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Backstage at Costello Tagliapietra Spring 2012 — Creamy Burnt Coral Lids and Lips, Wet-Looking Taupe Nails, and Humid-Looking Hair Rolled Into Inverted Twists

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For Spring 2012, Robert Tagliapietra and Jeffrey Costello, the design duo behind Costello Tagliapietra, found inspiration in the lush foliage of Asian rain forests, masterminding a stunning collection of draped, body-ensconcing dresses in deep forest green, gold, and teal that looked almost liquid-like thanks to the fabrics’ sheen, the elegant fluidity of the silhouettes (tons of draped dresses with plunging V-shaped necklines, either wrap-around tie belts or pleated, gathered waist lines, and below-the-knee or to-the-floor hemlines), and the graceful movement of the lightly pleated skirts, draped bodices, ruffled shoulders, and cropped pants. Solid colors aside, the collection incorporates tons of prints created using photos of exotic flowers and layering them atop each other using digital software — many of these in rust or copper hues, as well as warm pinks and peaches with hints of indigo blue. plum, aqua, and mauve.

Redken hair stylist Nelson Vercher of Rita Hazan Salon says the hair look created was inspired by the idea of “a very chic woman running through a rain forest and coming out looking beautiful.” His final look, then, was a take on a low chignon that felt sophisticated and had tons of “Old World charm,” and yet the dampness and the deliberate messiness of the style thrust the updo into modernity.

Vercher says he wanted to play with the notion of humidity and rain-soaked hair, and so he started out by completely wetting models’ manes and applying Redken leave-in conditioner, followed by Redken 01 Glass Smoothing Serum, and Redken 06 Thickening Lotion to give the hair a slight greasiness without the tackiness associated with product-heavy styles.

Once the hair was coated with these texturizing and conditioning products, Vercher separated the hair from the top of the ear on one side to the nape of the neck at the back, repeating the process on the other side. Working with the bottom section of hair first, he rolled the hair into an upwards-facing twist. Next, moving to the top section of the hair, Vercher used his fingers to brush the top and front of the hair, raking it backward for a slightly messy look and twisting the hair downward.The result then was two inverted twists, with the top one facing downwards an the bottom one facing upwards, meeting at the back of the head, right at the nape of the neck. To piece the two opposing twists together, Vercher applied hair pins diagonally along the center of the resulting chignon, hence resembling the pleats adorning many of the collection’s pieces. Last, any loose strands of hair at the sides were pinned back.

On the makeup front, Lisa Butler led the MAC Cosmetics team backstage, where they created a monochromatic look that involved cream colors an utilized the same shades for eyes, lips, and cheeks. On the eyes, then, she used a ginger-y orange color by blending the burnt coral and terracotta cream colors from MAC. The colors were applied all around the eye, both on the lids and underneath the lower lash line for a ring-like effect, with only a slight point at the outer corners and a touch of back mascara.

These same shades were applied to cheeks, albeit using less product for a lighter overall tint, following the natural shape of the cheekbone. The same colors were also applied to lips using a lip brush and taking in the sides of the mouth for a softer, 1930s-esque shape.

The amazing Deborah Lippmann created the creamy neutral nail look seen on models’ hands and toes. The look involved layering two neutral shades for a universally flattering taupe-ish shade. First, Lippmann’s team applied a base coat, then followed with one coat of the creamy, putty-tinged gray Waking Up in Vegas and layered a coat of DeborahLippmann.com, a creamy taupe shade, above it. Last, they applied the Addicted to Speed fast-drying top coat to give nails a wet-looking shine.

Check out more photos after the jump and don’t miss the video interviews with Nelson Verche and Deborah Lippmann above!


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