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84 posts tagged "Orlando Pita"

Is This the Hidden Warhol Factory of Hair?

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When Michael Gordon created Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray in 2001, he—no pun intended—made waves in the hair industry that are still being felt today. Ask any model, hairstylist, or girl-next-door for their go-to products and chances are high that Surf Spray is one of them. Ditto on Hair Powder, an item practically every stylist keeps in their kit that Gordon also introduced to the masses. Gordon sold the brand to Estée Lauder in 2006 and made a documentary about Vidal Sassoon in 2010, and the next chapter in his story might be his most revolutionary yet. Gordon’s new range, Purely Perfect, comprises three detergent-free, nontoxic products (Cleansing Creme, Foundation Creme, Smooth Finish) that take care of all your hair cleansing and styling needs. “Suddenly, to have a product that changes everything you thought you knew about hair—that’s exciting,” says Gordon.

From the first Bumble and Bumble salon opened in 1977 on East 56th Street that re-created the downtown vibe uptown (“What I wanted was an eclectic clientele: the people who had just left school, the artists, the mums, the teachers,” Gordon recalls), to harnessing the creativity he witnessed on magazine shoots and backstage at fashion shows (namely Orlando Pita, who worked for him at Bumble), Gordon has created not simply a salon or brand, but a cultural movement around hair. His approach to introducing Purely Perfect to the world continues that authentic vision. Hairstory Studio, which occupies half of Gordon’s sprawling lower Manhattan apartment, serves as an experimentation lab for Purely Perfect, with former Bumble and ex-Cutler stylist Wes Sharpton and colorist Roxie Darling at the helm. They cast girls and guys off the streets of New York and give them a modern-day makeover. Sharpton and Darling weave their magic, Gordon photographs the transformations, and the whole thing is documented via the Web and social media. “Essentially, it’s stories about hair and how powerfully it affects people,” Gordon says. The studio feels like a contemporary Warhol Factory of sorts, except the vibes are more Zen palace (a Tibetan cook makes the team lunch daily, while Gordon, a practicing Buddhist, serves tea in china cups) than amphetamine-fueled frenzy. Didier Malige stopped by on the morning of our visit to cut the hair of a fan from Australia who had contacted him via Instagram, because he needed a place to do it, and why not? “It’s not that working in a salon is by design boring, but people don’t challenge themselves,” Gordon says. “And if you suddenly get two very talented people together in a room, looking at you completely differently and giving you a chance to look amazing and you go for it, it probably does more good than five years of therapy!”

Hairstylist, photographer, product creator, and filmmaker are all hats that Gordon—who grew up around his mother’s London hair salon—has worn over the years, but fundamentally, he sees himself as a conduit for creativity. “It’s not really a business—the stylists here get paid through their own clients. I’m just hosting the thing,” he said. “I’m a producer…and a bit of a teacher. And because it’s very sincere, because I do love talent, it’s nice.” Gordon describes a scene from a documentary he watched recently on music mogul David Geffen, where a confluence of musicians had taken over Geffen’s house. “Clive Davis was laughing like, ‘David! What are all these people doing?’ You know, in his kitchen, in his pool,” Gordon quips. “And then I walk around my kitchen and everyone’s hanging out eating pizza and I think, Oh wait, that’s me!”

Hairstory Studio is now taking invitation-only appointments for private clients. E-mail thetenthfloor@gmail.com for more information.

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Photos: Courtesy of Hairstory Studio

“Handsome” Girls, Backstage at Giambattista Valli

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valliThis season, the designer created clothes for a “woman who was confident to dress in women’s clothes,” but the makeup, as describe by face painter Val Garland, was “healthy, wealthy, and handsome.” Brushed-up brows, perfected complexions, and lips topped with a clear mattifying formula from MAC comprised the look. “Just before they go out, we are going to give them a little massage on their cheeks so we get nice, natural color—but it’s not a blush,” she noted. The sheen on the high points of the face came courtesy of moisturizer, rather than a shimmery pigment, applied with a fan brush. “I’m a bit over the frosty sheen of highlighter, I think it’s dying a death,” Garland said. And similar to the London shows, she made a point of not picking up mascara. “It can look commercial when what you want to get across is something more directional,” she explained. But for those of us in the live real world and not on the runway, she suggests hanging onto our go-to tubes. “You can’t live without it—none of us can.” As much as I despise scrubbing off the black rings that form post-shower, I have to agree.

