Thursday, October 28, 2010

Backstage Pass: Venexiana SS2011 For Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week

Kati Stern, designer for Venexiana

Venexiana designer Kati Stern debuted her SS2011 collection on September 11th in The Studio at Lincoln Center. The Venexiana line always brings the drama, boasting gowns with intricate detailing and luxe fabrics. The hair and makeup for the show was definitely visually interesting and complemented the designer's aesthetic.


Tela Design Studio was the creative force behind the hair for the Venexiana SS2011 show. Philip Pelusi, stylist extraordinaire and founder of the aforementioned salon and line of organic hair care, was, along with his team, active backstage working feverishly. I was able to chat with Tela's creative director, Jeffrey Reitz (who has worked with Mr. Pelusi for over 35 years), who explained to me the inspiration behind the hair style.

The general concept was for the hair to have a "Boticelli," "neo-renaissance," romantic, feel. A main feature of the style was the crimping of the fringe around the face which was draped and pinned to the underlying shape, a "soft, reverse roll," or a more modern "flip up," constructed flat to the nape of the neck. The key was to showcase mixed texture, while still maintaining a delicate balance. Mr. Reitz described the look as a "traditional 'do, undone."

In terms of the products used, there were no sprays employed to style the hair (in fact, I was told that the working motto is "no gel for spring"). One of the main products used was RefresHair, a "dry cleaner" for the hair that helps to remove debris and odor, from the P2 by Philip Pelusi line.

How to create the style at home:

1. Pull hair back into a messy bun/ponytail (can be high or low)

2. Leave pieces out around the hairline and crimp them

3. Drape the crimped pieces over the underlying shape and pin them

Stylist Philip Pelusi

Photos of the final hairdo

The hair from the back

Another shot of the hair from the back


Napoleon Perdis and his team of artists (interestingly this season almost all of them came in from Australia!) beautified the models' faces for the show. The inspiration for the look was the idea of the "Venetian courtesan" (i.e. Venexiana), with the overwhelming feeling of "dark glamour." The focus was definitely on the eyes, "smoky with a metallic edge," which were dark save for gold and teal (China Doll Gel Eyeliner in Teal) pops of color in the inner corners of the eyes and the lower waterline, respectively. The gold was intended to give the look an expensive feel (and I thought it was gorgeous!). Mesmer-Eyes mascara was used on the lashes and falsies were added for drama. As the eyes were kept the focus of the look, the lips were left pretty neutral. NP Set lipstick in Hong Kong was used as a base with Luminous Lip Veil in Gold & the Beautiful layered on top. The cheeks were flushed with China Doll Colour Veil and Mosaic Bronzer.

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