HOW-TO: 18th-Century Look from Costello Tagliapietra
Celebrity hair stylist Nelson Vercher of Rita Hazan Salon and Agent Oliver explains his inspiration and conceptualization of the hair look for Costello Tagliapietra Spring/Summer 2013 Show.
“The inspiration started with 18th-century paintings,” says Vercher. “Hair was always curled, waved or frizzed,” he says.
Unlike the aristocrats who hired coiffeurs to dress their hair, most women back then didn’t do much in the way of styling beyond brushing.
“For the collection, we were inspired by this soft, natural, romantic look, but we wanted to make it more edgy, less pretty. The fashion is all about this cool, elegant woman. We wanted to put romance out there, but we also wanted to drive forward texture,” says Vercher.
To achieve his artistic goals, Vercher and his team worked exclusively with René Furterer’s styling products.
“We were going for looks that were easy and relaxed, pared-down hair to play off the softly draped necklines of the clothes,” says Vercher. More focused on an ultra-modern dull finish rather than glossy shine, he describes the look as the next level of textured hair. Here is Vercher’s step by step, from start to the runway-ready finish.
STEP 1: First, I sprayed hair with a light misting of Avène Thermal Spring Water, starting at the crown, and then misting hair layer by layer. This helped to prep hair for styling, while providing protective moisturizing benefits.
STEP 2: I took generous amounts of mousse and worked it through dampened hair, saturating it from roots to ends. This provides hold and support for the finished look and also moisturizes hair from the inside out.
STEP 3: To add soft volume—I wanted the volume to be light and airy, and concentrated underneath the outer layers to make it more modern—I applied a volumizing conditioning spray – no rinse. For even distribution, I sprayed hair one section at a time.
STEP 4: Using a blow dryer with a nozzle attachment, I rough-dried the hair with my fingers, giving hair a lift at the roots. As a step toward the matte finish we were going for, it was important to be sure the hair was completely dry.
STEP 5: To create texture and enhance volume, I sprayed dry hair at the roots with a dry shampoo, starting in back and working up to the crown. Following rough-drying, to add a little finish in front, I continued to blow dry hair, using a round brush for the front section.
STEP 6: Next, I curled random sections with a large-barrel curling iron—the goal was to create more texture, not curls. We were not going for a Hollywood, beachy look. We wanted imperfect, uneven texture to give an easy, relaxed look a modern edge.
STEP 7: Following curling, I gave hair another quick misting of dry shampoo, and then raked my fingers through the hair, piecing out sections with my hands. To “set” the texture and create a softly rippled effect, I twisted and pinned hair into a bun, either one at the crown, or two or three—perhaps one in front, one in the back and another at one side. In the time it took for the make-up team to apply the model’s make-up, hair was set.
STEP 8: After I unpinned the bun, I fluffed out hair with my hands. Last, I gave hair another misting of the dry shampoo to reinforce the texture, followed with a finishing spray for natural, long-lasting hold.
The result: effortless, ethereal elegance.