>Runway Magazine and Anthony Leonard’s Avant-Garde Hair

11 Jun

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY

I was sitting in Anthony Palermo’s chair, at the Anthony Leonard Salon this week, paralyzed with relief. After my attempts at replicating Amber Valetta’s “Lady Day” silver do came to a dismal end, I’d pretty much given up the fantasy. Thanks to Doreen at Adam Broderick in CT, I was back to my actual hair color [a level 4-5], NOT the almost-black most colorists insisted I am.
STILL, I couldn’t let go of the fantasy, so there I was. It took Anthony under 30 seconds to “get it” and I relaxed for the first time in a week with a copy of Runway Magazine.

At first, I couldn’t understand Anthony’s excitement at having editorial in a magazine that had Stephanie Pratt on the cover. True, she’s probably the most natural of “The Hills” Gang” but she’s not really an avant-garde fashion inspiration, and neither was the [yawn] beauty pageant contestant hair on the swim trend pages.
BUT THEN, when he turned to the editorial he and his partner, Leonard Zagami did for the “Von Alexandria’ 12-page spread, it all became crystal clear, why he was so thrilled.
THERE, starting on p.54, were MELANI VON ALEXANDRIA avant garde clothes and the hair Leonard created that added to the beautiful moody tone of GAKU FUJINO’S shoot. Von Alexandria’s clothes make you dream of being Superwoman, at least when they’re on your back. In fact, her spring 2009 “SUPERWOMAN” collection was a nod to “SUPERHEROES” ( the Fashion and Fantasy Metropolitan Costume Institute 2008 Exhibit). While the clothes were exciting and vaguely McQueen, it was the hair that really grabbed me, and there is NOTHING wrong with that.

Said Anthony, “People always say, ‘Oh, it shouldn’t be about the hair, it will over-power the clothes’, but what they don’t understand is that it can ADD so much to the shoot in its entirety.”
After flipping through the ‘Von Alexandria’ shoot, I couldn’t agree more.
Anthony’s beer can wigs were juxtaposed with pretty makeup by Jen Myles for MAC Cosmetics. The shoot took place in their NYC boutique salon on East 54th Street. Anthony created these unique beer can wigs, starting with synthetic sixties wigs from the same source the legendary KENNETH used. The source? “A trade secret” he told me with a roguish smile.
From there, he dyed them in wonderful colors that would not be found in nature, a silver+ Ketchup red and royal purple and silver. As he says on his blog, www.anthonyleonardsalon.comthis kind of hair “is For The Fashion Extremist Only.
Here’s the score – fashion editorial and fashion advertising are about FANTASY. Fashion is supposed to make you fantasize and dream. If you want boring reality, then mags like Lucky and Woman’s Day are more your speed. I applaud Nole Marin for trying to push the envelope. If all goes well, Runway will turned into a pub like Stephen Gan’s V-Mag.

DESIGNER MELANI VON ALEXANDRIA’s a designer with a conscience and a mission.
Her mission – to transform weapons of destruction into unique ornaments, brooches, and cuffs,
She has an ongoing collaboration with the City of Philadelphia to support a city known for its high rate of violence. MVA created jewelry out of a one-of gun metal alloy, after reading about the murder of a young girl in Philly. Said Melani, “I just wanted to take something destructive and turn it into something creative. Something had to be done. . . . I woke up one day and realized it could be me. I could be shot and killed.” Later that summer, she approached Sheriff John D. Green who stated his department agreed almost immediately to the proposal. The designer donates a portion of the proceeds to the Philadelphia School District.”
For more information on MVA, visit her Facebook page.
To view the MVA editorial in its entirely, visit www.runwaylive.com

ENDNOTES – Summer Styling Tips From Leonard Zagami.
From the Beauty Editorial that ran on pp. 24-27
FOR BANG ISSUES – Hit too short bangs w/ a K-Pak Professional Reconstrx Vapor Iron to give bangs a cool 20’s flapper look.

MAKEUP TIP – For the Perfect “Belle de Jour” lip, just use cleargloss over a smudged lipliner.
*I like MAC Cosmetic’s liners as they stay put and their lipglass as they stay on for hours on end.

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