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Mercedes-Benz Fall ‘11 Fashion Week NYC: Betsey Johnson

Going backstage at Betsey Johnson is always one of the main highlights of each Fashion Week season, thanks to fun themes, a party-like atmosphere and one of my favorite session stylists, Peter Gray. The fall 2011 show definitely didn't disappoint. After spring 2011's crazy "bicycle roadkill" look, Gray, lead stylist for Redken, wanted to do something a little unexpected this season. "Betsey is always about madness and being over the top and bonkers," Gray said. "I decided to do the hair a little more elegant and polished for this collection." Gray started with Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction-inspired black bob wigs, cutting them to fit each model's face and neck length, then kicked them up a notch. He took a strand of gorgeous lace and used it as a stencil, spraying the area around it with gold hair paint from Kryolan. He set the paint with Redken Quick Dry 18. "It looks like a lace halo," Gray said.

Charlotte Willer for Maybelline was inspired by Betsey herself for the makeup, using a custom-created Midnight Excitement blue and gold eyeshadow palette all around the eyes and painting the lips a bold red.

For the nails, Nonie Creme of Butter London mixed up a luxurious olive gold that's "got some balls." Creme says that the updated jewel tone polish, which will be named Wallis and sold in fall/winter 2011, "touches on grunge without diving in." The show isteld featured clothing that was a bit more sophisticated and subdued than Johnson's usual collections, but the designer still managed to have some fun with the audience. After the final model did her walk, a parade of Betseys--friends and bloggers of all ages, races and sexes--took to the runway sporting blonde wigs. Betsey then appeared in one of Gray's black wigs, but hers had a gold "B" painted on the back. She then threw the wig off, did a dance with costume designer Patricia Fields, then ended the night with her signature cartwheel. Fun times, as always!

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Lori Morris

Lori Morris