Marc Jacobs brings NYFW beauty to a dramatic close.
Stylist's Beauty Editor Sam Flowers and Associate Editor (beauty) Joanna McGarry are bringing you all the beauty news from New Fashion Week AW15 - keep track of their updates here.
There are two things you can be sure of when the final day of New York Fashion Week rolls around: 1. You will be required to fight through some pretty horrific traffic to get to the Park Avenue Armory (the seasoned location of Marc Jacobs' show) and 2. You will be glad you did because - and without exception - Jacobs will tear up everything you've seen so far and present an other-worldly fashion narrative to send you on your way to London Fashion Week. It's a formula that never fails.
So for autumn/winter then, or rather - Fall - Jacobs has sketched out a world of opulence, decadence and romance. Jacobs ensigns his co-collaborators once again; Redken's Guido Palau on hair and Francois Nars using his self-named line on make-up. This is a power duo of the highest order and, unlike many other designers that partner with them, you get the feeling that Jacobs encourages their creativity and embraced their vision.
That vision was one which has been omitted from the Jacobs catwalk for many seasons now; that of a mature, idiosyncratically beautiful and wanton woman. She is no longer the punky teen or the angry goth. She's a woman that sings in French jazz bars and smokes cigarettes in bed with her lover.
Guido's hairline dishevelled bun had its own art school leanings while Francois' matchstick brows and gloriously slick pewter eyelids offered a grandeur befitting of a 1920s Berlin stage.
We saw our fifth (and counting) berry lip of the season, this one distinguishable by its refusal to define the lip line. She appears to have been kissing under moonlight.
If this show is anything to go by (which it always is), we're in for a heady trip of effort-ful hairstyling and elaborate make-up stories. Bring it on. JM
Model watch: The five new faces you need to know
Agency: DNA Models
Shows: Victoria Beckham, Hugo Boss, Proenza Schouler
The hair! Oh, the hair! We first spotted Spanish model, Mica backstage at Victoria Beckham where her face-framing glam rock hair slayed our hearts. She sort of makes us want a perm. Which is weird.
Agency: Premier Models
Shows: Vera Wang, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang
A sure fire contender for face of the season (yes, already), Memphis-native, Sarah Brannon's raw-edged beauty has won her some high-profile fans, among them; Givenchy creative director, Riccardo Tisci and Alexander Wang. Watch this face.
Agency: Premier Models
Shows: Victoria Beckham, Vera Wang, Lacoste, Anna Sui, Cushnie et Ochs
With doll-like features, super-glowing skin and a playful demeanour, Ghangzhou-born Luping has pounded almost every major NYFW catwalk. And she's even snared herself a selfie with one Mr. David Beckham. Good work.
Agency: IMG Models
Shows: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Tam, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Honor, Noon by Noor
Scarlet is a model for whom an entirely new word needs to be invented. Fierce, yes, but much more than that. Striking, yes, but accessible too. A trained jazz dancer, hailing from the Dominican Republic, expect to see her mile-long legs strut their way through London, Milan and Paris.
Agency: IMG Models
Shows: Altuzarra, Jason Wu, Tommy Hilfiger, Proenza Schouler, Michael Kors
A regal sort of beauty, with strawberry-blonde accents, Julia manages to straddle those all-important modelling touchstones: fresh, sun-kissed youthfulness and ageless, grown-up elegance. We're dying over those freckles. Freckles and cheekbones.
The grit and the grace: A game of two halves
New York is many things, but if you were to slice it open and look at it's insides, you’d likely see half as much pretty, princessy pink cashmere as you would shiny black leather. It’s that dramatic tension between very disparate worlds that conjures up an energy that pervades the city like no other.
And it was this very dichotomy that played out backstage on Day 5 of New York Fashion Week.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Over in one corner, was Marc by Marc Jacobs, helmed by Brits, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier. With chief inspiration drawing from the Guardian Angels that frequented the dangerous hub of 1980s New York subways, with a mission to protect the public, each model was to wear a black beret on the catwalk.
To ensure the hair didn’t fight with the hat, Redken’s creative consultant, Guido Palau kept the silhouette small and neat, but played a riff on the texture instead with copious amounts of Redken Frame Force 07 Mousse.
