August 22 2014

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26 posts tagged "Michael Kors"

Michael Kors: On Moving, Makeup, and His Many Jewish Mothers


Michael Kors - Front Row - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014

It was Michael Kors’ show in 1991 that prompted the pitching of the tents in Bryant Park: The ceiling caved in, causing Naomi Campbell to flee the runway, and leaving Anna Wintour to pick plaster out of Suzy Menkes’ hair. He’s come a long way since then, recently joining the billionaire boys’ club. And Kors, like many other designers this season, has hightailed it out of Lincoln Center. (What can we say—billionaires and port-a-potties just don’t go hand in hand.) In lieu of a temporary black box, he has triumphantly returned to an airy, loftlike space, showing at Spring Studios downtown (along with the likes of Diane von Furstenberg). Here, he chats with us about everything from beauty to his Bar Mitzvah.

You’re showing outside of the tents for the first time in a long time. How does it feel?
Wonderful. Different clothes work in different settings. My clothes [have] discretion to them, and it’s about the quality. This particular collection is full of a lot of texture, so if you can be in a more intimate space, you actually can sense the texture—you’re up close. Daylight, in particular for this collection, was paramount to me. I used to have shows where we’d have 75 people in my showroom, so by the time we got to twelve hundred in the tent, intimacy was definitely gone. We really want the focus to be on the clothes.

I’ve heard that there were once editors seated in the bathroom when you presented a collection in your showroom. I assume nobody has been assigned that particular spot this season?
No editors in the bathroom. I remember a show where Helena Christensen said to me, “There are editors in the bathroom and the kitchen.” I think we seated it by nationality in different rooms. It was too intimate. Fashion is always about finding the right balance.

You’ve recently joined the billionaire boys’ club. How does it feel?
You know what? I focus on what I do every day. I love what I do. I always tell everyone, “Nothing could be a greater gift than to know when you’re young what you love…” And then to do it for over thirty years and still be curious and still love doing it? So my focus is always on the work. My greatest pleasure, quite frankly, is seeing people on the street wearing Michael Kors. That’s what rocks my world. I love the show, I’m very happy that I’ve been successful doing what I love, but the greatest thing is when I see people living in and wearing what I designed.

What do you think makes your clothes and accessories so coveted?
I live in the world, not my world. I think some designers have a tendency to live in a tower and they forget what real life is like. Yes, I actually go food shopping. Yes, I actually walk on the street. Yes, I know what it’s like to live a very busy life. I think I design in a way that there’s function, but there’s also fantasy. I always try to balance the two, and I think people appreciate that.

The beauty look is fresh and glow-y, per usual. What direction did you give Orlando Pita and Dick Page?
What’s interesting is that when you’re out in Big Sur it’s always crisp out, but I always end up driving around in a convertible—even if it’s cold—because the scenery is just so beautiful. And every time I’m out there, everyone has this flush to them, and if you have long hair you would definitely pull it into a braid and knot it up. This was [meant to look] like she was taking a drive and the flyaways are from being in her convertible. When the models come in on their fittings I love how they look just as themselves; I never want to mask a person’s individuality or beauty. I have the same attitude about makeup and hair as I do about fashion: It’s all about bringing out the best in the person, not turning them into someone else.

You don’t believe in the Cinderella treatment?
I hate it. I think it’s the worst thing a woman can do. Embrace who you are; that’s what really works. We really wanted the beauty to put the focus on [the girls].

What are you focused on for Fall 2014?
Definitely a word I don’t use a lot, for me, is “blouse.” There are a lot of beautiful, softer romantic blouses in the collection. Longer skirts and dresses, and even the shorter dresses, all catch the breeze—things that move. So definitely things that are soft and romantic. It’s also an amazing season for great knitwear; [there are] a lot of hand-knit alpacas and mohairs. Again, [it's about] texture—things that are tactile, things you want to touch.

In your opinion, who is the fashion world’s Jewish mother?
For me, I’ve got a few. I guess Suzy [Menkes] to a certain degree. Ellin Saltzman has been a fashion Jewish mom to me for a long time; I’ve known her my whole life. I guess one is my British fashion mother, one is my New York mother, and of course, I have my own Jewish fashion mother. I have the trifecta. I’ve known Ellin since I started, so she really got to watch me grow up. Fashion is a family.

And I take it the show is like your bar mitzvah?
The show is definitely my bar mitzvah. I throw two bar mitzvahs a year—I always say that! Except my bar mitzvah was in the seventies and it was full of really ugly colors.

