August 30 2014

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26 posts tagged "Donna Karan"

All Lacquered Up, Backstage at Donna Karan


donna-karan-crop“It feels a little bit punky, yet at the same time it’s got a futuristic element,” said Charlotte Tilbury of the makeup at Donna Karan’s 30th anniversary show. She began by running MAC’s Eye Kohl in Phone Number (a pewter shade) along the upper and lower waterlines, then smudging it onto the top and bottom lashes. A gunmetal cream shadow was tapped onto the lid, and to “pick up under the lights,” a platinum pigment was blended with Mixing Medium, dabbed around the tear duct, and buffed up toward the crease. For extra sheen, Tilbury glazed over the eyes and tops of the cheekbones with a clear gloss.

The hats created by milliner Stephen Jones inspired the sleek wrapped wet sets. “They’re like the fifties biker caps that Marlon Brando wore in The Wild One…or like Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter,” backstage pro Eugene Souleiman explained. Mimicking the shiny sides and “dusty matte” tops of the headwear, Souleiman sectioned off the hair at the crown, made a side part behind the ear, and began shellacking strands around the base using a tint brush (normally employed to paint on hair color) and gel (lots of it). The mane master continued up and around past the forehead—completing the circle. To lock in the shape, he took a blow dryer to it for 15 minutes. The dry section previously cordoned off was finally swirled and pinned in place, making it look as if the hair was “melting.” “The girls are loving us,” Souleiman said condescendingly of the rock-hard style. Good thing it was the end of the evening, as this was one ‘do that will require some time (and a shower) to unravel.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde/

Throwback Thursday: An Eighties Attempt at Minimalism


Renee Simonsen by Michael Zeppetello, L'Officiel March 1988 - cropThrowback 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 Model: Renée Simonsen

The Moment: Going Back to the Basics

The Motivation: If New York’s Spring 2014 collections are any indication, over-the-top color—with the exception of a statement lip in vibrant shades of orange, pink, and lilac—is taking a backseat to pristine skin and barely there makeup. From Donna Karan to Proenza Schouler to Narciso Rodriguez, an au naturel finish was the goal, and it’s a look that has stood the test of time. When we spotted this image of model Renée Simonsen, we were struck by her fresh face in a time of serious excess (sure, a slightly smoky eye is present, but it doesn’t overpower her porcelain skin and pared-down pout). It seems that even in 1988—when blue eye shadow, rouged cheeks, and frosted lipstick ran rampant—less was more.

Photo: Michael Zeppetello for L’Officiel, 1988; courtesy of .

Backstage at Donna Karan: Bohemian Rhapsody


karlie-klossAlthough there were plenty of supermodels of the moment on the premises (Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, and Hilary Rhoda to name just three), the hair and makeup was inspired by originals like Marisa Berenson and Lauren Hutton. “I haven’t updated [their look] that much, I’ve got to be honest,” said face painter Charlotte Tilbury. She mixed two MAC Face and Body Foundation shades to warm up the skin, applied a burnt amber blush across the cheeks, and used a large, fluffy brush to dust Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder on the temples and points of the face where the sun would naturally hit. The lids were lined with Eye Kohl in Teddy, and a bronze-gold cream shadow was washed around the eyes. To get spiky, seventies fringe, Tilbury curled it “up, up, up,” and then coated each individual lash on top and bottom with a combo of two mascaras—Opulash to build volume, and Haute & Naughty over top to set. The lip color was a blend of beigy pink lipstick and russet-colored gloss.

In contrast to the grungy and raw textures we’ve seen this week, the sleek and straight strands created by Eugene Souleiman were refreshingly minimalist and clean. Since he wanted the hair to “fly,” it was free of styling products—with the exception of hair spray on the pinned-back piece in front. After blowing hair dry with a round brush to stretch and smooth the cuticle, Souleiman ran a flatiron from roots to ends. He used the pointed tip of a rattail comb to devise a section from forehead to crown that was the exact width of the metal barrette and then proceeded to divide it into thinner layers, each doused in hair spray and flattened against the head using a small bristle brush and blow-dryer with a concentrated nozzle. Finally, the simple yet graphic accessory was snapped into place. The end result was easy, sexy, and glamorous.


“Hair Architecture” And A Modern Smoky Eye, Backstage At Donna Karan


“The set is major,” Eugene Souleiman pointed out of the scene at Donna Karan’s Fall show, which featured a sculpture created by her late husband, the artist Stephan Weiss. Its presence was part of an overall return to what makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury called “the Donna Karan DNA,” but it inspired Souleiman in a quite literal way. “It gave me the idea to do something architectural. This is hair architecture, really,” he said of the conical ponytails he designed for the occasion.

Separating a section of hair in the center of the head, Souleiman created an internal ponytail. This was bound with twine before he added a blunt-cut, rounded extension to the base, which he covered with the remaining hair. “We wanted something that was very iconic—new classicism,” he continued of the look that he thought had a dominatrix, “ready-to-wear meets couture” sensibility to it. “There’s a subtlety, though,” he insisted, pointing out that from the front, you just see a hair-sprayed, slicked-back updo, but when you see it from the side, “you go, whoa!”

Tilbury was going for high impact from all angles with the “really greasy” smoky eye she built using MAC Paint Pot in Blackground topped with a swipe of Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream. “It’s a Peter Lindbergh kind of girl, with a modern twist,” she surmised, contouring cheeks with MAC Sculpting Cream in Copper Beach and highlighting the high planes of the face with its sheer, shimmery Cream Colour Base in Luna. Lips were left nude with a finger-pressing of its Lipstick in Fleshpot.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Beauty Nostalgia: Reminiscing With…Donna Karan


Beauty Nostalgia is a new weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The Pro: Donna Karan, fashion designer and creator of Donna Karan New York and DKNY.

The Product: “My favorite beauty memory is creating my original signature scents with my husband Stephan. The journey was such a labor of love. Stephan had what the industry calls “a nose.” He really had the gift and loved the creative process of mixing juices and seeing how they reacted against skin. I wanted our first scent, Cashmere Mist, to be a combination of the things I loved: Casablanca lilies, suede, and the back of Stephan’s neck—which had everyone wanting to smell Stephan’s neck! A tall order, but many formulations later, the scent was exactly what I wanted. I can still see Stephan walking around with all the testers, applying it to the wrists of various women in the company. The bottles, of course, were strictly Stephan’s domain. He was a mixed-media sculptor and approached bottle design like a work of art—believe me, it wasn’t the norm to bring in a sculptor to design your bottles. The finished work, inspired by the curve of a woman’s back, is now iconic. Stephan passed in 2001. When it came to creating a bottle for our newest scent, Woman, I wanted to continue the artistic tradition. I went to Zaha Hadid, the international architect whose fluid and strong strokelike style I admire so much. The bottle is curvaceous and beautiful—very much reflective of a woman’s sensibility. You just want to caress and hold it in your hands, something Stephan demanded of his own designs. I’m sure Stephan would approve.”

Photo: Getty Images