Rodarte backstage is one of my favorites to cover every season—among other brands that are trying to jump onto what's cool or current, Laura and Kate Mulleavy just stay themselves. There's a pretty singular direction: Sometimes it's California, sometimes it's romantic, but always with an element of fantasy. This season was more pulled back compared to past shows—no pierced eyebrows or Swarovski crystal lash lines to be found, but there were still winks. Pretty doesn't always mean boring.
Nars' key artist on the show, James Kaliardos, said it was about youth—but not literally. "It’s not really 'I wish I was 18,'" He told me. "It’s more like, 'What is beautiful about somebody who is youthful?' For me, it was about a really about sheer illumination, the glowing, and optimistic feeling we have when we are kids. Which I do feel we have to fight to retain." He kept describing the look as "expensive"—maybe rich girl makeup is the new rich girl hair?
The product list was short but mighty. Coverage was Nars' new Soft Complete Concealer with the Tinted Moisturizer. "You can still see the skin, and you look perfect, and very rich. Isn't that what we all want?" Nars' forthcoming Bumpy Ride Blush (similar to Orgasm, if you're itching to buy) was applied on the outer cheek bones, as opposed to on the apples or under the eyes, which was so stunning. Then a golden Velvet Shadow Stick in a new Spring shade called Belle-Île was drawn under the eye and blended out.
My favorite reference, though, was the lips, because of this: "I used to work a lot with Richard Avedon"—(!!)—"and whenever I would make the lip too pale he’d say they were dead-looking. A trick is to add a bit of like peachiness into the lip, which is pale but also healthy and alive, not totally dead."
Odile Gilbert for Wella kept the hair clean and natural to start, but laced ribbons and barrettes that her team created using textures from the collection throughout. The inspiration, she explained, was youth again, but literally this time. "It's as if you're a kid in school, and you're supposed to create something instead of buying something." She explained. "It’s very important to not to think and just to do. You grab some hair, and you cut a piece of fabric, you just do a knot, and you make it look a little rough."
Let me also take a moment for the nails, because nobody talks about the manicures enough and Tracylee's Rodarte mani was seriously good. They were inspired by gold chains, with Morgan Taylor's New School Nude on the nail and Glitter and Gold painted with a details brush gently around the cuticle. Gilded nails—big for spring!
Photographed by the author.
And the fun doesn't stop! More from New York Fashion Week can be found here.