"I wanted the hair to feel thinner to go with the beret cap. It’s not wet - it’s dry to the touch. You know when you put mousse in the hair, it texturises it but leaves it separated, I didn’t want a big wodge of hair," he says.
And rather than transform the scrunched-in texture that mousse so famously gives, Guido embraced that old-school crispy texture for a fresh, subversive finish. “It’s a very 80s product, so we’re in the right world. It’s the idea of being a bit rebellious - you get an anarchic feel of the girl, she’s not too soft.”
"That’s not the only time the beret was worn; it was in revolutionary times and in punk they wore it - Jonny Rotten famously wore a beret when he went to Paris," Guido explained. "Che Guevara, Debbie Harry wore one when she was doing a militant look. It gives girls a boyish quality too."
Later that day, at Oscar de la Renta, Guido channelled a very different sort of New York woman.
Oscar de la Renta
With a neat, tight and mirror-shiny beehive, Oscar de la Renta treated us to a visual reminder of the Park Avenue scion of New York; a lady who lunches, a lady who wears white gloves to carry her Birkin bag and a lady who understands her beauty and knows her own worth.
"The thing is about doing this sort of up-do and the chicness and the elegance that goes with this house, Peter [Copping, newly appointed creative director at Oscar de la Renta] wanted a nod to that. If you do a dishevelled version of it, she doesn’t look quite right,” Guido said. “The closeness of the neck is key for this show, it’s about elongating the neck when you do this kind of woman.”
“We see enough of the other - very easy hair we can all do ourselves. Still, a french twist is something most women can have a go at. We’ve done that a lot, we’ve seen that a lot. That’s a different woman. The groomed-ness of this woman makes it so special.” JM
The spaces in between: Killing time in NYC
We spend days ducking in and out of backstage hubs, fighting to take photos, straining to hear in interviews but sometimes - just sometimes - we find ourselves with an hour to kill. So what do we do? We're in New York, so there are some things that it's practically law to do....
You go get a facial - that jetlag bloat won't massage itself away.
Or, you administer your own face mask back at the hotel:
You go and get a cheeky new piercing - you could use the adrenalin boost after all...
There's always a new hair salon to cast your eye (and hair) over...
Where you fall in love with a Donald Robertson mural:
When you're trying to be saintly, you can squeeze in a spin session at Soul Cycle:
But let's be real, you're in New York so it's all about the food. And boy, are we enjoying the food. JM
If there's one thing a backstage beauty girl knows, it's that you can always count on Rodarte to bring it. After yesterday's homage to 90s nudes, make-up artist James Karliardos' under-the-eye sparkle was entirely welcome.
Placing 10 Swarovski crystals in a straight line underneath each line eye, Kaliardos told us that the crystal underliner was a celebration of all things reflective.
Is a little eye-adornment a trend for AW15? After Caroline Herrera's silver flecked, 'dew-tipped' lashes and Rodarte's crystal liner we're keeping an eye out. Ahem. SF
Now we’re at the halfway point of the antarctic fug that is New York Fashion Week, we’re starting to spot some standout beauty themes, the most wearable of which is the revival of a very '90s Helmut Lang style neutral palette.
At Donna Karan, make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury (on fabulous form as ever) cited "an androgynous, minimalist Lauren Bacall" as chief inspiration for her chestnut-hued accents. She used a variety of MAC’s Cream Colour Bases to add subtle nuances to each model’s particular skin tone, finishing with a barely-there, defined lip, by adding a touch of lip liner in the same shade as the lips, around the outer edge.
The backstage Kendall circus continues. We counted 14 hangers-on crowding around her seat, and what is very probably her burly security guard. If this backstage season is remembered for anything, we have a feeling it’ll be for the transition from models to celebrities.
Have you ever seen a nail palette more gloriously, emphatically in homage to the '90s than this one? New York nail legend, Deborah Lippmann took the “strictly tailored” description of the collection and applied it to the nails with her Undressed series of 6 neutral nail colours, using the Skin Deep shade on most models. “Apply a thinner layer of polish if you have pinky undertones to your skin,” she advised.
The beautifully quirky model, Ondria Hardin (she of incredible brows) perfectly showcases the light-as-a-feather strokes of creams and pale browns, almost like a sepia photograph come to life.
