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Mercedes-Benz Fall 2012 Fashion Week NYC: Ports 1961

The theme behind the Ports 1961 show held in the New York Public Library this morning was modern sensuality. The clothes matched the understated elegance of the venue, playing on interesting textures and color blocking. Hair, makeup and nails were each downplayed to counterbalance the decadence of the collection.

Guido, Redken creative consultant, working backstage at Ports 1961

Each model wore a turtleneck, with hair tucked into the back for a look of natural ease. The recurring theme of nonchalant hairstyles is something Guido, Redken creative consultant, says is fitting to the city venue. He said that in Milan you might see more volume and meticulous avant-garde styling and in Paris more sophistication and intricacy, but when it comes to hair, this city has memorialized a wearable aspect he calls “New York sensibility.” "The look is simple and easy to downplay the drama of the clothes,” Guido said. “Really, where you part your hair, how you fasten your ponytail can make the look sophisticated, strong or modern.” To create a soft, natural appearance, he started with damp hair, created a messy center part and applied Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotionfrom roots to ends. Next, he lightly blow-dried the hair so it was neither stick straight nor full of body, twisted it back into a low knot and let it continue to air dry. Once strands were fully dry and silky, he took the knot out and created a very low ponytail, secured it with elastic and tucked it into the clothing.

Custom sheer rust color created by Deborah Lippmann

To tie the look together, Deborah Lippmann created a custom color that added a softness to the season’s typical chestnut shades. To create the washed-out rust color the designer’s were looking for, Lippmann took her existing color Brick House and added it to about 2/3 to 3/4 bottle of a clear polish. The otherwise rich, metallic rust shade would have been too harsh to pair with the Ports 1961 collection, but the sheer hint of rust perfectly complemented the look. I couldn’t help but ask the color pro if you can create a sheer color from any opaque lacquer to get the look you want. She said you can use the mixing method for almost anything, “just know that you won’t get long wear out of it, but it might look great for a Saturday night out.” She also warned that it that they won’t blend perfectly and when applied some areas will appear denser than others. That uneven look captured the urban spirit the collection celebrates and that’s what Lippmann said caught the designer’s attention.

Pat McGrath for Covergirl created a fresh face

Shades of brown have also become a go-to hue for eye shadow each fall, but the Covergirl team also found a way to modernize the timeless color. Lead makeup artist Pat McGrath for Covergirl wanted to match the effortless cool by enhancing the natural of the beauty of the girls, so it almost appeared as though they were wearing no makeup at all. “This is an ultrabeautiful, classic fall look,” McGrath said. “We wanted to create a well pulled together face with a new sophistication.” To achieve that subtlety, McGrath used varying shades of brown from lash to brow. She started by dusting the entire lid with Covergirl Eye Enhancers in Mink, a pearly, pale copper shade, and lightly feathered that upward toward the brow. Along the top and bottom lash lines, she added Brown Smolder for understated definition. She kept the face natural, adding only a touch of highlighter to the cheek and applying clear balm on the lip. —M.R.

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