Text, Vivian Kelly
Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting celebrity stylist, Yann Varin, at his Madison Avenue Salon, located in the what recession? part of Manhattan -the Upper East Side.
This was thanks to long-time publicist friend, Melanie Seymour of The Project-NY who arranged an introduction with Yann and Philippe Huillet shortly after NYFW.
I had a few things in mind as I walked up to the minimalist yet elegant second floor salon. Top of the list – the Oscars. We started our chat discussing updos and Yann’s innovative “doorknob” bun he’d created for the Emilio Cavallini show during NYFW. This brought us to a discussion about how hair is ONE of the components of a successful “total look”. He went on to say that the European women whose hair he has styled at the Cannes Film Festival [Monica Bellucci] have a different approach to most of the Hollywood actresses who walk the Red Carpet.
The big difference is that European women do not flaunt ALL their assets and thus show far less skin than their American counterparts. This is not to mean that European stars at Cannes wear puritanical dresses on that Red Carpet, only that they tend to make a decision about which of their assets to highlight which results an image that is about THEM, not their dress or a giant piece of expensive jewelry.
Granted, there WERE a lot of major baubles at the Oscars on A-list arms, throats, wrists, and ears, but for the most part, they served to enhance rather than to dominate the looks. Maria Menounos was wearing a lot of Jacob & Co Jewelry, from the Palladium Jewelry collection, but paired with her solid pastel Grecian gown and updo, it worked. In case you’re wondering, her Cocktail Ring comes in at $22,350, the Vintage Chandelier Pear Shaped Stone Earrings at $400,000and the Square Emerald Cut Tennis Bracelet, at $125,000, [$547,350 in total]
Last night, as I stared avidly at ABC’s Red Carpet Arrivals Coverage, I recalled Yann’s words as I tweeted back and forth with Anthony Palermo, another very talented hair stylist.
A-lister, Angelina Jolie, did what Anthony and I had hoped – she wore Atelier Versace again, and the result was hot enough to inspire its own Twitter page! [Twitter friend, @rosagraziano, sent me a tweet about this which I had to read twice to see if I'd misread it].
All that was needed here was a matching shoe, a bright red lip and A-list attitude.
Yann was right. The stars who shone – Michelle Williams – presented a picture-perfect image because nothing tried to over-power anything else. True, Michelle was wearing a very bright Louis Vuitton coral-red dress, but it was in no way garish. Neither were her diamonds, a Brilliant Cut Fred Leighton Forevermark Diamond Necklace. The dress was the focal point and she matched a red lip to it and kept the hair simple and side-parted. No headband and dowdy velvet dress this time, thank you!
So back to “real life”. We all have events to attend that are own personal Red Carpet of sorts and Yann’s advice applies. When you’re choosing your look, try this check-list.
1. Think hard about how you want to look. Do you want to be: a siren? Look polished? A Greek Goddess for the evening?
Whatever it is, decide and stick with THAT look.
2. Choose your dress.
3. Decide on the accessories: the shoe, the bag, the jewelry.
At this point, ask yourself where you will place the accent. That could be a fabulous piece of jewelry [Maria Menounos] or a red lip [Angelina Jolie]. You can only have ONE, so choose carefully.
4. When doing your hair and makeup, they must compliment the look. If your gown is revealing, says Yann, be very careful that your accessories, hair and makeup are very polished. Likewise, if your dress is demure, you can amp up your hair, makeup and bag as Angelina did with a strong lip and teased mane.
Do all of the above, and the result will be “Wow, YOU look great” before “Wow, what an amazing dress” and YOU will be the focus of attention.
Enjoy the party and the attention!
Images from Emilio Cavallini fall 2012 Show, spicycandydc.com