I was thrilled to be shooting for Kryolan Professional Make-Up again at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. The access you get when shooting for a sponsor is one of the greatest luxuries a member of the press corps can ask for. Being there from the moment the hair and make-up artists lay out their tools of the trade gives you a totally different view from arriving in the middle of the chaos that will inevitably ensue backstage and on the press riser. Since you are there backstage for hours, you get a much better chance of getting to know the models and make-up artists as well, so they really make that extra effort to give you some fantastic poses of the looks for the show.
Kelly Thompson from Kryolan USA created the dramatic look for the Falguni and Shane Peacock Fall 2013 show. She mimicked the strength and architectural nature of the clothes in the make-up, with the focus mostly on the eyes. Kelly created a very sharp black-as-night cat eye. This was such a big part of the look Shane even came backstage to make sure it was exactly what he had in mind on the test model (the first girl who shows up has her hair and makeup done by the master make-up artist and hair stylist in front of the other make-up artists or stylists on hand to show them exactly how to get the look for the day, including any last minute notes from the designer). To get this shape done correctly Kryolan drew the outside edges first and then filled in the rest of the eye. Piecey false lashes were attached to create some depth. A layer of eye gloss was added just before the girls took the runway to take the eyes from a matte finish to the shiny look of patent leather to match the leather that had been incorporated into so many of the outfits. For the rest of the face they went for a statuesque and sculptured look using a slight highlight in the center and some heavier contour on the outer edges of the face. The lips were done in a simple, lightly-tinted lip conditioner. Eyebrows were minimized by combing concealer into them, giving them a barely there appearance.
In addition to shooting for Kryolan, I also was covering the show for Jesse’s Girl cometics who provided the nail look. Beyoncé’s manicurist, Lisa Logan, worked with the designers on a simple, yet trendy look using Jesse’s Girl’s JulieG nail polish in Black Sheep and Liquid Metal. For the show, Logan first applied JulieG nail polish in Black Sheep to press-on nails in advance, followed by a thin mid-nail pinstripe in Liquid Metal to complete the look. Many shows this season used the press-on nails to be able to get intricate designs done in a flash behind the scenes. If you are trying this look for yourself at home on your own nails Lisa suggests applying a base coat first, then apply two coats of the JulieG shade in Black Sheep. Let the color set for two minutes, then with a skinny brush, take the JulieG shade in Liquid Metal and roll onto the middle of the nail. Let the nail dry for one to two minutes, then apply the top coat. This unique look could be used for an edgy wedding manicure as well. I would just suggest a different color base than black.
Then before I could believe it, it was time for the show to begin. 3 hours goes by in a blink backstage. I rushed out to my spot that I set aside hours earlier. The lights went down only seconds later, and then the show began. And when I say, show, I mean SHOW. Shane and Falguni Peacock have a real gift for theatrics. They are never content with just pretty. They want things elegant yet edgy. This was seen not only in their designs but also in the music selection for the show, a custom-made remix of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance with classical violin set to ear thumping dub-step rhythms. This infectious beat perfectly framed their “Wild Child” collection as it was designed to have a red carpet meets rock-and-roll edge to it.
The collection embraced the season’s sexy trend of over the elbow gloves. I’m not sure how warm their thin, skin-tight versions would keep you in the winter, but they sure do look amazing! The designers stayed true to their brand and integrated feathers, sequins, and prints seamlessly together across the collection. Using these combinations of materials one could quickly go over the top and overdone without a supreme eye for editing. Shane and Falguni Peacock proved in this collection that they are true masters of mixed media who know exactly how much is too much. They step right up to that line, but do not cross it. Every look sent down the runway had incredibly intricate details. I almost wish the show was done in “The Box” as a presentation so that you could really take it all in. It was only after looking at the photos in detail afterwards that I realized how cleverly they used the same pattern time and again of a growling black leopard. Under many garments there were exquisite sequined, beaded, and rhinestone studded bodices popping through the layers of leather and lace. I also loved how each piece was eye-catching from nearly every angle. The models would hit their pose at the end of the runway and then you’d be met with a whole new surprise as they turned to walk back.
Most of the pieces were anchored in well-executed, structured tailoring. This ranged from traditional boning and metal breastplates to well placed strips of sumptuous black velvet. Studded collars, skin-tight stretch black leather leggings, corseted waists, and bondage-like use of leather, gave the collection the punk rock/gothic glam edge the duo was aiming for. The collection ended with true show-stoppers, a series of gold and silver floor length gowns that were made up of patterns, seen earlier in the collection, but constructed with beads and rhinestones instead of fabric. Over top of these spectacular gowns, which some how still floated fluidly with ease down the runway despite the expected weight of such adornment, were structural breastplates that accentuated the curves of the female body. I could see a number of celebrities wearing these gowns on a red carpet in the near future, and if they are really avant-garde they’ll wear them just as they were shown at Lincoln Center, breastplate and all. While I think they would be fantastic at the Oscars, I have a feeling we’ll see several of the looks at music awards this year. The “Wild Child” dress with teal feathers screams Rihanna to me. Katy Perry and Eve are both avid fans of the brand. Eve was even sitting front row at the show and made an appearance backstage to give the designers her best. The short dress with the woven satin, leather, and lace vest would make a fantastic performance piece for her as it would show off her iconic paw print tattoos perfectly. All in all it was one of the most memorable shows of the week. Hopefully other new designers will take note of the interest in Falguni and Shane Peacock and take it to heart. They showed us that “life is too short to blend in” and fashion doesn’t have to be conservative and safe to be elegant. Shane and Falguni, thank you for being bold enough to take us all to the edge with you.