I was really excited to attend the Gustavo Arango show at the Altman Building Saturday afternoon, February 3rd, because I was invited backstage and one of my faves, AVEDA, was doing the hair and the makeup on this show. The backstage area at the Altman building is really spacious compared to the tents, and it was easy to spot and interview Rudy Miles, AVEDA Global Face Color Artist, and others from the Aveda Makeup Team.
Gustavo Arango designs glam clothes for glamorous women, especially Latina woman, so the look for this show was inspired by Hollywood glamour of the 1920’s, but not quite as controlled or “done” (check out the model in the photo, below):
The makeup artists and hair stylists are working on a short time frame on lots of models at the same time. They have to answer the same, endless questions over and over again. Even so, to a person, all of the backstage teams have been gracious and responsive to me as a writer and reporter. The AVEDA staff in particular were so nice to be around! They seemed to be enjoying their jobs, and their colleagues (special thanks to makeup artist TERRY whose husband was also backstage, on the “hair” team). I didn’t interview the team from Pritti Organix Nail Salon, but they did the manicures.
Gustavo Arango came by to talk to Jon for a moment. I was too tongue-tied to introduce myself, but the designer, outwardly very calm, said he hadn’t slept much the night before the show (I can just imagine!). He needn’t have worried since the collection, although body conscious, was beautiful and quite wearable, even for non-models. Mr. Arango, born in Colombia and raised in Puerto Rico, studied in New York at F.I.T., subsequently working as a fashion designer for Pierre Balmain and then launching his own collection. An interesting but sad note is that the designer’s apartment was destroyed during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th. He moved back to Puerto Rico. His collection now is inspired by the exotic beauty of Puerto Rico, and the urban chic of New York. The clothes moved with the body, especially the evening gowns in chiffon and silk charmeuse that were accented with beads in many cases. One I particularly liked was a slate silk charmeuse gown with lizard straps. Shoes were high, high, and higher, from Beverly Feldman and La Favorita. I don’t know what the fashionistas will say about the collection, but my personal opinion is that Gustavo Arango designs to make every woman look beautiful, no matter what her age or features.