Started the day at 6 am…got dressed and found a seat on the train. A postal worker next to me, wearing both his huge “ID” badge AND his cell phone around his neck said: “Madam, if you touch me with your foot I’m going to be upset, VERY upset!” I looked at hi. I looked at my foot. It was still attached to my leg. I hardly knew what to say and I wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation with someone from the Postal Service, so I simply, moved.
At 7: 15, I was at the backstage entrance to the Atelier, the smaller of the venues at Bryant Park, to go backstage for the TIBI show. I wasn’t on the list for some reason, but I had brought my paperwork and for once, the girls doing the check-in couldn’t have been nicer. I quickly walked backstage and met my contact from NARS, who also couldn’t have been nicer, and a lovely young assistant PR person, as well.
I gulped a few sips of coffee and got my voice recorder ready to speak to Ayako, the International Makeup Artist for NARS. She told me the idea for the TIBI show makeup was “Charlie’s Angels’s Jacqueline Smith” (not Farrah). Why? Because Ms. Smith waas the angel who had beauty, but also, strength and presence. After she proceeded to tell me every single product being used, I realized that my voice recorder hadn’t recorded a single thing. I got her to do it again, but it STILL didn’t work (I later found out that in fact, I DID get Ayoko telling AdviceSisters readers about the makeup on digital voice recorder and she will be in my podcasts next week). However, at the time, I resorted to my old-fashioned, luddite ways, scribbling notes down with a pad (that fell apart in my hands) and a pen (that stopped writing after one sentence but of course, I had another). At least my camera, worked and I got some nice photos of Ayako working on a few of the models which will be used on my web site and in conjunction with other articles I’ll be doing online about fashion week in the not-too-distant, future. And, a helper fellow reporter from Sephora.com told me HER voice recorder wasn’t working, either (or at least, we both were still learning how to use them). Then, I didn’t feel so bad. She had a backup camera, too. I had only one, but thankfully, my little Nikon Coolpix, held together with tape as it is, still works pretty well.
Undaunted by my equipment failure, I went to speak to lead stylist Alain Pichon from Aveda, who told me the hair “story” was this: “a lovely young woman gets ready to go out on the town and has her hair done, but the next morning, her hair is a bit messier, but still pretty.” Ok, I did buy this concept…it went so well with the clothes. Hair was being held very close to the head, with lots of Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Spray, and then held down with large clips. The bottom part of the hair, however, was bouncy and full of volume. On the runway, this looked worked incredibly well, giving the girls hair that bounced and moved, but was still controlled and shiny. Sleek and yet, romantic.
The look for makeup was also sophisticated, a bit retro, and romantic. It was light and glowy, with a lot of shimmer on eyes and a hint of shimmer on the cheeks. In general, International makeup director Ayako didn’t use foundation (or at least, not much) because the girls are so young and fresh anyway, and that’s the look–young and glowing. Ayako used a bit of NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator moisturizer first on their faces to get the dewy look, going. Then she used a new, rust-y eye shadow called “Petula” for a blush (won’t be available until Summer 2007–but you’ll want it then). This gave the model’s complexions a nearly perfect glow, brushed lightly and blended well. On eyes, sparkle was a must. There was a mauve and pink duo new for spring which looked quite beautiful and quite sparkly under the bright, artificial lights, but I think it would actually look more subdued, and better, in natural light. I think the duo was called “Habernero” but I’ll have to check on this and make a correction if I’m wrong. In any case, it won’t be available until Spring 2007. Ayako also used a bit of black eye liner and black mascara, but not TOO much. All the models wore a sheer nude beige lipstick called “Belle de Jour” – already a popular color available now in the NARS collection. If this “no lipstick” color is too light for you, I’d suggest an overlay of one of the NARS beautiful, sheer glosses perhaps in a pink or peach. Nails (hands and feet) featured polish by Creative Nail Design, in French pink or beige, with a sparkling overlay of iridescent gold that no ne could see form the runway, but let me tell you, it’s beautiful, and you’ll want it come Spring 2007 (sorry ladies, not available until then).
