Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall ’13: Backstage At Carmen Marc Valvo

February 9, 2013 • Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows, New York Fashion Week Fall '13


After eight seasons of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, there’s no question that backstage at Carmen Marc Valvo is always one of the highlights of my week. It’s usually a time to catch up with one of my favorite guys in the biz,  hair stylist to the stars Ted Gibson. But Ted has become SO in demand to the stars that he was off on awards season duty for the show, for this season’s show (that was actually IN the tents instead of it’s usual venue of the NASDAQ Center), he left the CMV hair look in the more than capable hands of his right hand man, Devin Toth. Toth was kind enough to take time out of running the show to explain the concept behind the unique look.

“This season, Ted and I thought up a baroque punk hair look, which was inspired by the Carmen Marc Valvo Fall collection,” Devin said. “The clothes are very black and embellished, with some pops of color, but overall its very dark though now gaudy. To get the look we quickly flat ironed the hair, we didn’t even waste time blow-drying it, and to get that baroque punk look we brought the hair up into a high ponytail and used Tame It Shine Lotion and Fix It Gel to set it. Then while it was setting, we used hair chalk on the tips of ponytail, mostly pink and purple. After it sets and dries, we take the ponytail out rough up the top a little bit and it’ll just be off her face a little messy and the reason we made the ponytail in the first place, is that it will make this great indentation in the middle of the hair with the color on the ends. We’ll also create some more texture up top and the look, paired with the clothes, will be very cool, sexy and dramatic.” It’s always fun to find out the story behind a Ted Gibson style, especially one so funky and new for the Carmen Marc Valvo persona!




Over in makeup, I met up with the always lovely girls from the NARS Cosmetics team who introduced me to James Boehner, key artist for the show and the NARS Director Global Artistry. He reinforced what Devin had said, noting “The collection is baroque with a punk edge, so we wanted the makeup to have that same feeling. The beauty look is classically-inspired but not perfect, not too delicate. The girls look slightly haunted, but in a pretty way.” So to get that look, a main thing we wanted to have was a deconstructed, messy eyeliner, more in the outer corner of the eye and kind of contoured. What we’re using is   is actually a new NARS product that will debut for Fall,  part of a whole line of eye paints which you can use them as an eyeliner or as a base under eye shadow so it won’t fade or crease. The color we’re using is the black, called Black Valley and just slashing it into the outer corner, topping it off with tons of volumizing mascara on the top and bottom.”

“And then to mimic what’s happening in the collection,” Boehner went on, “we wanted to play with different textures in the makeup as well. So the skin has this pearly pink along the cheekbones called Luxor, which is one of our Multiples, which we left on kind of heavy and then blended into the foundation. So even though it’s strong, there’s really only this sense of transparency while the girls will be moving. Then we used Mambo eyeliner in the bridge of the eye, almost for an impression. And finally on the lips, we used Salsa lip pencil for a little bit of depth, which is this great deep brick, topped off with Luxembourg satin lip pencil which is actually coming out in April. Carmen really wanted Cassis, more of like a plum that looked really goth, but we decided on the satin lip pencils that have a different texture which is really more of a sheen. So really, it becomes like another fabric reference and nod to the actual garments. And then the last thing that we’re doing right before the girls walk out, is we’re taking Triple X lip gloss, a clear gloss, and using it on the eyelid, which makes everything on the eye really come together. And then what happens is it catches more light on the eye and makes it look more vinyl, like something more punky and deconstructed, yet pretty and dreamier. And that’s it!”

As always, I was thrilled to be able to get such an up close and personal behind the scenes look with both Devin Toth and James Boehner, and witness how this gorgeous collection came so seamlessly together. Thank you again, Ted Gibson and NARS!







-Alia Rajput

Photo Source: Second City Style


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