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Mercedes-Benz Spring '11 Fashion Week NYC: Marc Jacobs

To say there was a buzz backstage at Marc Jacobs before his show at the Armory last night would be a huge understatement. One of the hottest tickets during fashion week, Marc Jacobs is always madness backstage, with hair, makeup and nail teams racing to perfect the models' looks in time for the show. Still, I managed to wrangle a few moments with lead hairstylist Guido, creative consultant for Redken; lead makeup artist Francois Nars, the man behind the now legendary makeup line; and Jan Arnold, the creative spark behind nail lacquer powerhouse CND.

Guido created four different hair looks with varying textures for the 60 models walking the runway: a frizzy Grace Coddington-looking mane featuring a side part and a twist over one ear, created by pinning the hair in a ric-rac pattern and brushing it out; a graduated bob with a sleek side part, achieved by curling the hair with a curling iron and tucking it under; a beachy wave look with curls just at the bottom of the hair; and a finger or Marcel wave style. Key products were Redken Thickening Lotion 06 and Quick Dry 18. Curious about the contrast between last season's simple air-dried locks and this season's highly styled looks, I asked Guido what insight he could provide on Jacobs' inspiration. "I think he goes with his fantasies of the moment," Guido told me. "He creates trends instead of following them."

Next I caught up with Nars, who told me about the makeup look. "We're doing a very glam look inspired by the models of the 70s—Angelica Houston, Donna Mitchell, Pat Cleveland—but with a twist—more modern, more today, more Marc," Nars said. The look featured nearly nonexistent brows, transparent skin, matte lips stained with a dark terracotta shade, and eyes done up in forest green shadow, black kohl and "tons of mascara."

Lead nail tech Elisa Ferri for CND completed the look by applying a custom mix of Perfectly Bare Color and Super Matte Top Coat on fingernails and Bloodline, a true berry shade, on toenails. "The look is meant to tie into the face," Arnold told me. " The brows and nails have sort of been erased, and on the toes you have a power red to tie into the strong lips."

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Lotus Abrams

Lotus Abrams