I am excited to be going to the Bill Blass runway show this morning but I’m running late! Last night I attended the Ellen Tracy runway show, so I’ll write about that show first.
I love Ellen Tracy clothes. The sophisticated, classic shapes are the darlings of fashionable working women of all ages. Beautifully constructed of great fabrics, with an eye to detail…how could you not love them! FYI: I always thought that Ellen Tracy was a woman, but I learned that the company was started in 1949 as a blouse company by a man–Herbert Gallen. He hired Linda Allard who eventually became Ellen Tracy’s Design Director. Her name was added to the Ellen Tracy label in 1984. COMPANY, a line for weekend and dress-down-day clothes, was started in 1991. Confused? Now George Collins Sharp is Vice President of Design Ellen Tracy and he was backstage at the show, of course. I took a few photos of him (check the Advice Sisters Features Pagehttp://www.advicesisters.net/Features/Features.html in a few weeks to see links to my photo-essay features on Fashion Week).
My first stop was backstage, to watch NARS makeup artist James Boehmer explain his concept for the show. Here’s the model, TAO. She’s beautiful without any makeup, but this look was particularly flattering and ladylike. James explained that while there was “nothing special” in terms of a theme for the makeup for Ellen Tracy, he wanted to make it elegant. He said he was inspired (a bit) by the Robert Palmer girl and Helmut Newton but in a more modern way, without the harsh angles and deep blush. The clothes reminded James of YSL “Le Smoking Collection” and so he wanted to have a strong eye AND lip–aggressive but elegant makeup. Interestingly though, here’s no blush at all in this look. James simply added a bit of highlighter put high on cheekbones so that the face glows a bit when the model turns. Again, the look is all about color and technique. The eye makeup goes all the way into the brows, but all the harsh lines are removed by blending, blending and more blending! The eye makeup is really several different colors (plus a smudged and blended black eye pencil) James used a Duo Cream Eyeshadow: “Madagascar” and blended it, blended, it and then applied “Zardoz” and blended it, blended it, and blended it. The cream duo is a sheer formula created by NARS to use alone, or underneath NARS powder eye shadows for more color, depth and intensity. Lots and lots of mascara was also applied and black liner smudged top and bottom (a LOT of smudging). Brows were gelled, but no color was applied. He applied a beautiful, creamy, velvet-matte red brick lip pencil on each model (“Forbidden Red”). He lines Tao’s lips first, then filled them in with the pencil. James said that when he was talking to the designer about the makeup for the show, they kept going back and forth about the lips–should it be a stain, or a lipstick. Lipstick definitely won out. The red lip against the creamy, matte skin was the perfect accompaniment to the sweaters, coats, and pants. I’ll share more of the actual colors and products plus more photos, in the upcoming Advice Sisters Ellen Tracy/NARS feature.
RAMONA from Bumble & Bumble did the hair–sleek, very tight buns full of product for shine and manageability. Creative Nail design did the manicures–a ladylike, totally sheer, iridescent pink called “Negligee”
This show was really all about city chic, as you can see from this photo of took of beautiful Ajuma striding down the runway, wearing a cinnamon alpaca coat, Cinnamon iridescent taffeta blouse, Mahogany stretch viscose 2/4 sleeve sweater, and softly draping, mahogany crepe pants. I love this warm, Fall color, and it showed up in a variety of pieces, and even in a leather jacket. Another standout was a paprika (bright warm red) angora doubleface jacket worn with mahogany silk mesh sleeveless turtleneck and mahogany stretch stain skinny pants (couldn’t get a photo of it–sorry)
There was also lots of city-sleek black which looked particularly great with the classy, elegant makeup and sleek hair. Ellen Tracy showed a number of jaunty fedoras, wide patent leather belts in black and brown, and lots of very large satchels in patent leather. There were knit scarves and tunics, too. One black cashmere cable knit sweater sparkled with a sprinkling of black beads and was worn with a stunning, ivory alpaca coat and black flannell pants with a deep pleat.
Black predominated. No surprise here–black is the uniform of chic women, everywhere. In fact, there were few surprises–just lots of urban chic clothes minus tacky, wacky or weird. Every piece in this Fall 2007 Ellen Tracy collection is something a real person would want to own. It’s wearable chic you’ll want the minute the collection hits the stores.