Mercedes-Benz Spring ’12 Fashion Week NYC: Preen

Paul Hanlon for Aveda explaining his concept for hair backstage at Preen's spring show

This year's Preen spring show at the IAC building was all about Victorian-era inspiration combined with a modern edge, from ruffled collars on patchwork patterned clothing to precise and elegant hair. Soft pastels and Japanese floral prints swept the runway, where models walked before a glass wall and light show that reflected the colors of the new collection. Paul Hanlon for Aveda styled hair into a twist with a combined Victorian and '40s feel, that was aerodynamic and elongated the neck. "It's important for it not to look 'over-producty,'" Hanlon said of the hairstyle. "I want it to still feel touchable. It's a morning show, so the hair is still clean. The look is more youthful, of a graceful, clean woman."

To achieve the sophisticated style, hair was first prepped with Volumizing Tonic and blow-dried away from the face with a round brush, to keep the neck and hairline neat. The hair was then gently brushed back and left to fall in a natural part on the left side of the head. Next, it was smoothed with a fine-toothed comb and a light mist of Air Control Hair Spray. Beginning above the right ear, hair was twisted toward the back of the head, staying just above the parietal ridge. A tail comb neatly brought hair up into the roll where it was loosely secured with U pins. Twisting continued around the back of the head, following the natural hairline. Once it reached the nape, it was secured with a clip.

Preen 2012 spring collection

The same routine was performed on the left side, only slightly lower at an inch above the ear, until both twists met at the nape. Hair was neatly brushed from the hairline to connect the two rolls, giving the appearance of a single U-shaped twist that wraps around the head. Any wisps or flyaways were smoothed with Air Control Spray and a tail comb, and the U pins were replaced with tucked and hidden bobby pins. For finish, Hanlon applied a misting of Brilliant Spray-On Shine.

The same youthful feel was applied to makeup as well. M.A.C. artists transformed models into young, innocent Lolita's, applying a little concealer to imperfections with a heavy focus on flushed cheeks. The eye was kept clean with a concealer and primer and the lash was curled with no mascara. —Kristen Heinzinger