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Prep Meetings with the Designers: 1-27-11

Jen Kao & assistants

Jen Kao & assistants

First stop today is a new designer for us…Jen Kao. She’s very pretty and commanding…à la Kimora Lee Simmons, with an LA Valley Girl twist! Her vision is creative, colorful and dynamic.  She’s totally into nails and is open to thrilling her audience with innovative ideas. During the meeting, Kristina Estabrooks, our lead fashion week designer had tools –a- flyin! We were going crazy with ideas for Colour & Effects combos that complemented each look. It’s an exciting time for nails and fashion, as we see designers opening up to our world of options. How nails have changed over the years! Now, it’s about the best way to accessorize…with texture, dimension, drama, length, and shape…versus just choosing color!

Now we make a quick dash to my hotel to have a chat with O, The Oprah Magazine. The entire beauty department has been Shellacked and they are absolutely obsessed! The magazine is very interested in the science and the inner workings of the Shellac system! Such a smart magazine…tell WHY it’s unique, how does the science work, why were you in the lab for 5 years…all the right questions!!! As I’m having an education session by phone, Kristina is at the O Magazine offices Shellacking even more people! As she’s packing up…guess who walks out of the office? Gayle King. Hmmm…wonder who we might Shellac next!

Irina, Jan, Julia

Back on the streets to see another new designer for us…AND a former Project Runway winner: Irina Shabayeva! We venture to the heart of the fashion industry in the West 30’s at Sixth Avenue, where fabric bolts are wheeling down the street, reams of sequins are in big boxes…and we even see a store called: Spandex World! This is where the heart of American fashion lies. No sweat shop action here. Rather, we see beautiful workshops of sewing machines, pattern makers and craftsman focused on doing quality, precision work. It reminds me of our Boot Camps, where we take every element of our craft to heart: mix ratio, smile lines, dimension designs and proper apex placement! We make our way through the clothing racks to meet an exotic, yet tiny designer with giant doe eyes…wearing a Muslin cutout of one of her designs for final decisions before the coat is made. She greets us warmly and thanks us profusely for helping bring her show to life! Irina jumps right in with questions about the nails – “The finishing details for my show…I’m so excited…what shall we do? What are your ideas?” Needless to say, we have a great meeting and we’re ready with a fabulous nail style!

They say ‘Blonds have more fun!’ And, indeed it’s true when we’re talking about David and Philippe Blond, the design duo who got their start making corsets and now work with the likes of Lady Gaga and Patricia Field. Every year, their show draws the coolest cats in town…the front row is filled with style makers, performance artists and trend leaders. Nails are not only an integral part of the runway look, but a way of life for the Blonds. In fact, in our meeting in prep for their show, they already had clearly thought-through, precisely designed nail styles ready to discuss.  We also LOVE that they even know the professional nail LINGO!!!! They are precise about what adornments should go at the cuticle line, the detailing at extension edge and the color gradient at the lateral wall….it’s unbelievable and so efficient for us because we can over-deliver on their every dream!  The theme this year, as always, is completely over the top, lavish and theatrical!!!  Kristina is already at work to bring 20 full sets of incredible nails to life!!!

I’ll leave you with these final words, courtesy of the boys at the end of the meeting: “You don’t have to have blonde hair to be a Blond!!!!”

One Response to “Prep Meetings with the Designers: 1-27-11”

  1. Jim Eckmann says:

    Your husband, while talking cars with me last night outside by our basketball hoop, is always promoting you — and recommended I check out your blog. I looped in Helen and we enjoyed your enthusiastic prose — it’s like you’re in the room with us.

    Best of luck this week. Do well and prosper. Jim & Helen Eckmann

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