I don’t have much time to blog tonight, but I will tell all, tomorrow…about the simply beautiful Carmen Marc Valvo show. I was invited backstage for this wonderful show, to talk to Hair Designer Odile Gilbert, sponsored by Redken 5th Avenue, and, while I was in the “neighborhood,” charming Tom Pecheux for the MAC Pro Team doing makeup, and Dashing Diva, painting fingers and toes to fit in evening-worthy Manolos. I’ll go into more detail later on, but lets start with the hair:
each girl got an elegant updo, but the style isn’t a do-it-yourself. Marc Valvo is known for elegant evening clothes, and the hair had to be very special. The style for this show was completely controlled…no loose waves, no messy buns, no ponytails. This was hair for royalty…and it does take a lot of hands to make it work. Hair was first curled on rollers, Then it was stretched into a high ponytail, and then, literally sculpted into an elegant, multi-facted chignon (with a LOT of hair pins) and quite a bit of Redken hair spray (various types…)The effect on the runway was visually stunning…a bit of Audrey Hepburn and a lot of Grace Kelly..with a hint of Kim Novak. The girls really looked regal, like princesses…and I suspect they may have felt like that, too. You may not be able to get the same effect without a hair stylist, but you can get great Redken products (see the Advice Sisters What Works monthly beauty, cosmetics & fashion review columns http://www.advicesisters.net/whatworkcol3.html to get up-close-and-personal reviews of all the latest Redken products). For Spring, Odile thinks that hair should be up and I’d agree that it’s a timeless look, but she admitted that it really takes a pro, and lots of hands, to make the magic, happen. But then she added: “but everyone needs a hair stylist….” You can approximate an elegant updo that is less complicated but still sleek.
The makeup was a melange of styles, some Audrey, some 80’s and a hint of the 50’s. Eye brows were darkened, quite a bit, and with a definite arch, but the look was dramatic and elegant, not “campy.” A smoky and fairly deep mauve eye shadow (for Spring 2007 and not yet named) was given evening allure with MAC silver glitter that reflect pearl…the effect under the artificial lights was very glittery, but would be fine for evening and certainly, for the types of black tie clothes that Valvo features. Foundation was done with a foundation brush, and although all the girls had MAC foundation, I noticed several different types of MAC products from liquid to powder. On one girl, Tom blended some shimmer with a light foundation for a dewy look, but the overall effect was semi-matte, not too dewy and not too harshly dry-matte. Lips were colored with a substantial (not totally sheer), pearly, pink gloss that was fairly shiny (I’ll get the name for you…I think it won’t be available until Spring 2007 but if it is, advice sisters blog readers will be among the first to know). Nails were done in light pink or peach (french-manicure sheer) but toes were dressed in hot pink (Prima Donna Pink). A pretty touch, peeking out from all those black and white dresses…
Since I’ve got to run, I’d just like to mention that Mr. Valvo, known for his classy and timeless evening wear, has another hit collection on his hands. The clothes were mostly black and off white, but there was one, short, strapless evening dress with a top wrapped as if it were folds of creamy cake batter, in a peachy pink silk. My favorite look was a long, strapless evening gown in black and cream, with a flurry of controlled pleats at the top, and a dainty, black ribbon “belt” with a demure bow, at the empire waist. On a more casual but still dressy note was a black lurex halter top paired with a magnolia silk supioni wide leg trousers. Of course the models are willowy and thin, but this is an elegant look that any woman could pull off, beautifully. Finally, on the most casual (but still chic) of notes: there were swim suits…a bold move in a collection known primarily for black tie gowns. For exampl. there was a gold wrap-front maillot with a plunging V in the front, dipping even lower in the back…evening wear for the beach, I think!
Finally, in the evening, a totally different experience but fashion, still the same, at the Samia fashion show at the Katra Lounge, an Indian restaurant and bar on the Bowery. I wanted to go to this show a great deal because younger and less well known designers need the same kind of coverage the press gives to the heavy hitters and well established designers, like Carmen Marc Valvo. The setting and the vibe was much more informal, of course, done on much less of a budget than the big shows have. But still, we were there to see models wearing new fashions, and we did get a satisfying show. The mostly very young crowd sat on two levels, on square cushions or lined up around the bar. The music included disco versions of “boogie Oogie Ooggie” until the show began (predictably, late) and then the models sashayed past the assembled crowd to a more traditional, Indian vibe. I don’t have much in the way of information about the hair and makeup, but, interestingly, the updos, created by Concerto by Friddie reminded me a bit of a very avant garde version of Odile’s look for Carmen Marc Valvo…except the hair was exaggerated, with high pompadours and three “rolls” of hair in the updos. The look was a bit like Grace Kelly goes crazy..but it worked with the clothes. Makeup (by Sammy) was hard to see in the dark room, but it looked to me again like it was a much more exaggerated and punk-ish version of the smoky eye and shiny, fairly nude lip. If I can get more details, I will post them.
And the clothes? I am not familiar with Samia Mahmood, the designer, so I can’t really tell if this is a typical collection or not…but I liked it a lot…the clothes are the type anyone of any age could wear…Indian cottons, some embellished with embroidery, some with little mirrors, and there was COLOR…deep puple, maroon, bright yellow, black, and cream. These are not the colors I’ve been seeing for Spring. These are what I’d call “Urban,” colors that are deep and vibrant, regardless of the season. For an urban person, the colors are not trendy, they’re timeless (and appropriate for City life). The clothes were casual, for the most part, although there was one outfit that featured a cropped black velvet v-neck top literally dripping front and back with intricate, golden embroidery. The look might not have had the couture trappings of Carmen Marc Valvo, but it was the type of look that a working woman could wear to a party, and look “Boho” not boring. There were harem pants, loose, swingy tops, ribbed cotton tanks, vests, and cropped skinny pants…the type of clothes that are really within the reach of a regular woman who can’t afford couture, but wants to look unique and stylish. All in all, I really liked the collection.
Show over, we planned to go to a party, but decided to grab a cab home instead. Tomorrow is another long day at Fashion Week!