Describing the theme animating his spectacular Fall 2014 collection for the legendary house of J. Mendel, CEO and creative director Gilles Mendel told us, “It celebrates the artistry of J. Mendel with the exuberant patterns and jewel-tones. It also takes inspiration from the Ballets Russes, in the boldness of the patterns, textures and colors.” From the sumptuous red plaid broadtail coat with black quilted leather trim that opened the runway show to the gorgeously pleated and draped chiffon gowns evoking the allure and romance of classical ballet, the collection was a marvel of daring geometric color play and effortless elegance.
The look of extraordinary luxury and ease that is the heritage of J. Mendel was also reflected in the airy, naturally glossy hair looks created for the runway—exclusively with a trio of stellar styling products from René Furterer— by uber-talented celebrity hairstylist Anthony Turner of Art Partner. “I love working with Anthony,” said Gilles Mendel. “He really understands the DNA of J. Mendel, and how we want to dress the J. Mendel woman, always keeping the woman young and fresh, yet giving her a sense of sophistication.” Tucked into the collars of the opulent coats and spilling over the shoulders, ever-so-lightly tousled tresses blew away from the face as if gently windblown as each model made her way down the runway.
In sync with the luxe J. Mendel look and insouciant attitude of the hair, makeup master Dick Page (above) for Maybelline New York created a luminous face with a glaze of plum on the cheeks, a subtly smoky eye and fresh rose tint on the lips. Referring to the concept for the hair look, Anthony remarked, “Like the clothes in the collection, the hair has lots of quality. The look is not at all grunge or downtown—this look is uptown for an uptown girl. It’s very airy and easy but also very urban. It’s the J. Mendel glamorous version of natural hair.” Here, we take you step by step through Anthony’s creative process as he leads his team in giving hair what he calls “easy glamour, the kind of hair most women want in an ideal world.”
« First, I douse clean, dry hair with René Furterer Volumea Volumizing Conditioning Spray – No Rinse $26.00 massage the product into the hair with my fingers. I like the way the spray adds body and texture, but is also very light.
« After hair is drenched all the way through with the conditioning spray, I make a clean center part. During the hair test we thought about having a side part, but that can get too Hollywood, and look like you’re trying too hard. The idea for the runway is that the hair should move freely when the girl walks, and not fall in her face. A middle part works better for that. It also looks cooler and younger.
« Next, I rough-dry hair using my fingers and a blow dryer with nozzle attachment TRY: CHI InfraTECH Trim Line Hair Dryer, $69.00. The nozzle helps to concentrate the flow of air down the shaft. Directing the air flow from roots to ends gives us the smooth finish we want by tightening the cuticle.
If the model has coarser hair, we do a classic round-brush blow-out to get that smooth texture. TRY: Spornette Prix Round Boar Bristle Brush Large $24.00
« Once hair is dry, I take sections, starting with the lower layers in the back, and beginning at the roots, curl each section with a large-barrel curling iron. TRY: Hot Tools® 2″ Gold Curling Iron $50.00 Even though we use a curling iron, the result is not meant to look like a set; it’s meant to look like easy, natural hair. After winding each section, the iron is held in place for just a few seconds. The sections in front are directed away from the face. We just want to give the hair some bend, so that it kind of blows out away from the face as the girl walks.
« As soon as all sections are curled, I brush through the curls with a Mason Pearson brush TRY: Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hairbrush,$105.0 and hit the hair with a warm blow dryer. This loosens the “set” so hair falls more naturally and gives the hair a natural, softly polished finish.
« Next, starting in front, I take a wide section of hair and make a large stand-up pin curl, winding the section loosely around my finger to form a roller shape. Then I slip my finger out of the curl and clip it in place. This step is repeated so that I have two big stand-up pin curls on either side of the middle part and a few stand-up pin curls in back. This technique gives hair a little more volume and staying power, keeping the finished look airy and easy. What I’m NOT doing is setting the hair. To add a light, natural hold I go over the stand-up pin curls with Vegetal Finishing Spray $27.00. The pin curls stay in place while the girls go to makeup and are unpinned once they’re dressed for the runway.
« Last, I remove the clips and brush through the hair with a Mason Pearson brush. Brushing it out and fluffing it with my fingers are what make the hair very light and airy. We also want a pretty shine, but we don’t want to overdo it—this is an uptown girl! So I spray a little ]Rene Furterer STYLING Glossing Spray $23.00on the palms of my hands, rub them together, and then rake my hands through the hair. For some of the models we might tuck her hair inside the collar to show she’s a woman in a hurry, but still very at ease and confident. She’s in a hurry, but she still gives her hair more thought—this is more considered hair. Easy but elegant!