Hair pro Orlando Pita crafted a clean, natural ponytail—adding shine and canceling any flyaways with L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil. “This makes it shiny, touchable, and soft—all the things the girls’ [strands] aren’t during the season,” he said. The tails were bent slightly with a curling iron for movement. Asked if the hair would be tucked into the collars and high-necked pieces in the collection (a trend that’s held strong since New York), Pita said that would be a game-time decision left up to Valli. The “haphazard” feeling this finishing touch lends, however, is something the mane master fully supports: “It’s as if you just got up and threw on a T-shirt—except [the T-shirt] is actually a Giambattista Valli dress—and headed out the door.” That sounds like my kind of morning.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde; Indigitalimages.com

Calling on Carine, Backstage at Tom Ford

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tom-fordThe goings-on at Tom Ford are usually shrouded in mystery. You’re more likely to get the lowdown on the inner workings of Area 51 than you are trying to sneak a peek behind one of the fashion world’s most exclusive shows. Until now, that is.

Let’s start off by saying that the makeup stations were the stuff beauty dreams are made of (think: vanities overflowing with Tom Ford-branded brushes and compacts). Face painter Charlotte Tilbury created a smoky eye that paid homage to Carine Roitfeld on a stellar cast that included Georgia May Jagger, Karen Elson, Liberty Ross, and Joan Smalls. She worked the designer’s Eye Defining Pencil around the upper and lower lash lines, then proceeded to blend it out with Noir Absolute for Eyes (a cream formula). “This isn’t a feline flick; it needs to look slept in—Tom and I had a long discussion about the right amount of smudge,” Tilbury explained. “It had to be on the right side of rock chick and adapted to each girl’s eye shape.” A touch of mascara at the roots and a brush through the brows finished off the top half of the face. Perfected skin played backdrop to these sultry eyes, with just a hint of highlighter from the Shade & Illuminate palette tapped onto cheekbones.

A spritz of volumizer was applied to roots before hair was blow-dried by Orlando Pita, then parted just off center. Where strands were all one length, the pro cut in soft layers—forgoing a traditional coating of hair spray. “I’m not using any finishing products…it should look really natural and not too precise; all I’ll do before the girls walk out is tuck some of their hair into the clothing,” Pita explained. We imagine the French fashion doyenne would skip the shellac and do the same.

Photo: Indigital

Big Sur Beauty, Backstage at Michael Kors

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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; Indigitalimages.com

Cropped Cuts and Ball Gowns, Backstage at Oscar de la Renta

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A Spring 2014 trend was revived at Oscar de la Renta: wigs—short and choppy. Matching the hint of masculinity in the clothes (think pinstripes and leather), hair pro Orlando Pita tailored the faux strands to fit each model’s face—roughing them up with his own brand of dry shampoo. “We need to move on from the long hair thing, and I’d like to present an alternative to women,” he said. “You see [the look] on somebody like Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet and it starts to look cool—it becomes a haircut and an evening dress instead of a hairdo and an evening dress.”

Gucci Westman cited Peter Lindbergh photos of Linda Evangelista as the inspiration for the “mousy gray-brown day eye,” which she crafted with four colors of Revlon ShadowLinks: Cocoa, Chocolate, Greige, and Charcoal. The roots of the top and bottom lashes were rimmed with a charcoal pencil, and the inner and outer corners of the upper waterline were given the same treatment to make it appear as if “they’d been crying,” she said. Cheeks were gently contoured, and lips were slicked with gloss in Super Natural. “Everything disappears except for the eye,” Westman noted.

Photo: Instagram