City Pulse

By Kathryn Holl

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There was no shortage of excitement and anticipation backstage Red Dress Friday morning. This year commemerates The Heart Truth’s fifth year at Fashion Week and the remarkable progress that has been made in the fight against heart disease in women. The 2007 Red Dress did not disappoint in star power; the impassioned Angela Bassett (for Carmen Marc Valvo), the stunning Katharine McPhee (for Daniel Swarovski), America’s Sweetheart Kelly Ripa (for Diane von Furstenberg) and the inspirational Billie Jean King (for Gustavo Cadile) were just some of those who walked the catwalk to encourage women to take action against heart disease. Not only were the women who walked motivational but it was quite refreshing to see beautiful real women strut their stuff down a runway that is often teeming with twiglets.

And while Fashion Week is of course about the designs, we at Beauty News were backstage with Bobbi Brown to get the inside scoop on the make-up and hair inspirations for Red Dress. Bobbi’s known for her fresh, natural colors that accentuate a woman’s true beauty and the make-up for Red Dress was no exception. This was Bobbi’s second year exclusively doing make-up for the show. “Nothing makes me happier than to be backstage at Red Dress,” said Brown. “These are real women who are truly beautiful and I love the excitement because you never know who’s going to walk until last minute.” Bobbi sent the models down with red nails, strong eyes, peachy cheeks and glossy lips with plenty of shimmer. Using many colors from her new Stonewash Collection, she used a combination of gel eyeliner smudged with an indigo / black liner and used a stone color to contour the eyes. Fresh and strong were her buzz words of the day. Bobbi likes the women to tell her what they want because if they feel comfortable in their makeup they will exude true beauty and confidence.

While Bobbi and her make-up artists were busy making the Red Dress models more flawless than they already were, Ashley Havier was diligently making certain everyone’s hair was runway-ready. Havier, a New York-based stylist with whom notable beauties Chloà« Sevigny, Jemma Kidd and Carmen Kass all trust their locks to was the head stylist backstage. Much like Bobbi, Ashley made sure every model was comfortable with her hair. His buzz words were smooth, sleek and voluminous. You may be surprised that he is a fan of Herbal Essences Body Envy spray to boost volume and Kerastase mouse for hold and height. When we asked if he was going to create any outlandish dos, Ashley confirmed the tried and true notion that, “Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.” We hear that Ashley – between Bobbi’s artistry and his perfection of hair these women were the pinnacle of sophistication.

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We also caught up with another hair guru, Ricardo Rojas, while he was taming the tresses of the Puerto Rican beauty and Miss Universe herself, Zuleyka Rivera (for Gustavo Cadile.) Rojas created volume and romance with Phyto Volume spray and a Tourmaline curling iron and kept hair in place with Nexxus Comb Thru hairspray. Rojas felt the entire Red Dress show was a “beauty story that started with the face that ultimately drew attention to the dress.”

When the lights dimmed and the show was about to begin, we realized how important this cause was when we spotted First Lady Laura Bush sitting in the front row. True to its name, all the women, in all different shape and sizes wore red and had fun while strutting down the runway to love-inspired tunes. Locks were flowing, the dresses were stunning and the mood was uplifting and quite emotional. When the next inspiring woman hit the runway, you realized this was more than just flawless hair and make-up, more than just high fashion – this was a mission.

Hopefully after another successful year of this moving campaign, women will be living longer, healthier lives and awareness will be heightened to take action to reduce the risk of heart disease – the number one killer of women today.

Originally published February 2007
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