The Y&Kei show (Water the Earth) took shape with a flow of white pieces. From the white cotton duck pants, ivory silk blouses, to the ivory sequined trapeze dress with pleated and ruffled hem, everything seemed liquid, gazelle-like, yet chic. What was unmistakable on the runway was the short Linda-Evangelista-esque hair (the models wore wigs) in platinum, auburn, blonde and black. Alain Pichont, hairstylist for Aveda, said that he wanted a “strong look” for the hair that would offset the clothes. The wigs complemented the chic look of the collection which had some very romantic elements to it (think taupe faille skirt with palest pink charmeuse blouse).

The makeup, done by Romero Jennings for M.A.C., was minimal but texturized. “It looks really simple, but it isn’t,” says Jennings. “It’s all about creating a dimension of light and dark, and highlighting the eye.” Indeed, the Spring 2007 look is about makeup tailored to each individual, so that his or her unique features, the eyes, nose or mouth, is enhanced. Jennings applied a light foundation from M.A.C. in Pearl on the nose, giving it a more 3-dimensional effect. The foundation used was a cream color base, but in keeping with the looks for Spring, the effect looked more nude than made up.

I also spoke to the spunky model Tiiu, who is doing her eighth Fashion Week (check out our video podcast for more). Tiiu said that she was having a great time at Y&Kei and that the makeup was “really, really beautiful.” The effect on the runway was homogenous and stunning: models elegant with perfectly groomed hair, and glowing faces with strong eyes and lips. These pros really know how to work hard but make it look like child’s play.

[b]Cali Come Calling[/b] By Lauren Baccus

“It’s California beach meets couture” said hairstylist Neil Weisberg of Neil George Salon with a laugh. Backstage at the Michon Schur show, the co-founder of the must have also infused the space with some of his own West Coast cool sensibilities. It was almost 30 minutes until the first model was due to hit the runway and many of the girls were arriving late. Only a few had even gotten started on hair and make-up. Where one would expect chaos, however, it was just another day at the beach for Weisberg’s group and the NARS make-up team, led by Ayako Yoshimura.

In creating this upgraded California dream, Weisberg decided to emphasize natural-looking texture and just a touch of volume. To achieve the soft curl, hair was curled into ringlets with an iron and then sprayed with a light hair spray. To give the roots a little lift, the hairstylists worked at the scalp, scrunching and shaking out for added volume. Weisberg also added some curled hair extensions to create the look of full healthy hair.

Ponytails were also a large part of Weisberg’s California couture queen, set lower on the head, on either side and slightly messy.

To compliment the collection, the NARS team also decided to give the models a very natural and easy look, the focus of which being luminous and dewy skin. Yoshimura warns, however, that to successfully carry this look off the runway, women must be aware of the very thin line between moisture and grease. The key, she suggests, is to use a water based hydriant like NARS’ Aqua Gel Hydrator as opposed to layering shimmery powder on a matte base. Yoshimura also avoided any kind of shimmer on the cheeks and opted instead for the creamy organic tones (NARS colors Lokoum and Gina) inspired by the collection.

Yoshimura stayed true to the collection’s muted tones for the eyes as well but also incorporated a beautiful light metallic blue found in some of the pieces. This was applied with a brush over a neutral color which toned down some of the zing of the metalic hue against an otherwise neutral face. Layering also came in handy with the lips, which were lined in a matte lip pencil and then lightly coated with an orange/pink gloss (NARS Risky Business) giving more depth than a standard lip tint, but still keeping the look natural.

Like the collection, hair and make-up was designed to be immediately wearable. For Spring, ease reigns supreme and the glow of natural beauty takes center stage. Investing in products that restore and maintain healthy hair and skin are the real trends this upcoming season. Now if we could just figure out how to hang ten on the subway.

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