At Zac Posen, make-up artist Kabuki continued the theme of '90s neutrals but added a dash of disco with a surfeit of metallic eyes in pewter, mauve and maroon.
Rag & Bone
Stylist-favourite Gucci Westman riffed on her love of "Jean Seberg and Milla Jovovich" at Rag & Bone to create a restrained-yet-tough fusion of skin-neutrals on cheeks and lips, set off with an indelible imprint of black kohl around the eyes (note: lose the flick part for the AW15 take on eyeliner).
Rag & Bone can always be relied upon for a killer casting of new and exciting faces: Grace Hartzel is one such girl (having recently been cited as Hedi Slimane’s muse at Saint Laurent).
Here she is with make-up artist Gucci Westman, dressed in her own very '90s maroon velvet dress. How apt. JM
Hair accessories make a resurgence for AW15
From Derek Lam to Carolina Herrera, hair embellishments are back. So said Orlando Pita, lead stylist for TRESemme, when I caught up with him over lunch at Cipriani this afternoon.
As Jo reported yesterday, at Derek Lam Pita secured ponytails with mushroom coloured leather ovals secured with chopsticks and then this morning, I watched as he bound low ponies with lengths of metallic leather string (pewter on the brunettes and silver on blondes). We've also spotted barrettes at Suno and metallic hair bands at Honor.
So why are hair accessories ruling the runway?
"Hair's got a little simple the past few seasons," Pita explained, "I needed to amuse myself so I came up with the ideas of using the little leather ties or the chopsticks and suggested to the designers that it'll make the hair a little more interesting than a simple ponytail."
We'll be keeping our eyes peeled for more hair adornments over the next few weeks. SF
Have we spotted a key AW15 trend already? Matte and oxblood - no lipliner needed - seemed to be every make-up artist's look of choice for the runway today.
The red lip was re-imagined for AW15 by make-up artist Diane Kendal backstage at Carolina Herrera:
After evening out the skin tone with a light weight foundation, she added a little burnished blusher to the cheeks, glossy highlight to the lids and sprinkled lashes with a dusting of silver glitter to create a 'water kissed' effect.
Then came the pièce de résistance, Mac's Oh Lady liquid lipstick (out in autumn), a matte, deep red painted on freehand without the restraints of a liner.
Why? "It's more modern," Kendal told me. SF
3.1 Philip Lim
At Lim I found myself face to face with make-up artist Francelle Daly's 90s inspired lip.
"It's a take on modern punk," she explained. "The shade reminds me of a pair of oxblood leather Doc Martens I wore to death in the 90s."
Brandishing Nars Lipstick in VIP, a shade Daly promises suits all skin tones, we were again advised to skip the liner. "It's chic, understated and bold." SF
The insiders' guide to NYC's must-have manis
There are some things in life you just don't do. One of those is visiting NYC and not going to a nail bar.
Why? Well, my reasoning is two-fold; there is one on practically every corner and at $12 for a polish job it's a world away from the £60 you can expect to cough up for a basic manicure back at home. Quite frankly, it would be rude not to. But with so much choice, where to go? I asked around backstage...
According to Philip Picardie, Senior Beauty Editor at Refinery29 and Sophia Panych, Beauty Editor at beauty bible Allure, those in the know go to Vanity Projects.
Nestled in the heart of ChinaTown, blink and you'll miss it. I've walked past the door a dozen times without really paying it much attention but go through the slim-line entrance, up two flights of stairs and you're greeted with a contemporary nailart gallery.
With art-house films projected onto the wall, a rainbow wave of polishes adorning the wall and a curated selection of designs and adornments to choose from it could have been a little overwhelming, but the manicurists talked me through everything until I settled on a neon-pink marbled design. Obsessed.
If you're visiting NYC and can't get an appointment at Vanity Projects visit one of my other favourites:
Paintbox Nails: Home to the mani-cam. Once your paint job is dry, have your mani-moment sent straight to your Instagram account.
Valley Nails: The original NY nail art hot spot. Book weeks ahead, I'm warning you.
Ten Over Ten: After a mammoth day of shopping, book a recovery appointment here for a super-luxe mani pedi with complimentary shoulder massage.
Spa-Belles: A NY chain of cheap yet cheerful nail bars. No appointment necessary.