To get the Big Sur beauty look from the show, try Michael Kors Lip Lacquer in Dame and Bronze Powder in Glow.

Photo: Getty

Big Sur Beauty, Backstage at Michael Kors


michael-korsA West Coast girl who comes to the city was Orlando Pita’s jumping-off point. “She still has these chunky pieces from surfing,” he noted. A combination of Pita’s own dry shampoo and Schwarzkopf Osis Dust was applied throughout strands for texture before he crafted a “kind of cornrow” and pinned it up in the back. He pulled out pieces in front to mimic wind-blown hair—you know, the aftermath of driving the scenic roads of Big Sur in a convertible, an activity that Michael Kors told me he enjoys every time he visits California.

“If you don’t impose a line or shape on the face, you maintain integrity of the natural features, and that’s always what is most beautiful to me,” said Dick Page of the sun-kissed look. Similar to last season, he employed the designer’s Sporty Bronze Powder in Glow, dusting it along the contours of the cheeks and buffing it into the skin with translucent powder. “It’s not Shake ‘n Bake, but warm,” he explained of models’ tanned faces. Brows were defined and a chocolate hue was smudged around the eye before it was topped with a clear balm (like Aquaphor) for shine. “The old-fashioned theater [trick] was to put a red dot in the [inner] corners to make the eyes look more alive and whiter,” he said. “A contemporary thing to do is put a flash of color and grease [around the tear duct] to pick up the light.” Top lashes were emphasized with black mascara, while the lips were dabbed with lipstick in Dame “dosed with a bit of brown.” The inspiration for the color came from a somewhat unusual place: Baptiste Radufe. “Michael thinks everyone should have his natural lip color,” he said. After coming face-to-face with the male model backstage, I can confidently say that his pout was in fact the perfect shade of mauve-y plum. Some boys have all the luck.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde;

Emmy Rossum on Her Ethereal Glow, Strange Skin Obsession, and Designer Wish List


emmy-cropEmmy Rossum’s complexion is comparable to a Vermeer in that her alabaster skin seems to glow like the subjects in one of the Flemish master’s portraits. She attributes this flawless facade to Restorsea, for which she is now an ambassador. Here, the brazen Shameless actress shares her skin secrets—along with her YouTube obsession, what’s on her Pinterest board, and the designers she’s desperate to track down.

Let’s start with the obvious: What does your skincare regimen entail?

It’s kind of evolved! In my late twenties, acne isn’t as much of a concern anymore and I want to start hydrating. It’s more [about] preventing aging and keeping my skin really [moisturized] and glow-y, especially because so many TVs are HD now. With the Internet, people can blow up your face to the size of their screen and see all of your pores. I had to throw all of my magnifying mirrors out of my house. Actually, my makeup artist from Shameless took them from me because I would just get in there and destroy my face. I’ve learned to not pick, and just let products do what they do. I cleanse with the Restorsea cleanser, which I really like because it gets rid of dead skin cells [without] exfoliating the healthy ones. And then I love its day cream. Sometimes if I’m extra dry, I’ll add in a drop of oil from Beautycounter. And if I use my day cream, I always make sure to apply it all the way down to my neck in the event that my face gets dry—your face will always pull moisture up from your neck.

After you’re done filming or doing a photo shoot, how do you keep your complexion in check? Is there anything that you do differently?

I love to use a Clarisonic together with whatever cleanser I’m using, because it really just gets in there and takes out the extra dirt and oil from your pores. It makes the products that you use afterward work better, I think. I love to go for facials, too.

Not to blow up your spot, but who is your facialist?

I go to Tony [Silla], at Face Place. They put that very strange mask on you. You look like Hannibal Lecter, and it has electric stimulation currents that pulse on your face. It’s not glamorous at all, but it’s very basic and really cleansing. Sometimes I’ll also do a light peel there around Christmastime if no one’s going to see me.

Being a native New Yorker, how do you survive the blustery weather—you know, on days it’s not 60 degrees in the middle of December—and keep your skin soft?

I like to keep eye cream with me at all times, because I find that it’s small and it can hydrate under your eyes and double as lip moisture, cuticle moisture, and elbow moisture—everything gets so awfully dry during the winter. Sometimes by midafternoon, [my foundation gets] kind of congealed, especially in the cold weather, which can dry your face out and make the makeup look like it’s sitting on top rather than being a part of the skin. I find that adding a bit of eye cream under your eye and on your cheek area can refresh everything and kind of bring [your complexion] back to life. Almost like what you would do in the summer with an Evian spray or rose water.

