New York Fashion Week is the most important fashion industry event of the season, allowing buyers, the press and celebrities to review designers’ collections in advance. Fall/Winter 2012 was held February 9-16, and, along with fellow Juut stylists Larissa Wong, Christy Dylo and D’Angelo Alston, I was fortunate enough to be there again for the backstage action. This season we styled Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, the ViVA Girls and G.K. Reid for the Daphne Guinness film screening, Eighteenth, Christian Siriano, and Fabiola Arias.
NYC Fashion Week 2012 author, Jen Hughes, is a Master Stylist at our Downtown location who has been in the game since 1996. With a down-to-earth manner and meticulous skill, she uses fashion, music, and pop culture history to create aspirational, yet wearable styles that suit her guest’s lifestyle, face shape and hair texture. Jen specializes in modern and classic women's haircuts, men's hair, runway, editorial, wedding and special occasion styles. Learn more by following Jen on Twitter (@jen_hughes) or by checking out her profile page.
We started bright and early at Lincoln Center for perhaps the most quintessentially glamorous show at fashion week. For Fall, Badgley Mischka combined muted golds, vintage metallics and architectural silhouettes to create goth glamour inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 film, Metropolis. Runway guru and celebrated editorial hair stylist Peter Gray drew from the film’s female lead and created a similar coif to Brigitte Helm’s demonic, fuzzy, backlit style. The look of the hair contrasted the German expressionist ideas and the hard angles of the collection. To create the style, a combination of small 3/8” and 1/2” curling irons were used to set the hair. The front was brushed into a soft fingerwave pattern while the tight curls throughout were combed out with a fork comb to explode into what Gray coined “fluffy cloud bombs.” Sections were then backcombed into irregular shapes in unexpected directions and set into place with strong-hold hairspray and a sock diffuser.
In the evening back in the very same tent at Lincoln Center we encountered another lively scene. While the wild popularity and backstage frenzy of Badgley Mischka and Betsey Johnson were not dissimilar, the hair looks and the eras that inspired them could not have been more different. “Betseymania,” Johnson’s swinging sixties ode to her very own 1965 beginnings as a designer, included looks named after Beatles songs and a soundtrack of Hullabaloo hits meets hip-hop mash-ups to accompany them down the runway.
The mod mania commenced behind the scenes with the traditional Betsey backstage bash including DJ, colorful pop rocks-infused cupcakes and champagne. Juut alumnus Jon Reyman for Aveda designed two looks he called “Twiggy meets Valley of the Dolls “ –– one very sleek, straight, center-parted and flat-ironed hairstyle and one wide-parted side ponytail with a three stranded braid –– to complement Betsey’s whimsical and youthful collection. “Betseymania” ended on a high note with a spirited squad of silver-clad cheerleaders and a bedazzled Betsey with her daughter and granddaughter in tow marching down the runway to a remixed “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” punctuated, of course, by her signature cartwheel and splits.
The most unusual and awe-inspiring show of the season was the one we worked for the premiere of fashion icon, Daphne Guinness’s film The Legend of Lady White Snake, a tribute to Alexander McQueen by photographer and filmmaker, Indrani. The show –– which also served as the launch of G.K. Reid’s Genghis Kahn collection –– took place in one of the U.S.’s oldest Gothic synagogues, now home to the Angel Orensanz Foundation, significant because the legendary building also housed the premiere of McQueen’s first collection in the 90s.
That morning began by styling China’s beautiful group of traditional musicians ViVA Girls for a photoshoot. Lead hair stylist Jon Reyman fused Elizabethan elements with stylings inspired by Star Wars’ Princess Amidala to create eccentric yet regal cones molded atop the girls’ crowns with Aveda Control Force hairspray and a combination of crimping, backcombing, binding and twisting the hair around wire bases. This technique was later applied to the models’ hair for the evening runway presentation.
The unexpected highlight of the evening was the instrumental segue performed by The ViVA Girls after the film and before the runway presentation. Models donning the same futuristic up styles walked down the aisle amid chairs where filmgoers sat, including the Honourable Miss Guinness herself. Apart from the snake-scaled gown that Guinness was wearing, the most striking piece in G.K. Reid‘s collection was an invisible dress that lit up with the use of flash photography.
In between styling the ViVA Girls photoshoot and the models for the G.K. Reid show, we were whisked away in a cab to the Eyebeam Studio for Alexa Galler’s afternoon Eighteenth presentation, the designer’s first independent show. Galler, inspired by the idea of girls wearing their fathers’ clothes, created classic pieces with unconventional cut-outs. To complement these contemporary (but wearable) basics, hair lead Jon Reyman braided brushed-out crimped hair into three separate half moon braids that joined together in the nape with a nine-strand braid. How many stylists does it take to create a nine-strand braid, you ask? Three. Two other Juut stylists and I teamed up to create the basket weave-like hairdo. The braids were then pulled apart and deconstructed for a modern accompaniment to Eighteenth’s simple but edgy collection.
Glorious goth glamour made its second appearance this season at former Project Runway star and designer, Christian Siriano’s show back at Eyebeam Studio. Siriano designed details into his collection –– like ethereal dresses, flowing capes and leather appliqués –– influenced by the beauty he found in bats, specifically those from the 1933 film The Vampire Bat. Aveda Creative Director, Antoinette Beenders’s inspiration for the hair was no different. She mirrored the wingspan of the bat in wide, flat ponytails, ironed straight and fastened with two adjoining hair combs above the nape. Hair was kept flat to the head with Aveda Control Force hairspray and a technique utilizing inverted French plaits on the sides of the head as an “undercut” to keep the hair flat and sleek, representing the body of the bat.
Finally, when we entered the green room of the Hotel Americano, we were pleased to find Cuban-American designer, Fabiola Arias was featuring fascinator headpieces. (Back in MN we have been laying the blueprint on our very own fascinator hats for Juut’s Spring benefit!) Aveda lead, Dennis Clendennan created sleek, tight wide buns to form a strong base and elegant showcase for the colorful and eclectic mix of headpieces designed by Arias’s milliner mother, Anilu Oms. These headpieces were the perfect accessories for Arias’s delicately detailed silk gowns and vibrant ombré cocktail dresses.
From glamorous fuzzy curl, sleek and straight styles and ponytails, to futuristic updos, deconstructed braids and simple buns, we learned so many different dynamic looks. We were especially thrilled to see that some of our Minneapolis musings are right on point with those of New York. Juut’s creative team has been diligently working on our April 29 benefit show and now we can’t wait to incorporate some of our new ideas and share all the NYC Fashion Week magic with our guests!