typeF BlogsFashion Week NYC : February 9-16, 2012

A little masculinity at Richard Chai Love

By Shyema Azam

Just like the clean, crisp lines found in Richard Chai’s collection this season, the beauty look was straightforward and minimal. Most of the models looked as though like they were dressed up to go to their class in a posh London town as they walked to The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now?” soundtrack. 

Richard Chai Fall 2012

“Richard Chai has a very specific aesthetic,” said Aveda stylist Frank Rizziera. “He doesn’t want a look that’s too contrived.”

Hair at Richard Chai

The hair, he said, is “controlled chaos – one step away from being a total mess…as if the girl just took off her sweater and her hair is slightly disheveled.”


 Models backstage at Richard Chai

To get that look, Rizzieri layered products. He first used Aveda’s Voluminizing Tonic from roots to midshaft, and then combed the hair back using a wax pomade. Finally, he set the look with shine-on spray. He said to get a more messy look, the stylists will literally wait until the models are in the line up to further mess a few of the front pieces even more.


Richard Chai Love

Richard Chai Love

 Watching the show, I don’t think I would have described the models’ hair as really being too messy. But I did appreciate the clean, deep side-parts that I felt played nicely with the cuts of the collection.

 MAC face chart Richard Chai Love

In the makeup department, MAC Cosmetics James Kaliardos, said the emphasis was on clean skin.

“Richard Chai wanted the models to look like their skin was toned and nothing more than that.” The look he said is veering more to a masculine or androgynous look – “like a Peter Lindbergh photograph of Linda Evangelista.”


James Karliados

To achieve the look, he said he kept the palette netural. He skipped the foundation altogether (only using concealer where needed), and sculpted the eye by using Pro Sculpting cream in Coffee Walnut in the crease and inner corners for a shadowy depth. Only a little taupe blush was applied to contour the cheekbones. Skipping mascara, he finished by adding a dab of a classic nude lip stain with his finger.

 James Karliados

Finally in the nail department, celebrity manicurist Elle Gerstein was on hand to show the opaque neutral taupe color of Essie’s Glamour Purse – a color in between a wood and cashmere, she said.

Glamour Purse nail polish

Glamour Purse nail polish


“The color plays off beautifully with the fabrics,” she said. They topped it with the “Man-E-Cure” top coat which is a subtle matte. Chai wanted something in between a matte and shine, and this semi-matte top coat fit the bill. Yup, even the male models had to wear a coat of this clear polish before they were sent off the runway.


What do you guys think about the look? It’s pretty simple and easy for everyday, don’t you think?


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