Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18th, was the last day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and after 18 years, the last time it will be held in Bryant Park. Fashion as always evolves, so while there was just a hint of nostalgia at the closing party that night. (Large screens showing collections from the early nineties...oh those Supermodel days)! Most people are ready for the move to Lincoln Center. My good friend Peter Levy, who is in charge of global fashion for IMG (and recently named the third most powerful person in N.Y. Fashion, by the Daily News), will no doubt create some exciting new partnerships and presentation venues...I've got goosebumps already. Change and growth is good.
My last day at Fashion Week also held some firsts for me. My participation has always been as a fashion observer, clothes first, beauty, a side note... I was dying to see J. Mendel's presentation, not just because I am a huge fan of Gilles Mendel's work, but because this Fall, we will be carrying the line at Richards, where I am the Personal Shopper. I can't wait to see his exquisite ready-to-wear and furs on my clients.
What I had never done before, was backstage beauty. Sam Dark of Dark P.R., who represents Dashing Diva, invited me to see what Lead Nail Technician, Pattie Yankee, would be using on the models, to complement the collection. Pattie's choice, was the popular She E.O., a tonal, nude hue, with the slightest hint of pink. It flatters every skin tone, and didn't compete with the pecan, browns, blacks and metallic tweeds, Gilles showed under his gorgeous, ingeniously, cut furs. It also looked right, paired with the deep reds, Prussian Blues, and volcanic green mousseline evening dresses, (one more beautiful than the next. I was literally, hyper-ventilating).
While backstage, I had the opportunity to interview the utterly charming Ted Gibson, who represents L'Oreal Professionnel. After flat ironing the hair in tiny sections, Ted and his team, finished the hair with Professionnel's Texture Expert Freezing Mist and Texture Expert Infinium Hairspray, creating super sleek, sexy, shiny hair, to complement the clothes uptown, graphic feel. "Natural, yet strong, was what we were going for"...and they succeeded, winningly.
Wendy Rowe was in charge of makeup for Bobbi Brown. Also keeping things tonal, Wendy used warm honeyed hues, darker under the cheekbones to accentuate structure and a touch of illuminating glow under the brows, which were brushed and natural. Suede, a cream shadow, was used on both the lid and underneath the eye, plus a crisp line of black kohl. A light, natural gloss, in Chrystal completed warm look, of someone who just spent a long weekend in the Bahamas.
Fitting the changes in the wind, Gilles chose to show the clothes as presentation, rather than on the runway...unusual for the tents. The models lined both sides of the runway, in stillness, until it was their turn to exit a set up clean, white arches, and pose for the posse of photographers at the end of runway.
There is something to be said for the breath of anticipation, when everything goes dark, the house lights come up and the first model enters the runway, setting the tone for the collection. Same for the finale of last looks and the designers bow. There is a clear beginning, middle and end.
For me, a show never felt so complete. With fresh eyes, I understood how truly important the backstage beauty component is to complementing a collection. To see the total collaboration, on a spectacular collection, was a perfect way to end my days at the tents.
The champagne and the company of old friends at the party, was a perfect way to end my nights. Change and growth is good.