BACKSTAGE BEAUTY: DAY 3 MBFWA
On day 3 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, fashion editors, bloggers and buyers found themselves starting the day on a high… high top knots, that is.
From spider-like lashes and rock ‘n’ roll eyes to healthy, glowing skin, we wrap up the best beauty looks so far.
MICHAEL LO SORDO
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Michael Lo Sordo kicked off proceedings on day 3 with messy top knots, luminous skin and burgundy lips – a refreshing look that had fashion and beauty editors alike happily surprised.
Nigel Stanislaus, Makeup Director for Maybelline New York, says the beauty look complemented the dreamy collection that consisted of nearly almost dresses of ethereal proportions. In fact, the collection was a far cry from Lo Sordo’s previous collections whom are known for his prints and separates. “This season, the collection is a bit different so the beauty look is all about empowerment,” says Stanislaus. Models’ skin was prepped first using Skin Inc before Maybelline New York Dream Wonder Foundation was applied sparingly. Using light rather than shade to contour the face, Maybelline New York Master Hi-Light was used. On the lips, Stanislaus preferred a matte finish so he selected Maybelline New York Color Drama Lip Pencil in Berry Much for intense colour pay off.
Equally turning heads was the textured top knot. “It’s strong but has an element of whimsy,” says Richard Kavanagh, Hair Director for Redken. “We’ve done quite a sporty knot and prepped the hair with Redken Rootful 06 and Redken Guts 10 mixed with, in some cases, a little bit of Redken Powder Grip 03 to get a strong gutsy texture in the hair,” says Kavanagh. Pulling the hair up into a high, tight ponytail, Kavanagh then twisted it into a knot at the crown of the head. “It’s an instant facelift because this look elevates the girl’s cheekbones and jawline and shows off their neck so you see the silhouette of the elegant evening wear. Because the crepe gowns bounce as the models’ walk, we didn’t want the hair to have movement – we don’t want to detract from the collection.”
GINGER & SMART
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Amidst the chaos of fashion week, it’s not uncommon for backstage areas to become highly stressful. But, in Ginger & Smart’s case, it was the polar opposite. A sense of calm was felt in the hair, makeup and dressing areas, which designer sisters Alexandra & Genevieve Smart say is a credit to their team.
“This is our first year working with Wella and working with Renya [Xydis] has been great,” says [Alexandra] Smart. “Renya [Xydis] and Victoria [Baron] are both so talented. They’re so experienced and they know what they’re doing so there’s no need for backstage to be stressful before the show. They also work so well together so it’s really wonderful to see it take shape. We’re really excited!”
So too, was Xydis. “It’s such a beautiful collection with a rose gold, desert-like motif,” she says. “The hair look I created is one that moves with models in a waft like way.” Calling it “edgy and modern but not stereotypically sexy”, Xydis says the key to this look is in the prep. “When creating that nonchalant, second day hair look, you need to prep strands with lots of product so that it has plenty of grit.” To do this, Xydis sprayed Wella Ocean Spritz and blow-dryed it in to give the roots texture. Next, Xydis took a curling wand to put bends into sections of the hair. To finish, she applied Sebastian Professional Drynamic Dry Shampoo before warming a couple of drops of Wella Luxe Oil and sweeping it onto the ends for a polished effect.
Victoria Baron, Makeup Director for MAC, also took the designer’s influence as inspiration. “Because the collection is inspired by Australian flora, I was particularly taken with one flower – the spider orchid – which has amazing petals that look like spider legs so I wanted to take that and create spider-like lashes,” says Baron. Quick to confirm that the lashes aren’t “glamorous, sixties-inspired or even reminiscent of Twiggy”, they are coated like Jenga. “Layer upon layer, I covered lashes in MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara – I also pushed the outer and inner lashes to the side so they look like little legs running around.” Keeping the skin looking healthy and neutral, Baron also blended MAC Cream Colour Base Pro Palette in Tint onto cheeks and eye lids by pressing it onto the skin so it still looks raw.
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Labelled the show of the week, celebrated Australian designer Toni Maticevski presented his highly anticipated A/W 2015 collection to an excited crowd of fashion’s finest.
Exploring the relationship between technology and fashion and cementing the rise of digital, Maticevski was the first show to live stream a fashion show within a fashion show. LENOVO tablets, carried by a selection of models, streamed the show they were walking in. Some lucky front-row guests were even gifted their own personalised LENOVO tablet.
