Some fashion houses relish the opportunity to redefine their beauty aesthetic from season to season, veering from metallic lips to sky-high side ponytails, from stylized topknots to grunge-girl decadence. But leave it to Oscar de la Renta to put a fresh-faced spin on one enduring theme: the eternal allure of ladylike elegance.
“There’s a timeless beauty here: That’s the attraction,” hairstylist Guido Palau explained in the backstage area of The Prince George Ballroom in the hours before the house’s Fall 2016 show—and from the look of things, rule number one of being up to the Oscar challenge involves knowing your way around a bun.
At the direction of creative director Peter Copping, Palau was securing models’ hair into “soft, painterly” updos that skirted the idea of trend. If the finished look—a center-parted, loosely gathered chignon—gave off an effortless air, that was precisely the point. After Palau blew out the hair, he misted in Redken’s Windblown 05 Dry Finishing Spray for a touch of grit (an updo’s best ally). Next, he secured most of the hair into an easy ponytail near the crown before gently sweeping back the front bits, “so you get that romance,” he said of the ultrafeminine, wispy effect.
Oscar de la renta runway beauty Photo: Courtesy of @carolmccolgin
As skilled with black liner as she is with a hairpin, Copping’s girl does her eye with an unexpected linear twist—this season, drawing a crisp rainbow in the crease of the lid along with her signature wing. “It still has a lightness to it, without being a heavy statement,” Diane Kendal mused. She first created the paper-thin outline using MAC Studio’s Chromagraphic Pencil, and then traced the eyelid contour using a thin square brush dusted with black shadow to set the pigment.
After all, that stay-put longevity is a must for the sort of woman whose evening might start with gallery hopping, bleed into dinner, and wind down with a nightcap—or, as the case may be tonight, a champagne-fueled Fashion Week after-party.
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