>The Woolrich Black Label Debut by Paula Gerbase at fall2011 NYFW

24 Feb

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Text, Vivian Kelly
Hair and Makeup Commentary – Cassi Hurd

Hair and makeup play an important part in the overall look of a collection, as do the right accessories. With that in mind, I invited my friend, hair and makeup artist, Cassi Hurd to join me backstage to see Woolrich John Rich & Bros. ‘ launch of Black Label by Paula Gerbase.
In a somewhat comical blooper, [sorry – I deleted it from the video!] I asked Paula “where was the lingerie aspect” to her collection?” I’d hurriedly researched Paula that morning and came up with “British lingerie designer.” I couldn’t imagine how lingerie would play into a Woolrich Collection.
It does not.
It was no surprise that Paula seemed initially a bit taken aback before laughing and telling us, that her background is in Savile Row.
Aha. That explained the beautiful tailoring of the pieces the models posed in on the podiums outside in the shadowy Eyebeam Studio.
Until I got to Eyebeam Studio and met Paula, I’d thought of Woolrich as “in the country” plaid, red and black buffalo check, specifically.
Paula switched things up and delivered forest green and navy plaid – much more sophisticated. Green, one of the colors of the season, looked good. One of my favorite pieces was a  semi-sheer wool overdress.
Paula describes the Woorich Black Woman as a female urban warrior-ess. She’s not slopping around in Lakeville or Kent Connecticut in her Muck Boots and red buffalo coat.  Classic Woolrich will do just fine for those “in the country” weekends, but that is not what Black Label is about.
The Woolrich Black Label collection has a more sophisticated sensibility. Woolrich Black is for women who are concerned with braving the cold and wet streets of Gotham and the Windy City, London, Paris, or Milano in cozy layers on their way to work at their cool job at the Museum, Ad Agency, or Art Gallery.
The Black Label woman’s hair and makeup has that “done but not done” look that women from the above cities do so well. Paula told us that she chose to have the models’ hair up or down, depending on the neckline and proportion of the outfit she was wearing.  This is a refreshing departure from the formulaic [and dated] concept of having all the models hit the catwalk in precisely the same hairstyle, which reminds me too much of Gianni Versace and Calvin Klein shows in the early Nineties.

For the fun of it, I mentally gifted myself the navy and green tartan jacket and picked some accessories to wear with it. My vision – attending Paris Fashion Week this coming fall, in the jacket, Tom Ford  “Peter” or “Raquel” sunglasses and tuning out the noise around me with a matching pair of WeSc checked Bongo headphones in moss green.

These are just my suggestions on what to wear with these pieces. What would YOU accessorize them with? I’d like to know!

For more tips on how to work your hair and makeup, visit Cassi’s site, www.youniquechic.net
Where To Buy:
Woolrich Black Label will be available at Barney’s NY this fall.
All accessories mentioned, available at www.tobi.com
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