NY Fashion Week: Backstage at J. Mendel
The vibe backstage at the J.Mendel New York Fashion Week show for the Spring 2011 collection was busy, but not chaotic. The models stood around in hair clips and street clothes, waiting for their turn for makeup and hair, picking at platefuls of fruit.
This was my first visit behind the scenes at the tents at fashion week, and while I was a little nervous, I mostly felt the energy coursing through the air and excitement in my veins. Arising above the chatter of news crews, interviews and stylists was the resounding voice of Ted Gibson, who with his gentle and warm presence makes everyone calm down just a touch and enjoy the moments.
Ted (whom you may have seen on the Real Housewives of DC) is polite enough to oblige me an interview, and explained his focus on creating beautiful, sexy, effortless hair for Mendel’s collection. “What’s great about this particular look is that it is modern and cool but really every girl in America can wear it”. He used his signature L’Oreal Professional Product, Professional Mousse, Infinium 2 Hair Spray, Architect Styling Wax to create the tousled look.
Pattie Yankee, lead nail tech for Dashing Diva, covered thirty shows at Fashion Week. “Today we are using our polish Charolotte’s Wedding. We’re using one coat of this which is a nice sheer white with just a little shimmer in it. It’s a pretty, neutral shade that’s going to fit nicely”.
Heading over to the make-up area, Bobbi Brown is applying makeup to model after model, working mostly from her Pretty Powerful Palette, blending two shades for the lip color and two layers of mascara sans eyeliner. “Gille’s clothes are so beautiful. The makeup is so simple, it’s got purity, but it’s got to have something. The inspiration started with the lips and the rest of the face is just really pretty, ethereal and natural. (Makeup) is so much more about the undergarment than the actual dress.”
Sitting through J. Mendel show, I was completely stunned by the effortless beauty of the designs and dresses. Inspired by his costume collection for the New York City Ballet, Gilles Mendel took the natural ballerina tones and feel and modernized them. Bright coral tones, muted pinks and nudes, beaded silk, soft Tibetan lamb and fox boleros glided smoothly down the runways as if they were floating on air. Pleated mousseline gowns that were gorgeously glamorous, layerless dressing and soft sophistication marked the shows high points.
The models walked the show to The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, which was attended by the likes of Gabrielle Union, Melissa George, and Lisa Arian.
I’m having a blast donning this new hat of mine and look forward to many more shows. You can also catch my coverage of fashion week over at StyleMom.com.