Thompson Nails: Hidden away on Thompson Street, deep in the heart of Soho. Ignore its deceptively simple appearance - I've sat next to Jessica Alba at the pedi-station in here before. SF
Diane von Furstenberg
DVF is one show that everyone wants a piece of, -10 degree weather or not. The first killer casting of the season; I spied Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn and Sam Rollinson in the make-up room where beauty visionary Pat McGrath was holding court.
"It's about seduction and modern glamour ," she explained, using a fluffy eyeshadow brush to sweep the gold eyeshadow from the soon-to-launch Max Factor Smoky Drama Kit along models cheekbones, enhancing the bronze tones in the classic smoky eye.
I snapped Kendall Jenner in the backstage throng again today. Which look do you prefer? Yesterday's ghoulish girl at Alexander Wang or today's sultry and seductive look at DVF?
Over on hair, Orlando Pita explained that Diane wanted a 'lived-in' feel to counterbalance the polished make-up.
"I love messy hair," he told me, "it's cool, it's modern." And it's the best news I've heard all week. SF
For all her innate glamour, this is a show that leans towards beauty restraint; mascara-less eyes, barely-touched skin and combed, undefined brows. No change there, then.
Make-up artist Pat McGrath told me the make-up was an ode to having been out all night partying, she’s not from New York or London in particular, “she’s a city girl.” If I looked like that after a night’s partying I’d be a very happy girl indeed.
Do we detect the beginnings of a key hair trend for Autumn/Winter 15? New York’s favourite catwalk hairstyle, the ponytail was reimagined for fall by Redken’s global creative director, Guido. Enmeshing a bun with a ponytail with some teased out texture.
He began by blow-drying the hair smooth, affixing it into a low ponytail, without pulling the hair through the final loop.
To add some texture, he came up with an entirely new way to use hair styling’s most timeless product: lacquer. The trick is to “spray it into your hands and just rake it through the hair,” Guido explained, spritzing Redken Fashion Work 12 Versatile Hairspray into his palms.
The result? Tough, modern, strident and cool: ideal for the Big Apple, then. JM
Make-up artist Tom Pecheux’s taupe feline eye melted hearts. He used a selection of Mac creams and balms to create a muted palette to honour the archetypal Derek Lam woman, a woman who “loves quality.”
But, those ponytails! Hair stylist Orlando Pita drew inspiration from “high school girls who wore these leather barrettes, they were much larger with flowers embossed on them.”
Orlando’s version was an update on an old classic: using the same mauve leather from the collection, he spent last night cutting elliptical shapes and snapping chopsticks in half to create a beautiful two-part hair accessory, adding that he hopes they get put into production. Us too Orlando, us too. JM
7am: This is not hyperbole, New York has frozen over. This calls for some new stomping boots and Topshop came to my saviour, these were $55 in the sale. Score.
I’m relying on a torrent of skin creams and serums to pep up my jetlagged, frostbitten face. Take a bow Chanel HydraBeauty Nutrition and Estee Lauder Resilience Lift. I shall bathe in you again tonight.
"The cold never bothered me anyway."
It seems like the influence of Disney's Frozen has spread to the beauty industry. Rounding off day three with yes, another cold weather inspired make-up look, was Altuzarra.
Make-up artist Tom Pecheux explained the look was based on "icy maidens" as he created a glossy eyelid using a melange of Mac cream shadows in greys, blues and lilacs.
Kendall Jenner? Or Wednesday Addams?
Jin Soon created "snow-tipped" neutral nail art for the Tibi show - extremely fitting in these frosty conditions.
The first backstage of the season is at new designer Misha Nonoo. Inspired by the frosty weather, lead make-up artist Marc Reagan used Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink on the apples of the cheeks for a "flushed and frosty look" as if the models had just stepped in from the cold.
7am: It's BELOW FREEZING in NY today and with temperatures set to dip to an estimated -16 I made sure I was prepped for the day.
I'm using hydrating, long-wear formulas from Bare Minerals and Nars and rosy glow boosters from Bobbi Brown and Smashbox - plus a suitcase full of cashmere. Before the shows it was time for a pancakes pit stop at Mercer Kitchen. It's got to be done.
Stylist's fashion and beauty teams are reporting from the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris at Stylist.co.uk/fashion-week