City Pulse

By Laura Werling

The makeup look at Richard Chai this season was down to earth and natural, just like the flowing fabrics and neutral tones of the collection. Chai chose to keep the makeup simple and uncomplicated, keeping the look pure by taking advantage of the naturally fresh skin tones of the models. The backstage area was crowded and full of energy, but I had a chance to talk to MAC’s lead makeup artist, James Kaliardos. He described the makeup for the Richard Chai show to be transparent and futuristic, yet fresh.

One of his favorite products this season is the MAC eye shadow shade “Seaside”, which is a flesh-toned, peachy color. Kaliardos compared the eye shadow shade to Jean Harlow, describing the nude, fleshy tone to be sexy like the icon. A layer of silver eye shadow was applied over top of the “Seaside” layer, making it look dimensional and sheer. No mascara was used, which made the natural shape of each model’s eyes stand out. The skin was radiant and fresh as a result of a MAC cream face color to even the skin tone and produce a fresh, natural face. On the cheekbones and outside of the eyes, Kaliardos used a contouring face cream to give the look more depth, and continued with the fresh theme on the lips, which were painted nude.

The idea for the hair at the Richard Chai show was very similar to the makeup in the sense that they wanted to achieve a natural and effortless look. The hairstylist described the look to be “like that lucky moment, you know, when you just wake up and your hair is great the way it is.” The hair was loose and textured, and using Tigi dry shampoo to keep it clean and light. The hair was parted in the center and kept dry, not glossy. The hairstylist explained that the hair look was created around the idea of the Richard Chai girl; “this girl that is really cool, and doesn’t have to try so hard because she already has it.” Don’t we all wish we were that girl?

The Richard Chai collection worked in direct correlation to the hair and makeup looks: beautiful, effortless, and natural. The neutral tones of the fabrics and the tiny pleating and textures were flowing and tailored at the same time. There were long, feminine silhouettes, offset by soft, tailored wool coats. Knitwear made an appearance towards the middle of the lineup, mixing nicely with the light silk dresses. Chai’s use of asymmetrical lines worked to his advantage in the long, flowing shapes. Textures played off one another in different fabrics and tones, making the neutral colors speak volumes. Overall the Richard Chai show was a great way to kick-off fashion week: a fresh, light, exciting, and cool collection.

Originally published February 2011
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