with both beauty gurus, last year’s look was discussed: Lipstick should give way to a more balm-y, just bitten mouth; the shadow should be a bit more smudgy (and therein lies the scruff); and absolutely no glitter should be used.
To get the glistening waves, Pita prepped the strands with Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Body & Hold Volumizing Mousse and blew them dry with a round, vented ceramic brush from ghd to build body. Next, he glued in multiple levels of extensions—opting for a tone that played up the lightest shade seen in each model’s roots. “Dark hair, especially, can look really dense on television; this [trick] gives it depth and makes it look more natural,” he said. The ends were razored to approximately each girl’s natural length, and strands were misted liberally with So Sexy Style Hold & Finish Hairspray. Using his signature technique (where the middle of the hair is wrapped under and over the barrel of a curling iron, in this case a 1.5 inch version—leaving the ends out), Pita created loose curls before finger combing and finishing with more hair spray. To get the look at home, however, he suggests using an easier-to-wield flatiron, like the forthcoming tri-zone styler from ghd. As for the part, there was great debate as to whether it should be in the middle or slightly off center, but the final decision was to follow the way each model’s hair naturally fell—keeping their individuality intact. (If you’re wondering, Karlie Kloss will be maintaining her signature bob.)
“I’ve been given a very strict directive, but I’m going to fuck with it like I do,” Page said of the makeup. After the recent death of Lou Reed and listening to The Velvet Underground & Nico, the master of maquillage came up with the “scruffy Angel” concept. To achieve it, he used a black-brown liner pencil on the inner rim and ran it imperfectly along the top lashes before smudging the pigment up and over the lid. To intensify the outer corners, Page dusted the dark chocolate shade from the VS Makeup Eye Shadow Quad in Eye Contact in a “V” shape, then applied the shimmery gold color over the inner half of the eye to catch the light. Instead of traditional blush, he warmed up Color Drama Lipstick in Taken on the inside of his forearm and used a cosmetic wedge to apply it to cheeks (a similar method was employed at Narcisco Rodriguez this past season). “I want them to look like they’ve had a really good shag, or anything else unorthodox that would make you pink in the face…like excitable shopping,” Page quipped. The skin was then layered with a sheer foundation using a brush—allowing the color to come through much like a natural flush. “I want to have final control over the complexion,” he said of his approach. Color Drama Lipstick in True (for models walking in the Pink portion of the show) or Flawless (worn by the rest of the girls) was pressed onto lips, then top lashes were coated with Volume Lift Mascara in black, and brows were lightly defined with a pencil as a finishing touch.
The only things left to complete this slightly undone Angel: wings and sass. “This show is probably the closest you get to real modeling, where the girls are truly animating the clothes,” said Page. Or in this case, the lack thereof.
Alexander McQueen’s woman is never a wallflower and always a warrior, hair pro Guido Palau explained, fitting all forty models with metal helmets (designed by both Sarah Burton and himself). And similar to the many wigs we saw for Spring 2014, the armor was meant to provide “instant character” and “unify,” rather than reference a certain period—citing everything from Tron to twenties bobs as an inspiration for the final shape. Since the “head jewelry” was one-size-fits-all, Palau slicked back strands using Redken Hardwear 16 Super Strong Gel and pinned sponges in various places to prevent anything from wobbling on the runway.
With Jean-Michel Basquiat serving as one of the references, face painter Peter Philips perhaps looked to the artist’s early days, when he dabbled in graffiti on the Lower East Side of New York City, and blasted hairlines with Fardel water-based black pro paint using an air-brush system. “I wanted to create a shadow that would connect the face to the helmet and make the models more anonymous,” he said, also noting the Maasai people and how he aimed to create a tribelike effect. And while Philips said he’d normally describe the house muse as a “nonexistent girl,” this season she retained a sense of reality, as the skin was kept natural in lieu of porcelain doll- or alien-like complexions. “They’re warriors, but not space warriors,” he said of the finished product, bringing the fantastical McQueen woman slightly (and I reiterate, slightly) back down to earth.
“We’re using theatrical contours in a very minimal way,” face painter Pat McGrath said of the makeup at Valentino, calling upon references like Maria Callas in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1969 silver-screen adaptation of Medea. “It’s about building and structuring the face with light.” Similar to a trick often used onstage, McGrath swathed the top half of the face in a pale foundation, then used a highlighter on the inner corners of the eyes, cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, and chin. She ran a nude pencil along the waterlines to cancel any redness, washed lids with a light dusting of contour powder, and dabbed concealer lightly onto lips. A milder version of the metallic brows seen at Christian Dior also showed up here, with arches being coated in a shimmery gold cream.
Hairstylist Guido Palau took a more austere approach to the Valentino woman. “She’s still very beautiful, but more severe than usual,” he explained. He began by blowing strands smooth with Redken Satinwear 02 and making a crisp line down the center from forehead to crown. Next, he teased the area where the parting ended to build volume. Two panels of hair were set aside on either side of the face before placing the ornate leather headband provided by the house on each model’s head. Then the length was gathered into a low, clean ponytail and the two front pieces were pulled back over the ears, wrapped around the elastic, doused in hair spray, and set with heat. Not a single bobby pin was used (or at least visible), making for an impeccable and seamless finish.
“Opera was [once] the pop music of the day, so we were trying to make that modern,” elaborated McGrath. As a classic aria echoed through the Jardin des Tuileries, it was possible to imagine this look making an appearance not only at Lincoln Center, but also on the red carpet—worn by the likes of front-row fixture Ciara.