Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009: Alexander Wang

Designer Alexander Wang backstage

Alexander Wang

Designer Alexander Wang backstage

Alexander Wang backstage

As Hurricane Hannah descended on Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, bringing torrential rain and wind, I joined the other "drowned rats" attending the Alexander Wang show at Eye Beam in Chelsea. Little did the guests know they were right in step with the wet, just-been-to-the-gym look key hairstylist Eugene Souleiman for Aveda and lead makeup artist Dick Page were creating backstage. The look was designed to go with Wang's collection, perhaps best described as "streetwear meets athletics." "The hair has a sporty feeling," Souleiman told me, "like the girls have been exercising and haven't had time to do their hair."


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That's me with Aveda key stylist Eugene Souleiman backstage.

That's me with Aveda key stylist Eugene Souleiman backstage.

To create the textured, undone half-ponytail, Souleiman first sprayed hair with Aveda Volumizing Tonic and finger-combed it. He then misted it with Air Control Hair Spray and pulled the top half of the hair into a ponytail, twisting hair from the top of the pony to the end. Then he sprinkled the roots with Pure Abundance Hair Potion, raking it through with fingers to add texture, volume and grip, while drying it with a diffuser to add texture and flyaways. Next, he released the ponytail so the hair was loose with messy tendril curls, sprayed it with Air Control Hair Spray and dried it again with a diffuser. Finally, he brought the top and sides of hair together into a half-pony, secured tightly at the crown with a black string, and raked hands through roots once more to add roughness and texture. I love this look actually--wish I had longer hair so I could wear my hair like this to the gym!

The half-pony style for the Alexander Wang show

Lead makeup artist Dick Page created "hardcore eyes" using black and gray shades, skin was left fresh-looking, and lips were beige. The finishing touch? Right before the models walked the runway, Page dabbed their lips and eyelids with a bit of lip gloss, making the eyes appear "murky and shiny." Finally, models' faces were sprayed with water to give them that perfect "wet" look. Maybe they should have just sent them outside into the downpour! —Lotus Abrams, managing editor