Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall ’09: Catherine Malandrino

Backstage at Catherine Malandrino

Catherine Malandrino’s elegant Fall ’09 show was held on Thursday at the venerable Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Guests, who included Mena Suvari and Mary J Blige, were treated to Bellini cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before being ushered into the glamorous round room for the show. Before the show, I headed backstage to chat with salon owner and Wella Professionals lead colorist Eva Scrivo and lead hairstylist for Sebastian Professional Odile Gilbert about the beautiful and mysterious netting-wrapped chignons they teamed up to create that were inspired by photographer and painter Man Ray’s work. The preparation started days before at Scrivo’s Bond Street salon in Manhattan, where she and her team hand-painted the human-hair extensions using Wella’s Koleston Perfect and Color Touch products. “I wanted to change the rules of haircolor by mixing warm and cool palettes,†she told me. The color and texture were intended to mimic wood grain, with light and dark and cool and warm colors running parallel to each other in wide and narrow widths for nonsymmetrical results. Backstage before the show Gilbert wove the wefts into the hair to create three separate chignons on the top and front of the head, fixing the look with Sebastian Professional Shaper Zero Gravity and Re-Shaper and covering the chignons with netting. Some models faces were also covered by the netting. Lead makeup artist for M.A.C Tom Pecheux focused the makeup look on the eyes, applying three different shades of eyeliner in sharp lines to the hollow, crease and lower lash line, using just a nude conditioner on the lips. CND lead nail tech Lulu Cooper applied the finishing touch to nails: an icy mushroom-taupe nail color that was custom blended for the show. —Lotus Abrams, Managing Editor