Saturday, February 21, 2009

Direct from the Runway: Akiko Ogawa Fall 2009

When you find out that revolutionary makeup artist Kabuki is working on Akiko Ogawa, you know it's going to be something good. And the pointillism effect he created with hunter green eyeliner certainly did not disappoint during Fall 2009 Fashion Week. "I thought if I dotted it in tiny dots, it would give it more of a delicate, wistful feeling," Kabuki told me backstage before the show. "And also kind of a slight feeling of nature." Find out more -- including how hairstylist Peter Gray created "brains" spilling out of the top of the models' heads -- after the jump.

"[Ogawa's] inspiration was a photograph she saw of cherry blossoms at night, because cherry blossoms symbolize joy in Japanaese culture," Kabuki said as he worked on a model's makeup backstage. "And to see it at night in kind of a ghostly setting gave almost a poignant feeling." Dotting the eyeliner gave the look a more "wistful feeling, and also a slight feeling of nature." Kabuki told me that creating the dots was actually quite easy, like "doing a tattoo" -- you simply dot lightly and then to make them darker, keep going over them lightly until you have the hue you want.

Kabuki added to the dots by using a white shimmer on the cheekbones and a shimmery pink on the cheeks and on the eyes "to stop it from becoming very goth, to give a kind of innocent sort of almost early adolescence kind of feeling," he said. He balanced it with glittery silver eyeliner to add to the nighttime feeling and take away from the darkness under the eyes. A swipe of M.A.C Cream Cup Lipstick gave a natural effect. "It really complements the strangeness of the dots under the eyes," Kabuki said.

Then it was on to hair, where Peter Gray told me that Ogawa was "bringing Japan to the west. We went and looked at a bit of Suma, a bit of kabuki, a bit of geisha, and a bit of anime. [Then we] came up with this combination." He wanted hair up off the face to create an elongated silhouette before doing something interesting on the top, which he called "the brain. You’ll see the brain sort of spilling out on a couple of the girls. It’s these knots of brains sort of oozing out!"

To create the look, Gray used Redken Workforce 09 Hairspray and softened with Outshine. "The cream actually softens it off quite a lot," Gray said as he worked on a model. "So it sort of takes the edge off the hairspray and makes it easy to brush out afterwards." (At this point, the model interjected and said skeptically, "Really?") He also added fringe pieces to the models' hair to create a thick bang, and a tail comb to create the part, saying "There's pretty much a surgical line. I wanted something really clean and quite odd." The part was quite different, as it was a vertical part above the ear as opposed to a center or side part.

The brain effect came from pulling hair into a ponytail and then literally twisting sections of it around and around to create a rope effect. He twisted pieces over and around each other before pinning with bobby pins. "Twists will look different on everyone. I want the girls looking individual with the brain bits," Gray said.

Gray's take on fashion and beauty was really refreshing as he decided to push the envelope quite a bit. "In recession, you either fight or flight. And I’m like, let’s fight!" he told me. "Let’s have some fun, let’s get really creative again, let’s not reign it in, let’s really go for it, bring it back to fantasy land. It’s not about trends, it’s about let’s have some fun with it, make it a bit of a spectacle. As long as it adds and doesn’t detract from the collection, let’s go for it."

An interesting take on nails was done by Alisha Rimando for Dashing Diva. "It’s really cute if you spend a little time with it!" she told me backstage. Here's how to get the look, using Dashing Diva products of course:

1) Apply Cosmopolitan to the nail.
2) While it’s wet, apply Dashing Diva to the tip of the nail. (About 1/3 of the nail edge.) Make sure that the color blends or fades well into the nail.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 on each nail.
4) With very little polish on the brush, apply Headliner to the very tip of the nail, blending or fading it onto the Dashing Diva pink color. (About 1/8 of the nail edge.)
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 on each nail.
6) Apply Debutante over all nails.
7) Finish with Glow Topcoat.

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