And the show? I got a good seat. I was surprised that the show wasn’t filled, but then again, it was the first show of the day, and I am sure more than a few fashionistas were sleeping off last nights’ parties. The hair and makeup really did fit the clothes, which were fresh and young, and sort of uncomplicated and breezy–good for the rebirth of Spring. Most of the dresses were short and loose, sort of mumu or baby doll and with evening wear, there was lots of chiffon and thin cotton and silk. There was some color (most noteably in a flowing, chiffon-y evening gown) but not the bold, brights of last year. These were soft and modestl-filmy clothes in ecru and other soft colors. My favorite was a full skirted, black and white coat (black with little white squares that alternated white with black, on the other side). It was worn down the runway, belted with a large, black belt, probably one of the more fitted things I’ve seen…and I would have raced to the store to buy it then and there.
On to Monique Lhuillier. I love her fitted and sophisticated clothes, but this collection seemed looser (as with all the designers so far) and sort of “safe.” There was lots of raw linen and diaphanous fabrics here, too. But there was the surprise of large, jeweled collars and glittering belts…and this is the only show where “bling” appeared at all (I always like this look, so I’m definitely not complaining). Black and white, moss green, khaki, gold, grey, taupe, pewter, lots of silk chiffon with jewels. A lot of the short pieces were gathered at the bottom so the hem was bouffant. The collection was, otherwise, so body conscious thateven the models looked stick thin in these flowing evening gowns. The average woman buying these gorgeous confections will not the same effect…but the gowns are still beautiful…even if you get it in larger sizes. I wasn’t backstage for this hair and makeup, but Kevin Ryan did the hair in simple, shiny buns, and the makeup by Christian McCullouch for MAC was much like that at TIBI…dewy, pink lips, not too much color. Moving downtown to 18th Street at the Altman Building, I waited in the blazing sun for the Araks show. Inside there was the usual, frosty bin of water or TAB (in this case) and it would have been extra lovely if someone giving out the beverages had taken a bunch to the standing room line. Anyway, I got there way too early, and the show was running over half an hour late (maybe 40 minutes late). I was so punchy from the heat and dehydration by the time I got inside and sat down that I could hardly focus on the clothes. What I remember, and from my photos, is that they were diaphanous…mostly ecru..actually, lots of cotton voile. My favorite thing was a short, swing jacket with huge silvery snaps, in a sweatshirt material. The evening dresses were slips over loose, diaphanous cotton Voile. Pretty, on the right person. Pretty, but in some cases pretty sheer. Young and fresh, once again. Hair was by Peter Elofson and the Rusk artistic team, Makeup by Andrea Helgadottir, and nails with products by Creative Nail Design (but I really couldn’t see what was on their fingers and toes)–I’m assuming french pink and beige with perhaps, that gorgeous gold-shimmered overly, as in the TIBI show.
I then took a train to 34th street, bought a battery for my Nikon Coolpix at B&H (a huge electronics store) and walked to the Javitt’s Center, carrying a bag that was getting heavier and heavier as the day, progressed. Once in the Health and Beauty Expo at the Javitt’s Center, it was really good to sit down in the press lounge and have something to eat and drink, especially after being up so long and in the sun without food or water (sounds like torture, but it wasn’t really that bad, of course). I wandered around the show for a few hours, looking primarily at packaging and private label cosmetics companies. Then I hopped on a shuttle bus which, instead of taking us directly to Penn Station (a logical, and the closest stop) proceeded to crawl in traffic for nearly 50 minutes, all the way to 45th Street and 2rd Avenue, only to turn around at the Roosevelt Hotel and bring us back to 30th Street and 7th Avenue (go figure).
Stay tuned for more fashion week, tomorrow.