Catwalk Cut: The Beauty of Richard Chai Love Spring 2013 Tuesday 18 September, 2012

Spring 2013 backstage beauty alert: muted metallic nails, graphic-sporty ponytails and floating ’60s-style eye designs lift up the beauty at Richard Chai Love.

When I chat with hairstylist Kevin Ryan backstage at the Spring 2013 Richard Chai Love show, he’s slicking one of the male model’s dapper coifs with Aveda Flax Seed Aloe Strong Hold Sculpturing Gel. And though I love me some men, I’m not particularly interested in the guys’ grooming for this interview. I want to know all about the ladies. Thankfully, the styles don’t veer to far from one another for the two sexes. “They’re both super-streamlined; there’s a hint of the futuristic and sports. Really, what makes both styles interesting is unexpected partings and strange angles. We’re just messing a little with what you’d expect,” he says.


For the women, hair is slung into a a low ponytail, but not before blow-drying in Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep for increased manageability. Kevin’s cohort in styling, Frank Rizzieri, leads me over to a female model, and says, “Yeah, we’re calling this ‘futuristic,’ but don’t hang your hat on that. It’s really just sleek and clean.” The ponytail is actually more complicated than it appears, eliciting a second look—just as Kevin had hoped when they planned out the style.


Frank first sections hair into two, top and bottom, and secures the bottom section into a ponytail. He then flat-irons and gels the top section, and demonstrates how the deep side part he’s creating has a defined angle to it that is dictated by the model’s individual hairline.


Some models then receive a second angled parting, which speaks to the “futuristic” feel of this graphic style. After these partings are demarcated and perfected, Frank pulls the top sections carefully back and combines them with the low ponytail. All flyaways scuttle with a few sprays of Aveda Air Control Hair Spray, some gentle passes of a soft brush, and a final coating of Aveda Brilliant Spray-On Shine.



The makeup also demands a second look: It’s a graphic design that MAC lead makeup artist James Kaliardos describes as “floating. I think by floating it and by not using standard black, this ’60s graphic eye becomes very soft.” To draft this forward-thinking design, he uses MAC Fluidline in Dirty Blonde. “This is a very eyebrow-friendly hue, but works well on the lid too,” he says. To make the design lift and float, he doesn’t butt the liner up against the lashline, but rather leaves a smidgen of bare space between line and lash. The design’s slight angle, which tilts upward from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner, also tricks the eye into believing it’s hovering.


The second stand-out of the makeup look, “sporty skin,” is one of those spring beauty rites of passage: seemingly perfect skin made even more so by a very sheer application of practically nothing. He dots and blends MAC Face & Body Foundation and concealer only where needed for this transparent, barely-there second skin. “This season is all about the softer application,” James notes, and I’ll agree, but I may not be the only one out there who knows this technique isn’t exactly for her own embattled skin. The rest of the face is kept minimal—no mascara, no blush and a barely-there lip purposely nuded-down with MAC Lip Conditioner and MAC Pro Dim Lip Erase.


The final piece of the Richard Chai Love beauty puzzle: muted metallic nails, courtesy of one coat of Julep Sienna, a color founder Jane Park says is “like a molten gold. But we’re then topping it with with a matte top coat to give it a leathery look. It’s a new twist on a classic!”

Fearless Beauty Quotient (scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most fearless): 6. We’re always looking for new ways to reinvent the ponytail, and these angled double partings are just the ticket. Even conservative beauties could try this with no fear of feeling too bold. But those hovering eye designs? Well, that takes a little more chutzpah. It’s a definite “try this at home” and have no fear. Perhaps the one ticket to making it more wearable is filling in the design…but where’s the fun in that?

Would you wear this Richard Chai Love beauty look?

Karie L. Frost Signature

(1st and 3rd images: courtesy of Aveda; all other images property of L. Frost)


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