7 posts tagged "Peter Gray"
Beauty And The Beat: Eight-Day-Old Hair, Phillip Lim Shorts, And More Coachella Prep From St. Vincent’s Annie Clark
This year’s Coachella lineup is packed with women who know how to command a crowd, wield a mascara wand—and wear a blue sequined pantsuit with gusto. Feist, Cat Power, and Florence Welch will all be flexing their vocal chords this weekend (and next) in Indio, California. But when it comes to subtle beauty, few can top Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent. The multi-instrumentalist has captivated audiences with her small but powerful voice, delicately painted lips, and raven-hued ringlets since releasing her first solo album, Marry Me, in 2007—the fashion world included; Clark has performed at Rachel Comey’s Spring 2010 show and frequently sits front-row at 3.1 Phillip Lim. Five years and two albums later (her most recent, Strange Mercy, came out last fall) and Clark is just as luminous. But how will her halo of curls and porcelain skin fare in the desert? Style.com checked in with the art-pop musician to find out what festival-ready hair products she’s stocked up on, her enviable suitcase of designer duds, and why you should never, ever eat the catering backstage.
You’ve got an amazing mess of curly hair. How do you keep it in shape when you play outside?
Gone are the days of haphazardly cutting my own hair in a dorm room. Now I go see Peter Gray every three to four months and he keeps me on track. Then I usually just run some Bumble and bumble Deeep into it when it’s wet, then let it air-dry. Hair starts looking its best when it hasn’t been washed for approximately seven to 10 days. I should be at day eight on the first weekend [of Coachella]!
You’re practically a fashion week regular at this point. Does it make you feel like you need to step up your game when it comes to choosing onstage outfits?
I was raised by jazz musicians who wouldn’t dream of stepping onstage unless they looked “proper.” It was a show of respect to the audience in those days: If you’re onstage asking people to look at you, you ought to look put-together. I tend to abide by this philosophy.
Peter Gray secured himself a place in Spring 2012′s hair hall of fame when he fashioned faux undercuts backstage at Paul Smith last season to help create the illusion of “cool, English rock chicks who shaved their heads for the summer.” Yesterday, the hairstylist was up to his old tricks, devising another optical illusion backstage at Smith’s Fall show, where there was a reason models’ faces looked particularly taut on the runway: “It’s a pulley system for cheekbones,” Gray said, taking a fine section of hair from above each ear and pulling it tight against the scalp before securing in the back of the head with a few spritzes of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray and a piece of elastic. A back-combed top section that Gray fashioned into a side-parted, soft bouffant ultimately hid the flattened panels from view. “It forms a secret winch, tugging on the skin for an instant facelift effect,” he explained, pointing out that the technique is “one step on from the tight ponytail.” It sure beats Botox.
Since Alice Dellal and her cohorts revived the side shave a couple of years ago, the popular punk practice of taking razor to scalp has been reinstated as a favorite Brit girl pastime. And so it went at Paul Smith, where hairstylist Peter Gray was prepping locks with Morrocanoil Styling Cream and coiffing “cool, English rock chicks who shaved their heads for the summer.” It wasn’t the side shave but the undercut that Gray was after, though. Rather than actually shearing models backstage, he divided hair into a top and bottom section, weaving a coiled braid and pinning it above the nape of the neck, letting slightly textured “accidental” strands hang over from the top for an “airy” effect. To get a shiny finish, Gray coated his hands in Morroconoil’s Oil Treatment Light and pulled sections through his fingertips for a bit of soft separation.
Staying in line with the designer’s “young, cool” directive, makeup artist Petros Petrohilos layered on a thin coat of MAC Face + Body Foundation for dewy coverage that looked as though the girls had been “out all night.” To further that party-till-dawn feel, Petrohilos rimmed the upper and lower lash lines with MAC Eyeliner in Ebony and then promptly removed it, leaving a slight trace of pigment that was given a lived-in look courtesy of a swipe of its glossy, Mixing Medium Shine across lids. As a final touch, Petrohilos dotted MAC’s new Tender Tones—a highly versatile balm-cum-stain that’ll be out in February—in Hot & Saucy, a sheer red, onto lips and directly underneath cheekbones for a faint rosy flush.
If Michelle Williams looked almost gilded at the Met ball last night, that was intentional. “The gold birds on her [custom Miu Miu] dress really inspired us to go for a golden look,” her trusted makeup artist Jeanine Lobell said of the “golden smoky eye” she crafted, blending the shades from Chanel’s Quadra Eye Shadow in Mystic Eyes. But we were more intrigued by Williams’ signature pixie, which seemed slightly longer than usual—and equally golden.
“She let me trim her hair up,” hairstylist Peter Gray said of Michelle’s crop, although the coiffing star, who was working with Williams for the first time, did something a little unexpected with his trusty pair of shears. “When you’ve got a short haircut, everyone thinks its low-maintenance—but it’s not. The first thing it wants to do is go into a ball.” To make sure that didn’t happen, Gray worked against Chris McMillan’s original cut, layering Williams’ hair behind her ears and slicking it back before slicing away around the temple to the crown, instead of tapering it up, to take the weight out. “I don’t like short hair when it looks contrived,” Gray pointed out of the Mia Farrow and Jean Seberg-esque styles that can be over blow-dried. “You can have a really short haircut and it can look soft and feminine. Otherwise, it gets boring after a while.”
Williams, it seems, was into changing it up. “I talked to her about growing [her hair] out around the outline and she was really up to the idea,” confirms Gray, who doubled as DJ at Williams’ home pre-gala. (“Her record collection is amazing—everything from Tom Waits, old Bowie records, Johnny Cash, and Frank Sinatra to Notorious B.I.G. And they’re vinyl LPs!”)
“She is thinking about growing it out,” Williams’ colorist, Anthony Palermo, reiterated when we looped him in to discuss her new, amber-hued hair. “She wanted to have it really, really light a couple of months ago when she was promoting Blue Valentine and then we decided to make it a little softer so she could give it a bit of a break. We were dyeing it every 15 days.” Luckily for Williams, Palermo has a trick for keeping strands healthy, despite peroxide abuse—which Gray incorporated into his styling efforts as well: Moroccanoil Light. “I put it right into the lightener to keep the texture in good condition so [her hair] conditions as it lightens.”
As for Gray, his fingers were “constantly in the oil.” (Pro tip: Avoid an allover greasy effect by pouring a good-sized dollop of the argan-rich elixir into your palm and coating your fingertips with it before rubbing into roots and through the lengths for a “lived-in feel.”)
“I had wigs, I had extensions, but when [Michelle] put the dress on, I thought, she doesn’t need anything at all,” Gray surmised of the finished look. “Everyone else went for an over-the-top effort; it’s so much cooler to just go for effortless beauty.”
Nicole Richie was one of the hippie headband’s strongest proponents when the thin DIY accoutrements had their second coming in the early aughts. Her reality television days are long behind her, but the designer and mother of two still seems to have a fondness for those headbands, as evidenced by her cameo at a Baby2Baby event last night in LA. Richie not only strung up a strand of rhinestones across her forehead, but along her part, too—à la Peter Gray’s sparkly accoutrements backstage at Badgley Mischka. Scalp adornment: Can you get into it?