Catwalk Cut: The Beauty of Lela Rose Fall 2012 Monday 26 March, 2012

At Lela Rose, Victorian beauty, bridges and the iconic Gibson Girl ‘do give way to matte maroon lips, mocha-beige nails and a defined hair roll that’s anything but antiquated.

I love when beauty inspiration is found in a mix of seemingly disparate things. Backstage at Lela Rose‘s Fall 2012 showing, lead hairstylist Ted Gibson (working with (and who, by the by, is one of the nicest, makes-you-feel-fuzzy-and-warm-inside person ever) is talking bridges and Gibson Girls. Bridges? “Lela was inspired by the design of bridges, particularly those of Santiago Calatrava,” Ted shares. “So we wanted the hair up and defined with an architectural shape.” Ted thought on this, and then crafted a modernized version of a Gibson Girl ‘do—modern in that he he shifts the design to one side and creates a defined roll that trails from the front to the back in one gorgeous turn.

 Lela Rose 2012 Hair Ted Gibson

Ted tries to convince me that it’s very simple to create this look: “Every girl is used to putting her hair in a ponytail, which is how we start this style,” he says. Well, sort of. He gathers the hair into a ponytail, but secures the end of the tail with an elastic, and then twists the pony up and to the side. “You just wrap the hair around your finger and twist it down upon itself,” he assures me.

 Lela Rose Fall 2012 Gibson Girl Hair

He then begins pinning his roll into place, using large bobby pins that he is leaving partially exposed as a design element. As he finishes with a healthy helping of Ted Gibson Beautiful Hold Hairspray, he says, “It’s pretty but not overtly pretty.” Oh no, Ted: I beg to differ. It’s very, very pretty—as it should be.

 Lela Rose Fall 2012 Makeup Stila

The makeup, painted by lead makeup artist Tina Turnbow (working with Stila Cosmetics for, is “Victorian with a modern take,” she says. A vintage photograph featuring a Victorian-era girl, all sepia-toned and highlighted with soft muted colors, sits perched at each makeup station. It’s the basis of the look, which is centered around a rich, velvety maroon lip—a big trend for fall. “We’re doing full coverage on the skin using Stila Perfect & Correct Foundation, but without looking overly done and heavy,” says Stila makeup artist Kaci Harabedian. The eye, a melange of mauve-y taupes and stones, is well defined from the crease up to the brow for “that Victorian look,” Kaci says. She’s shaping the brows using Stila All Day Waterproof Brow Color to a rounder and more elongated arch—a shape that “rounds the girls features for a sweeter look.” To lend dimension to the face, she dusts Stila All Over Shimmer Powder Duo in Kitten in a U-shape from the cheekbone around to the brow bone into the upper lid. And then there’s that lip: A swath of Stila Long Wear Lip Color in Phenomenal (an exceptional lipstick-pencil hybrid, if I do say so myself) calls attention to the fullness of the models’ lips, which Kaci draws out further by accentuating the peaks of the cupid’s bow.

 Lela Rose Fall 2012 Essie Nails

For nails, Essie lead nail tech Ana-Maria keeps things simple and to the point: “Just two coats of Essie Case Study (a creamy mocha beige) topped with Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat,” she says, before hurrying off to complete another model.

Karie L. Frost Signature


(Runway photos:; nail photo: courtesy of Essie)



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HAIR(raised), MAKEUP(minded), NAIL(tipped)

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