Backstage at the Spring 2006 Collections during New York's Fashion Week, Ruth creates versatile looks for 7th Heaven star Beverley Mitchell.


Fashion week has more than one dimension. The obvious one is the designers' shows themselves—the clothes, the runway models, the crowds in the tents. But the other dimension—the one that's really in the public eye, on magazine covers and TV—is the celebrity presence. Celebs are today's fashion icons, and designers love having them at their shows, wearing their clothes. And they're smart to do so; the American public has an insatiable desire to know who's hot, who's not, and who's wearing what. It's great fun for us stylists to be part of the scene, and it's also a great experience to be able to use your skills with minimal advance planning and a healthy dose of on-your-feet thinking.

 Ruth Roche
Ruth Roche

During the Spring 2006 Collections at New York's Fashion Week in September, I got to work on 7th Heaven star Beverley Mitchell. She's young, sweet and easygoing, and she was open to ideas about what to do with her naturally wavy, layered hair. Because she would be photographed at a couple of different shows that day, Beverley was going to be wearing different outfits—and different hair—at each one. So I knew it was important to establish a base look that would offer styling versatility later in the day.

For Beverley's appearance at Tracy Reese, I started by spraying White Sands Liquid Texture Firm hold into damp hair for a strong yet flexible hold. Next, I rough-dried her hair with my hands until completely dry, set it with a large barrel iron, and clipped the curls to hold. Next, without brushing out the set, I backcombed the entire head at the roots, roughed it up with my hands at the scalp and sprayed Davines' Crystal Fixative Lacquer at the roots and lightly all over. Although this leaves the hair looking a little large, the style settles down to just the right "size" in no time—perhaps 15 minutes. It reminded me that often the less fussing the better, which is hard for me to do sometimes.

Then I went back a few hours later to create a different look for her for the Diane Von Furstenberg show—I like to call this style "Audrey Hepburn meets Brigitte Bardot." It's a little sleeker than Brigitte, but a little less classic than Audrey. I brushed through the set from earlier, left a horseshoe section out on the top and brushed everything else into a side ponytail at the nape. I backcombed the crown and smoothed over and wrapped the ends around the ponytail. The front was backcombed and swept to the side.

Although the hair was fairly wavy in the morning, creating this texture base made it much easier to brush smooth and restyle than it would have been if it were simply straight. Beverley loved it and looked—well, as pretty as a picture.

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