Vivienne Tam is all about duality for fall 2011, a balance of new and old, ancient and modern, says the designer. Inspired by Chinas 600-year old Kun Opera, Tam translated the opera houses sculptural shapes and elaborate costumes in both the structure of her collection (which mixed tweeds, wools, silks, and lace) as well as the hair, makeup, and nails that she and her team of experts sent down the runway this season.
In the spirit of both creating and keeping a balance, hairstylist Leon Gorman made sure not to take Tams inspiration too literally: She told me that [what influenced her this season] was Chinese Opera which is quite strong so we wanted to do something that was a little more off [with the beauty look], otherwise the models would have had masks on their faces! After blowing the hair straight, Gorman and his team gave models a simple ponytail, back-combed the hair, and then pulled everything up to the top of the head before securing it with the final west-meets-east, modern-meets-ancient touch: an old-fashioned hairnet. Gorman added the tress accessory to almost turn the hair into a fabric which created a very subtle, beautiful, and elegant effect. To complete the look, the stylist pulled a couple of pieces of hair through the net and secured it all with hairspray (the Vivienne Tam team used Cutler Volumizing Spray).
Makeup artist Andy Koh interpreted Tams inspiration by emphasizing the eyes and the cheeks. Koh used Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner in black and the brands Stiletto Mascara to create a face with more structure to compliment the structure in Tams clothing and Maybelline Fit Me Blush in deep rose to highlight cheeks. Other products you can use to get the full Vivienne Tam face for fall? A light-weight foundation (Koh used Maybelline Fit Me Foundation] for the natural, even complexion that models rocked down the runway; a neutral eye shadow with a little shimmer; and a lipstick thats neither shiny nor matte but more of a balance between the two (naturally!). How do you know what shade is right for you when attempting to translate the look at home? Koh suggests using the color closest to your natural lip color.
My personal favorite (and absolute must-have) beauty product from Tams show: Incocos French Manicure Glitter Tips in Ruby Shoes. For nails, Vivienne wanted something very glamorous, flirty, and fun to go in line with the Chinese Opera and opulence theme, manicurist Katherine told me. Mission accomplished! Each glitter-fabulous nail strip has a base color and topcoat already included, and typically, the tips last between 10-14 days (even though it takes only a couple of minutes to apply). Manicures-made-easy for the gal-on-the-go.
For more backstage beauty and behind-the-scenes looks from Vivienne Tams fall 2011 collection, click through the slideshow above.
Photos Courtesy of Larkin Clark