What about your go-to foundation?

I like Armani Luminous Silk, and if I go for something lighter, I use Chantecaille in Chamomile or Wheat. Sometimes I mix the Chamomile and the Wheat.

Any other makeup must-haves?

I always have Kiehl’s lip balm with me. The original one, not tinted—we use it on Shameless instead of lipstick. I also really like the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blushers. I don’t like blushers that have any iridescence to them, because I find that whatever the particle [is that makes them shiny] makes my cheeks break out. And I don’t usually like cream blushers for the same reason.

Have you always embraced being fair?

I would definitely say that I went through a time when all of my friends were blond and really into bronzer. I was probably 14, and I would go to Sephora and just put bronzer on my collarbone and cheekbones, down my nose, and under my chin, and I probably, for a summer, looked a bit crazy. But I got over that really quickly, because I found that what you’re born with is actually the best color for you, which is the same reason why I don’t really color my hair.

I read that you watch pimple-popping videos on YouTube. I’m curious, how exactly did you get into that…because I can’t even get through one.

I can even watch the ones where they’re like, “It’s been growing for ten years!” And [the person is] in a doctor’s office and they get a scalpel out. There’s some kind of serotonin that’s released in my brain when I watch them. It’s definitely not normal, but I find it outrageously funny—I have a strange sense of humor. I think that I was on set and somebody had a pimple, so we were trying to figure out the best way to get rid of it, and this led us to a bunch of pimple-popping videos that were disgusting. This also led us to this realization that if you ever have a very tiny whitehead, instead of squeezing it as you would, you can actually take a little fine-nosed tweezer and just take the whitehead out without cutting the surface.

Interesting. Moving on, I heard the fish pedicure is one thing you can’t get into. You can watch pimple-popping videos, but this grosses you out?

Yes. I mean, that’s what pumice stones are for. I don’t want to subject fish to that—no.

Is there a beauty look you’d never try?

No, in fact, I would even do cornrows—I’m really into the idea of doing that for the Met Ball one year. I don’t know why, but I think that would be really cool.

You and Cara Delevingne. Anything else you’re dying to debut?

I love Vaseline on eyelids, like a really shiny eye. I think that’s really fun. Or that Eight Hour Cream, you can put it on over eye shadow and create a really glossy texture. It’s probably more for photo shoots and editorial, but it could be kind of fun…as long as you don’t plan on wiping your eyes.

I heard that you use as a tool for choosing what you’re going to wear on the red carpet, and that you’ll often pin images. What’s on your Pinterest board at the moment?

Hold on, I’m going to go to it right now. I have so many different Pinterest boards, but the one that I use for is just called “clothes.” I have one for hair, and one for makeup as well. I also have one for nails, like nail art that I love or nail colors that I love. [Sometimes] I’ll get so bummed out because I’ll go on and I’ll see that somebody amazing wore the Valentino gown, and then I have to go on Pinterest and delete it. It’s like, Oh God, how did they get to it before I did? I had this really cute dress by Michael Kors that’s Pre-Fall 2013, it’s strapless in a kind of black-and-yellow print. For Valentino, I have the dress that was red velvet on the top with the kind of printed bottom—it has dragonflies on it…oh, and then I have this Andrew Gn dress that I want to wear that’s from the Spring 2014 collection that he did with the gold birds on everything. The dresses are gorgeous. And then I have designers that I still need to get their e-mails—they’re on my “to-find” list!

Who’s on that “to-find” list exactly?

I just met Juan Carlos Obando, so I’m happy I have his contact now. I met him at the CFDA thing. I still need David Koma. I need someone from David Koma to e-mail me back! And then I love Bibhu Mohapatra—he’s one of my favorite [under-the-radar] designers that I’d really love to wear.

We’ll put the word out.

Photo: Getty Images

Beauty Sound Bites: The Bronzed And The Beautiful


Michael Kors

Today, Michael Kors summed up his cosmetic philosophy in 140 characters or less:

“In your beauty wardrobe, bronzer is the white shirt: It goes with everything.”

Above, we pay homage to the designer’s must-have product with looks from seasons past and present. Whether the inspiration is après-ski, safari, or a romantic romp—bronzer always seems to be part of the Michael Kors equation. Which is probably the reason why his eponymous line contains not just one but three extra-large compacts of the glow-getting powder.

Photos: Luca Cannonieri /; Ivan Lattuada /

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 .