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Jason Wu’s Versailles-Inspired Fall 2011 Runway Show — The Clothes, Makeup, Hair And Nails!

 

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Ever since First Lady Michelle Obama graced the dance floor at the 2009 Inaugural Ball in a dreamy, one-shoulder, white chiffon ball gown covered with tiny rosettes and shimmering embellishments (the dress is now on display at the Smithsonian museum) crafted by Jason Wu, the Taiwanese-American designer has been anointed fashion’s latest wunderkind. An overwhelming and potentially explosive amount of pressure tends to accompany such sweeping acclaim, but Wu seems to enjoy basking in the spotlight, as every subsequent collection since his presidential coup has floored audiences and critics alike. His regal Fall 2011 collection — which featured graceful chiffon dresses with jeweled belt accents, scalloped lace trim, and up-to-there slits; not to mention playful, flapper-esque frocks made of wispy feathers; and menswear-inspired, suited-up looks with ribbons worn as bow ties and muted leaf accents on pleated semi-sheer blouses to add a Victor Victoria androgyny— was no exception.

When designing the collection, Wu was inspired by photographer Robert Polidori’s shots of the Versailles renovation, in which opulent walls in rich jewel tones with gilded damask prints and grandiose oil paintings are juxtaposed against cracked wall surfaces in need of re-plastering or cracked door frames, creating a contrast between the palatial and the rugged, the sophisticated and the banal. In fitting with the regal theme, then, Wu’s baroque collection incorporated over fifteen types of lace, not to mention a leaf pattern and gold paillette, sequins, and beads.

Already wishing you were a lady in a Versailles era court? Wait until you see the purple, navy and gold eyeshadow on lids, the gilded burgundy nails, and the brushed-on, gold leaf motif added to the braided updos created for the show. Keep reading for the full scoop!

 

HAIR BY ODILE GILBERT FOR AVEDA

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Key Aveda stylist Odile Gilbert masterminded the artful, gallery-worthy look for the Jason Wu Fall 2011 runway show, which consisted of a braided twist, with ends coated in 24-karat gold leaf to mirror the gold trimmings of Wu’s evening gowns and add to the atmosphere of unfettered opulence.

To create the look, Gilbert started by applying Aveda Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener to damp hair, then parting the hair at the center with a fine-tooth comb for the greatest precision, and using a straightening iron to lengthen, smooth, and flatten strands. Next, she secured the hair into a ponytail at the nape of the neck, tying it with an elastic band and spraying Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray for hold. To add luster, she then coated strands with the Aveda Brilliant Retexturing Gel.

Gilbert next divided the ponytail into two sections, twisting them together for a braid-like effect, then securing the twist with an elastic two to three inches above the ends and again spraying on Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray, then pulling the ends of the hair up so that the twisted strand looped around the neck. Bobby pins were tucked into the bottom of the twist, securing it in place, while allowing the loose ends to fan out along the center and back of the head. The ends were then fanned out with a fine-tooth comb and sprayed with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.

Then came the truly unexpected, theatrical step in the process, as Gilbert tore out pieces of gold leaf and pressed them against the ends of hair with her fingers, molding them to the ends and spraying Aveda Control Force hairspray. Some models’ ends were even brushed with a yellow gold cream color using a MAC eyeshadow brush.

Last, she applied a layer of Aveda Brilliant Spray-On Shine to give hair an elegant luster.

 

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MAKEUP BY DIANE KENDAL FOR MAC COSMETICS:

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Celebrated makeup artist Diane Kendal led the MAC Cosmetics team backstage, envisioning a dramatic and ornate look involving smoky purple lids with an unexpected golden metallic tint along the center.

First, she blended the smoky Smother Cream Shadow (new for Fall 2011) with the MAC Pro Marine Ultra Chromagraphic Pencil, a deep navy blue liner, and brushed the combination over the eyelids, along the crease and brow bone and through the lower lash line in an almost C-like shape. Next, Kendal brushed on the Thru the Night Pro Longwear Eye Shadow and Carbon Eye Shadow, a dusty asphalt black along the inner and outer eyelid areas. For an unexpected highlight, she brushed on Old Gold Pigment, a frosted tarnished gold shade, along the center of lids, so that lids looked like they were divided into three sections, with the middle area illuminating the whole look. To further open eyes, she dabbed a touch of Old Gold Pigment onto the inner corners of eyes. And to further he ostentatious factor associated with Versailles décor, Kendal applied MAC Pro Gold Glitter atop the golden center of lids.

Models’ complexions were kept fresh and dewy, with Kendal applying the lightweight Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation for coverage and MAC Pro Light Sweep Shaping Powder to contour cheekbones.

Lips, lastly, were approached from a minimalist stance so as to counteract the intricacy of the eye look. To moisturize and smooth lips, Kendal applied MAC Lip Conditioner SPF 15, blending it with a touch of concealer to almost cancel out the natural pinkish tint of lips. Last, she applied the Shell Cream Colour Base, a golden nude shade, over lips for a plumper, fleshier look and a touch of sheen.

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NAILS BY ROXANNE VALINOTI FOR CND:

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Models at the Jason Wu show were blessed with the Midas touch thanks to a gilded manicure created by Roxanne Valinoti for CND. Nails were filed to yield a rounded shape along the tip, then coated with Dark Ruby, a chocolate-y wine red hue. Next, Valinoti and her team layered on a coat of Bloodline, a dirty, earthy, deep red. Together, the colors created a luxurious burgundy shade reminiscent of the wall paint selected for the Salon du Grand Couvert in Louis XIV’s Versailles Palace. To intensify the regal, baroque effect, the tips of nails were painted with CND Gold Chrome, creating “smile lines.”The burgundy-and-gold combination, in fact, nods to the velvet dining chairs arranged along the long table inside the Salon du Grand Couvert, where Louis XIV ate his supper every evening.

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