Fall 2013 marks a season of firsts for Alexander Wang. In addition to showing his debut collection for the house of Balenciaga in Paris next month, he also moved his namesake show to a brand-new financial district venue in New York. It may be a new year, but backstage, it was pretty much the same Wang. "It's still his girl," Diane Kendal contended. "There's no real color in the face." In its place was NARS Single Eyeshadow in Lhasa, a steely gray, that Kendal dragged through the crease of the lid, using its forthcoming greasy Eye Paint in Transversal, a dark slate, to beef up brows and diffuse the shadow into a soft wash for a "hooded effect."
While a dearth of catwalking superstar surprises generated a bit of backstage buzz among a crowd used to seeing the likes of Gisele Bündchen, Shalom Harlow, Carmen Kass, and Liberty Ross take to Wang's runway, the Ukrainian stunner who opened his show last season still appeared to be very much on his mind. "It's based on Irina's hair color," Guido Palau said of Irina Kravchenko's henna-treated "cognac" strands that he implemented on every girl with a custom-dyed ponytail extension, courtesy of the Whittemore House's Larry Raspanti. "Alex really wanted a pop of color," Palau explained as he pulled lengths into a sleek updo, coating the top section of hair with Redken Hardwear 16 Super Strong Sculpting Hair Gel as he went. "It's quite futuristic," he continued of the two-tone style, which served to unify the models into a roving tribe of Irinas. "The fakeness of it clones them a bit," Palau added of the color's effect. Then, right before models hit the runway, he coated razor-cut ends with Redken's forthcoming Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine Intense for a multidimensional glossiness, which was evident even underneath the medieval-hoods-come-hats that models like Julia Nobis, Jamie Bochert, and Juliana Schurig wore down the runway.