NYFW How-To: "From Jamaica With Love" Wet Look at Sophie Theallet
What film buff doesn't remember that iconic moment in the classic James Bond thriller "Dr. No," when screen siren Ursula Andress rose from the sparkling turquoise sea clad in a pristine white bikini, her skin golden and her hair slicked back with sea water, gleaming in the Caribbean sunlight? With René Furterer styling products at the ready, that moment was reinterpreted by the mega-talented lead hairstylist Peter Gray for the exuberant Sophie Theallet Spring/Summer 2015 collection shown September 9 at Milk Studios.
"It all came from Sophie, who was really inspired by her trip to Jamaica," said Gray. "The hair look came by accident when we were doing the hair test and wetting the hair down with product. We were talking about doing something possibly wet, and twisting it in knots in the back. At one point during the test the model went to change. When she came back with her hair all wet she looked like Ursula Andress when she got out of the water in that Bond film. We'd been talking about the collection being inspired by Jamaica, and I was like, absolutely perfect—this is it! Ursula Andress getting out of the water, putting her fingers through her hair."
On why he selected key products from René Furterer, Gray said, "Three words: Moisture, moisture, moisture. It's all about moisture. If hair is not in great condition, it’s not going to feel good and look good. The success of René Furterer is predicated on the fact that it was designed first for the scalp, then for hair...it’s all about conditioning. The hair today is going to be sweet and simple and fairly straightforward."
The fresh, aprés-swim vibe of the hair was certainly in sync with the luxe holiday look of Sophie Theallet's gorgeous collection, which showed the colorful influences of the dancehall and reggae street art culture of Jamaica.
"The hair is something really important and every time I prepare for a show I meet with Peter Gray," said Theallet. "For this show I imagine with Peter that it’s about creating simply wet hair…she's putting her hands through her hair. It needs to look like she went to the beautiful sea and swims and voila! René Furterer is perfect for this look. I love the smell, the way it supports the hair—it’s fabulous. I’m very excited and happy."
Completing the glamorous look of island chic was the stunning makeup look by lead makeup artist Tom Pecheux for MAC, featuring a provocative nude lip and sultry eyes in glossy burgundy.
GET THE LOOK
STEP 1. While the finished wet look will actually be dry, we begin by spraying the hair with water to make it look wet. Next, starting in back and working one section at a time, we apply René Furterer VOLUMEA Volumizing Foam - No Rinse at the roots and comb it through to the ends with a wide-tooth comb.
STEP 2. Next, we mist sections with René Furterer VOLUMEA Volumizing Conditioning Spray – No Rinse and comb it through. We repeat these steps a few times, rewetting the hair with water before reapplying products. We really saturate the hair with both products to achieve the wet texture we want, and then move on to wet the hair and apply products to the sides and front, slicking hair back, away from the face.
STEP 3. In back, we want to keep the hair from the crown to the nape of the neck tight and close to the head. To keep the weight of the hair down so that hair won’t move on the runway, we work in René Furterer ACANTHE Curl Enhancing Leave-In Fluid from the mid-lengths down to the ends. I like to rub the leave-in fluid between the palms of my hands and then smooth my hands over the hair. The ACANTHE product—again, applied only in the back, not the sides and front—also gives hair the moisture it needs for the texture we want and prevents frizz.
STEP 4. To hold the slicked-back hair in front in place, we spray hair with René Furterer VEGETAL Finishing Spray. Tracing the sectioning end of a rat-tail comb through the front emphasizes the look of running the fingers through the hair after a swim.
STEP 5. Our next step is blow-drying the hair with a sock-style diffuser. Diffusing the hair this way delivers low heat while minimizing airflow. This means no frizz and a natural finish that looks more air-dried. We gather the hair together in back to fall into a straight line, and as we diffuse the hair we try not to touch it too much.
STEP 6. During the diffusing process, we also take a folded rectangle of tissue and clip it to hold the hair in place just below the nape of the neck. We keep the tissue intact as the models are sent to makeup. After makeup and when models are ready for the runway, we remove the tissue and lightly finesse the hair with our hands. And there we have it—an Ursula Andress look that feels young and fresh, perfect for Sophie’s beautiful Jamaican-inspired collection.