Before models – including Astrid Holler, Nicole Pollard and Ruby Jean Wilson – took to the runway, Jayne Wild, Hair Director for ghd, was on hand to style their hair into elegant buns. “We wanted to keep the hair clean and minimal and really let the clothes do the talking,” says Wild. Hair was pulled back into a twisted bun just below the crown of the head. An edgy element was created by placing 2 layers of coloured latex over the twisted bun. “The tightness of the latex around the hair allows it to be pulled at the corners, creating unique shapes for a dramatic effect on the runway.”
Picking up on the surprise element of latex was five different nail looks, which the designer selected personally. “Having the freedom to work within OPI’s world of colour is truly inspiring, especially with other areas of the collection being so controlled,” admits Maticevski. “We wanted to make it fun and really play with the idea of mixing it up, layering shades, textures, tones some married and some contrasting. We didn’t see a need to keep the colour consistent, but instead to have fun and experiment with different colours and textures on a well-manicured natural nail.”
Toni’s atelier approach to designing for women was the same path Nigel Stanislaus, Makeup Director for Maybelline New York, took when it came to models’ faces. “Every face was customised with just the right amount of coverage,” says Stanislaus. “If the girls have good skin, they don’t need any coverage at all.” Stanislaus wanted to created a sense of innocence in the face and did this by applying blush lower than usual – towards the bottom of the apples of the cheeks closer towards the mouth. “While we customised the amount of coverage and makeup to each model, the overall look isn’t distracting from the exceptional and intricate pieces within Toni’s the collection – the makeup look is very clean.”
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Alice McCall’s latest collection was, as you would expect, kitsch and girlie but there was something a bit different this year.
“The Alice McCall girl is a bit cooler, tougher and more rock and roll this year,” says Jenny Kim, Hair Director for KMS California. “She’s still the same girl but we’re just toughening her up a little bit, giving her a bit of a gritty edge.”
Kim roughed up models’ hair by giving it guts: KMS California Add Volume Root and Body Lift were the heroes backstage. “We’re not just using this to give the hair swell and volume, we’re also using it to give it that fluffiness; that worn-in, bed head look. It’s like she hasn’t tried – it’s that ruffled, sexy, undone hair.”
To create this look, Kim added “bends” to the hair by using a 1.5 inch tong “here and there”. To finish it off, she then created a cocktail of KMS California Hair Play Gel Wax and a drop of KMS California Tame Frizz Polishing Serum – one pump of each mixed between hands – and raked it through the ends of strands.
Victoria Baron, Makeup Director for MAC, revealed backstage, “The girls have got a sweetness about them while also having a grunge element.” Inspired by the fabrics and metallics, Baron created three different eye looks: charcoal, copper, and purple. “We picked the colour based on what suits each girl’s eye colour and complexion.” Applied in an oversized egg shape on the eye lids, Baron wanted to create impact by painting pigment over the eyelids, curling lashes and adding mascara. For extra effect, glitter was added.
WE ARE HANDSOME
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We Are Handsome unveiled it’s first foray into active wear and what a better location to do so than Sydney’s White City tennis courts.
While the theme – sports luxe – was clear, the hair took the brief literally. “I was inspired to create two different hair looks to make the models seem as if they’re either in the middle of a work out or just finished a work out. “The first look is almost as if the girls have done it themselves, pulling it back into a knotted bun that’s just off to the side,” says Garreth Lenagh, Hair Director at Prema Salon for KMS California. “It’s not a centre knot, we really want it to look like they’ve done it themselves,” he adds.
The latter of the two looks, called “wet to dry,” saw models’ hair wet at the roots (as if after a sweaty training session). Lenagh explains, “It’s a messy ponytail that looks like her ponytail elastic is coming undone. It’s really about making these girls look like every day women who look after themselves by exercising.”
Nigel Stanislaus, Makeup Director for Maybelline New York, says “healthy skin” is one of the biggest trends of the season. “A lot of Australian designers have moved on from that “no makeup makeup” look we have seen in recent years and now it’s more about healthy glowing skin, which is exactly what we’ve done for We Are Handsome.” Michael Brown, Skin Finishing Expert for St Tropez, backs this notion. “We want the models to have that glow you get after the gym,” says Brown. “I also wanted skin to be warm and have that summery vibe,” says Brown who applied St Tropez Instant Tan Wash Off Lotion in Deep to give the body an olive complexion. “Once the colour is deep enough, we’re adding pops of light with St Tropez Skin Illuminator in Gold, which marries beautifully with a beautiful, bronzed and healthy sun-free tan.”
And, in keeping with the swim and now sports wear label’s signature bold prints, Stanislaus added a little something extra: “[Their] skin offers a healthy glow and mascara adds definition and glamour but to give them power and strength, we’re adding a flash of silver – either from underneath the eyes up or from underneath the brow. It gives a superhero vibe and adds a little excitement to the look,” says Stanislaus.