Friday, March 9, 2012

Fall 2012 Fashion Week Hair Trends: We See London, Await France…

Burberry Prorsum

The fashion industry is enough to turn your head right around: Spring fashions are shown in September of the previous Fall; Fall fashions in February and March of the same year. 

So, while your current stack of glossy magazines are showing the warm-weather clothes and beauty trends that strutted down the Spring 2012 catwalks in 2011 -- full of clothing colors from breezy pastels to neons; styles preppy and safari to ethnic and edgy; red lips from matte to gloss, from brow/red to sheerest vermillion;  rosebud lips; cat’s eyes, smoky eyes, white/silver metallic shadow, deep-toned glitters, or brilliant pops of eye shadow; flushed cheeks; and heavy darker brows; hair with pastel streaks and dip-dyed tips, slicked back ponytails, embellished up-dos, and sleek center parts --  New York, London, and Milan just wrapped up their respective Fall 2012 Fashion Weeks, and Paris Fashion Week is coming to a close. 

Ossie Clark
LONDON: The watchword for hair at London’s Fall Fashion Week, with the usual notable exceptions, was touchability, natural texture, and shine, embodied beautifully at Burberry Prorsum. The overall motif in London for the upcoming Fall is looks you could achieve yourself – or that at least look as if you could. 

Vivienne Westwood
These are hairstyles that are wearble and commercial; the colors look healthy, natural, highly reflective, and are very European, lacking the usual American overabundance of highlights. This is hair that just begs to be touched (, Ossie Clark, Burberry). 

Alexander McQueen
Of course, it wouldn’t be London without Vivienne Westwood’s and Alexander McQueen’s outrageous designs – and for that you will require quite a bit of assistance. 

Bora Asku
What we really noticed is that, overall, the makeup for Fall is much more mannered than the hair – and that’s sexy (Bora Asku, House of Holland). 
House of Holland

Paul Costelloe
And I am personally pleased to see so many variations of pink lipstick on the London runway, from a just-bitten rose to a vibrant fuchsia (Luella, Issa, Paul Costelloe). That’s sexy, too!  

Gianfranco Ferre
MILAN: In Milan, it was a season of extremes. It was all about making a statement, and that statement was “look at me” – but my, how the approach differed! In one camp, we had the “look at me because I am molto bella,” and the other “look at me because I am piuttosto brutta.” 

It’s really a choice of what kind of attention you prefer: Do you want to be on the receiving end of stares and glances because you look casual, pretty, and the best you can possibly look (like the models at Normaluisa, Gianfranco Ferre, Blumarine, and DSquared2)?

Or are you ready for attention no matter what form it comes in?

Even if that attention is more from a place attraction/repulsion, of wanting any attention at all whether it is positive or negative (like them models at Prada and Fendi – both the makeup and the hair are not going to win fans, and to a certain extent at Gucci and Marni – the makeup at Gucci will win fans even though the hair is lackluster; the hair at Marni will have its fans even if the makeup is so absent the models look recently released from hospital)?  

NEW YORK: Call us biased – at least until we’ve had a chance to review the whole of Paris Fashion Week to weight against it – but New York had the most consistent combination of wearable, touchable, attractive hair AND makeup. 

Ann Yee
Carolina Herrera
Granted, the braided up-do at Ann Yee is something I was doing back in the Seventies and early Eighties, the nouveaux bouffant at Carolina Herrera sees a renaissance every decade or so, and the backcombed faux bob-and-headband combination at Oscar de la Renta was refreshingly disheveled. 

Oscar de la Renta
But the fact is everything eventually comes back around, and we just reinterpret it and reinvent it, improving upon the previous versions with better styling products and less-damaging styling tools.

Cynthia Rowley
Now, how about the hairstyles at Cynthia Rowley and Creatures of the Wind

We were a bit shocked at Cynthia Rowley’s wild mass of almost-dreadlocks and ringlets haphazardly pinned to the back of the models’ heads, as she is not known for her wildly avante garde design sensibility. 

Creatures of the Wind
And Creatures of the Wind: Would the models | Be aware | If anything were to move in there? | What kind of creature might come out of there? | Would YOU dare? (with our thanks to the late Dr. Seuss).

Tory Burch
We saw up-dos at Tory Burch (feminine, wearable, and sexily imperfect), Derek Lam (very do-it-yourself looking, lunchtime-tryst-and- rushing-back-to-work – also sexy), and Preen (caught in a high wind?). 
Derek Lam

The faux bob from Rodarte with unwieldy metallic embellishment camouflages the best parts of that style as effectively as the headband accentuates what is essentially the same style on the Oscar de la Renta model – a perfect example of how execution can make or break a look. 

Rag & Bone
The long, waving textured locks at Rag & Bone, Diane von Furstenberg, Rachel Zoe, and DKNY are alive and sexy.

Diane von Furstenberg
Rachel Zoe
And even though stylist Eugene Soulieman pulled the hair into a low side ponytail at DKNY, we never thought to lump it together with the highly controlled, pin-straight, high-crowned ponytail from Jason Wu. The only thing the two styles have in common is the elastic band.

Sometimes runways shows are not the easiest places to find flattering hair and makeup (or clothing, come to think of it). Haute couture and pret-a-porter fashion shows are very much about fashion designers competing with one another, showing off their design and technical skills, trying to break new ground, looking to be shocking, hoping to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other hopefuls and become a household name. 
Jason Wu

What often gets lost twice a year is the women who are going to buy the clothes and make their careers a success. Designers so easily get caught up finding the perfect hanger for their designs that they court mannequins who don’t look like real women, and some get caught up in the shock value of exaggerated or even slightly grotesque features, making those women their “muses.” And sometimes women get caught up in being on the cutting edge of the trends, in becoming the patron or the muse of a designer, or of buying into a designer’s aesthetic without regard for whether it is flattering, brings out the best in their looks or figure, is cut for their body type, or is a hairstyle, haircolor, and a makeup palette that flatters their unique coloring, ethnicity, age, and features. Women are encouraged to run from one trend to the next without thought for whether it is right for them , only that it is the latest, newest, and she’ll be the first.

And ladies, as a professional, master haircolorist and stylist for over 40 years, and as a man, I am here to tell you that the latest/newest/first does not matter to us AT ALL. It matters that you look sexy, beautiful, confident, and happy. And that may not entail dyeing your hair aubergine and cutting it in the graduated bob Victoria Beckham wore when she moved to L.A., or growing you hair below your shoulders, cutting in disconnected layers, and trying an ombred or dip-dyed look that is best left to your granddaughter.
Until next week, ciao!

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