Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

Everyone who lives in or around New York knows that the September Fashion Week is the best (and only) week-long holiday of the year. Sadly, few employers have recognized it as such, and most of us are stuck at a desk for the majority of the week, furiously checking WWD to see what styles we should add to our Xmas lists. But the fortunate few who work in the business are such a sweet and kind bunch that they do all they can to share their anecdotes, experiences and best of all, advice, with us peasants who only dream that we can somehow assimilate some of the week’s killer looks into our fashion schemes. And once we’ve gotten over the fact that 97 percent of the fashions walking down the runway are out of our reach, we decide to settle for replicating the hair and makeup looks and buying knockoffs of the clothes. Or maybe that’s just the starving writers and actors I know…

To give us a glimpse into those crazy days that made up NYFW and let us in on what hair trends we fashion-forward females will be attempting to recreate in the coming months, BN spoke to a few of the hair stylists who were in on the action. Backstage at NYFW, stylists saw trends like color, ponytails and long, luxurious hair. Here, they tell us just what it was like amid the madness, and how those few days came to predict the hairstyles we’ll see through next spring.

Eva Scrivo, whose NYC salon is located at 50 Bond Street, worked backstage for the Thakoon Spring show. Ricardo Rojas, whose Madison Avenue salon just opened, worked the Sophie Theallet and Christian Cota shows. Paul Labrecque, whose business includes a trio of successful salon and spas, a product line and three private gentlemen’s salon and barbershops, styled the hair at the Pamella Roland show. The three NYC stylists shared their thoughts on the chaos that is NYFW, and what hair styles we’ll see popping up on our local streets and next to us in the grocery line at Whole Foods.

Describe the scene backstage at the show(s) you did hair for at the recent New York Fashion Week.
Ricardo: I’ve been doing the shows for years now and it can get very crazy. Everything that can go wrong will. It’s really important to focus on the art of hairstyling or you can really lose yourself in the madness. Same formula: arrive with team, set up beautiful clean stations stocked with Kerastase, Mason Pearson brushes, blow dryers, etc., models arrive, and then..CHAOS. Stay focused, don’t panic, hold team together – DONE!

Eva: Eugene Soloman, Diane Kendall and I worked backstage with over 30 models for the Thakoon Spring 2010 collection at New York Fashion Week. We did dozens of interviews with online magazines, beauty editors and international fashion reporters. It was an incredibly exciting experience and a tremendous inspiration for me as an artist.

Paul: The scene backstage for the Pamella Roland show was very, very busy and bustling. I brought a team of 10 stylists and assistants to help me make sure each model looked perfect. A few celebrities like Lisa Rinna, Nicky Hilton, Amanda Bynes and Nigel Barker from America’s Next Top Model, were some of the people we got to meet with backstage. Pamella had a very large diverse collection from evening wear to bathing suits, so there was a lot going on, but we kept everything together in the hair department and the girls went out looking fabulous.

What sorts of hair styles did you implement on your models for the show(s) you worked on?
Eva: Thakoon, Eugene and I were inspired by the “Seven Samurai.” The hair was styled up and off of the face to convey implicit functionality; it was molded, yet feminine to simultaneously express warrior strength and a unique, youthful sensuality.

Paul: Pamella’s whole line was inspired by Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings, so I created a look that had a loose wave with a severe side part. Each model with long hair or short hair had the look and it looked wonderful with her show.

Ricardo: Ultimately the hair stylist’s job is to take the designer’s vision and make it work on every girl and with every garment, and the spring collection really called for beauty more than edge; a mix of ’40s curls (for Christian Cota) and sleek pulled back styles (for Sophie Theallet). They are really wearable, not so alien.

What overall trends did you see in hair at Fashion Week?
Paul: I have found that designers like to keep things a little simpler and “wearable” for their shows at New York fashion week. There were a lot of slicked, sleek looks with a middle part at different shows and other shows had similar looks like mine, loose and down. The fashion shows in Paris and Milan get to be more avant-garde and edgy in the hair department.

Eva: Up-dos were definitely the dominant trend in hair. Much of the hair was sculpted into classic chignons. Structural upsweeps and braids were also popular.

Ricardo: This fashion week was all about texture, and long hair. I really think that beauty is back, and women and designers are ready for wearable art, both in the hair and the clothes.

What style/trend/design were you most surprised by at Fashion Week?
Ricardo: Color is in, but the lines are more simple. There is structure to the pieces but not too complicated. The collections really reminded me of the ’40s and the ’80s and I think it’s time to invite that feeling back. I am really looking forward to walk to my salon on Madison Avenue this spring and see versions of these fashions in the windows of the top designers on my block!

Eva: I was most surprised by the large amounts of appliqués designers used on their silhouettes. Something that used to function as a patch for fabric now seems to make a statement in fashion.

Paul: I am always pleasantly surprised with designers that make each look different and each model has a different style. As a stylist, it makes it more interesting, but for designers having the same look can keep everything uniform. It depends on what the designer is trying to achieve with the overall look from head to toe.

How will women recreate the hairstyles they saw at Fashion Week? What are some tips for how to use these styles at home?
Eva: Since up-dos dominated the show, I would recommend trying some of these styles at home. Many women rely on up-dos when they are in a hurry or are between shampoos. However, just putting hair up in a ponytail or getting it out of your face is not enough. It is important to smooth bangs and hair around the face and temples with a blow dryer prior to styling. If you spend a few minutes preparing the hair, you’ll get a much more polished look when putting your hair up or back.

Ricardo: The key to creating a good hairstyle is a food foundation. You really have to have a proper haircut to make any product or tool work for you properly. With the right cut a style can be easy and last for days. The second would be to learn to set your hair and never be afraid of hairspray.

Paul: To achieve my style, you need a soft diagonal cut that moves the hair away from the face, giving you the perfect windblown runway look. To style, start with Paul Labrecque Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. Follow with Paul Labrecque Color Style foaming mousse on damp hair. Use a blow dryer with the new Paul Labrecque Large Round Thermal Brush which contracts the heat and acts like a hot roller for amazing volume and lift. Finish with Paul Labrecque Straight Finish Anti Humidity Hair Mist for a light, touchable, soft hold.

Originally published October 2009
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