Guido Palau (Redken): New York to me, has always been 'the place about the ponytail’ and I’ve been doing ponytails for 15 years—I’m always trying to reinvent them. This time, Alex had a very clear idea that he wanted a small head, which is very un-him in a way... quite severe, not that textured, kind of easy look. Alex’s girls were always looser or disheveled, or sexy, or a version of that, and this feels much more controlled and sophisticated. Not ‘sophisticated,’ though. That’s why I used the electrical tape down the part: I didn’t want ‘boring and sophisticated.’ When I saw the collection, I just felt that a ponytail was too classic, so I thought, ‘Why don’t we put a black stripe—we’ll get some black tape and put it into the hair?’ It sends your mind somewhere else; it isn’t just about classicism. The hair becomes a little bit aggressive—it’s a little bit army-like; a little uniform-y. When you go in to work with young designers, you’re working out what it could be, and you take off and add on and hope to add one little thing—like the tape this time—to get it fashion-forward. Not a huge thing, because huge things can work, but you still want an ease to it. We used Redken Satin Wear, which I blow-dried into the hair to get the smoothness, and then some Fashion Work 12 spray to clean up the hair. I do like the idea of doing something as classic as a ponytail that's slightly updated. Whether it’s the tape or doing something slightly different, it’s always nice when it’s a little bit questioned. Like ‘Oh what’s that about?’...When it’s not so easy to read.
Diane Kendal (Nars): It was definitely more matte this season for Alexander. We just did moisturizer and then we used the Powder Foundation from Nars on top, so it's still very sheer and the girls still look very fresh. I used two different tones, one lighter, for accent, and one slightly darker in the center of the cheek. I used the Zen Blush on the tops, just on the apples. I filled in the eyebrows with either Bali or Blondie eyeshadow to look boyish, squarish, I curled the eyelashes, used Cayenne eyeshadow for contour above the eye and I took the lips down with foundation. Some of the girls have different makeup—some of the looks are more dewy, with a more luminous face, Albatross Highlighting Blush on the high points of their cheeks and no eyebrows. Oh, I can’t tell you why yet! [Laughs] You have to see the show. [Note: The Alexander Wang finale was under blacklight! Hence all the pre-show secrecy surrounding the dewier looks, crafted for the girls who would later glow in the dark.] But it’s really a quite boyish, androgynous look, the one that Alexander always loves. He always likes his girls to look quite androgynous, modern, and beautiful.
Photographed by Emily Weiss at Pier 94 in New York on September 8th, 2012.