Catwalk Cut: The Beauty of Catherine Malandrino Fall 2012 Thursday 08 March, 2012
Dual-texture hair, ultra-extended cat eyes jolted by color, cherry plum nails: The Catherine Malandrino girl is ready to pounce with beauty that is inspired by the feline femme fatale of 1982 movie “Cat People.”
Backstage at Catherine Malandrino’s Fall 2012 showing, there’s barely space to move. It’s the curse of the teeny-tiny backstage of Eyebeam, one of the many galleries that host off-site (read: not located at the convenient Lincoln Center) shows. Thankfully, there’s no reason to throw a hissing fit about it; if anyone’s going to be catty, it’s the models. I say this because the beauty elements are feline-fueled, a marriage of purrr-fectly* extended eyeliner and striking dual-texture hair. “The hairstyle is inspired by the 1982 movie Cat People,” says Moroccanoil artistic director Antonio Corral Calero, the man behind the hair design. “The movie poster shows this woman whose hair is drenched in water. It’s very dark and sensual.”
To start, Antonio preps damp strands with Moroccanoil Treatment or Treatment Light (depending on the models’ hair textures and colors) as well as Hydrating Styling Cream. “Hair needs to be conditioned and healthy for this look to work, and these products help,” he says. After blow-drying, he neads Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse (available late Fall 2012) into the crown and sides, fully saturating the hair. “I want a lacquered, wet look that’s shiny, yet still feels and looks natural,” Antonio says.
He pulls the hair taut and tight to the sides of the head, allowing the girls’ facial features to draw forward, much like a cat. “It’s the separation at the top of this hairstyle that makes it more graphic,” he notes of the demarcated sections at the crown that he’s first setting using hair clips, and then blow-drying to seal in the pattern. Once he releases the clips, he begins crisscrossing the raised bits, lending “more height and volume.”
The rest of the hair tumbles into a smooth sheet, pressed perfectly with a flat iron and glossed with a few mists of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray. “I really wanted to do something women would wear,” Antonio swears, and I believe him. This would be the cat’s meow for fearless beauties.
And so would the makeup. Yes, it’s exaggerated and dramatic—but its boldness shouldn’t be mistaken for theatrical. It is—and should be—highly wearable. “This is a very animalistic feline look,” makeup lead Gilbert Soliz says, citing that same 1982 Cat People poster as the design’s root. He’s guiding the Sephora PRO Beauty Team through the look, which is “all about strong statement eyes. It’s taking the traditional cat eye, and building it out,” he relays. He notes that the products he’s using on the eyes, namely Make Up For Ever Black Kohl Liner, are greasier, lending an unrefined finish. “And we’re adding a kick of bright turquoise or blue to the liner flick for the fairer girls, and neon fuchsia for the darker-skinned girls,” Gilbert says. This kick of color, courtesy of Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #4, #20, #21 and #28, is just the type of detail that elevates runway makeup. I study the application intently, mentally noting how I, too, can bring a touch of whimsy into my own cat eye. (I haven’t tried it yet; I will blog about it when I do!)
To complete his femme fatale, Gilbert sculpts the cheeks using Laura Mercier Bronzing Duo. Make no mistake: This is a heavy contour. “Yes, it’s very brown and more graphic in shape, with a flat top and strong angled bottom,” Gilbert allows, adding that the shaping helps mimic those sloping angles seen on a feline’s face.
When the claws come out for the manicure, they’re perfectly groomed in a gorgeous custom-blend “cherry plum” that CND lead tech Angi Wingle says creates “a mood that’s perfect for daywear, active wear and evening wear.” She tops the rich hue with two coats of CND Air Dry for a high-gloss finish. “This gives it more depth. It’s like a dark lip with a high-shine lip gloss over it,” she says. When asked about replicating the color at home, Angi offers up this nugget: “Do one thin coat of CND Colour Plumville and one thin coat of Dark Ruby. You’ll want to use a flat-brush technique.” Wait—what? “Lay the brush flat to the nail and gently glide over,” she explains. “Even though people like to apply their polish thick, they should know that thinner layers not only dry faster, but they allow the manicure to last longer.”
Before I scuttle off to the next backstage—and there is a next one—I take in the scene: Models looking fiercely feline, slinking around us mere mortals and on the prowl for…food and coffee. Well, maybe they’re not man-eaters, but they certainly look the part.
(* Yes, my kitty puns have become about as annoying as a cat in heat. Deal.)
(Main image, right/third image: Helen Oppenheim for Moroccanoil; nail image: courtesy of CND)