Inspiration is a funny concept. It’s tricky to generate out of thin air, as so often it is found in a random encounter with something beautiful or stirring. However, when style professionals and visionaries come together to brainstorm on a theme, one can’t help but feel that the inspiration everyone is so often chasing is thick in the air. When SHEI Magazine collaborated with Lily Grace Cosmetics in downtown Ann Arbor, the brilliant fashion show that resulted was positively brimming with inspirational ideas for the upcoming fall season.
Last week’s cosmetics show, made possible with help from Lily Grace’s owner Cyndi Clark, was about more than simply showcasing the newest trends in cosmetics. Committee members from the St. Joe’s Holiday Ball board were gathered in the atrium of this main street building that boasts Lily Grace’s full service spa and cosmetics selection in order to find some inspiration for their next elaborate charity event.
Every year, the committee plans a Holiday Ball that raises money for various beneficiaries within St. Joe’s hospital. The ornate theme for this year’s ball is Rococo. Planning an event with such a rich and vibrant theme meant that the committee would need some genuine inspiration in order to pull off their lavish affair.
Members of the committee turned to Clark and members of the SHEI fashion team, all of whom knew it would be necessary to look back to the royal 18th century way of life for inspiration. The team brought elements of historic Rococo themes into the 21st century by combining modern products and clothing with a hint of classic Rococo ideals.
The first look of the show was a classic regal look, modeled after director Sofia Coppola’s portrayal of Marie Antoinette in the 2006 film. SHEI’s own fashion editor Sola Muno was the model for the first, most exquisite Rococo look. An ornate midnight blue ball gown was accented with a voluminous up do, complete with a white powder that was typical of royalty and was a symbol of high social status and wealth in the days of Marie Antoinette.
As was anticipated by the fashion team, this first statement look was a huge hit, as well as a great way to kick off the show. Of all the looks presented over the course of the show, this was the favorite of Lily Grace’s owner Cyndi Clark, who remarked, “I really loved our Marie Antoinette. I loved that Sola’s up do style was modern with a splash of white chalk to bring the Rococo theme. To top it off, the feather headpiece that our hair director, Nikki P., designed for this event was amazing.”
Lily Grace’s hair director Nikki Paton was responsible for creating six unique feathered and flowered hairpieces, one for each of the models. These distinctive accessories paired beautifully with the clothing that was generously provided by local boutique Ayla & Co. The clothing, which was subtly ornate, made even more of a statement when accentuated by voluminous hair and bold accessories.
A continual theme throughout the show was the way the cosmetics kept the models looking naturally gorgeous. Clark commented, “I really wanted our clients to see Rococo in the modern day. Fresh, clean, glowing skin, sheer blush, all natural.”
Products used by the makeup artists included By Terry’s Cellularose Blush Glace and RMS Lip2cheek. The idea behind the lips on every model entailed using colors like burgundy and various shades of pink, which served to mimic the look of a having a berry-stained mouth. The stylists stuck to a darker color palate when it came to choosing clothes, keeping the dresses simpler colors like navy and black, which served as a beautiful background to render the blushing tones of the cosmetics even more apparent.
By the time the models rounded the atrium for one last appearance, the ladies on the committee for the St. Joe’s Holiday Ball were speechless. The show was beautiful, and showed everyone in attendance how elements from a very illustrious period in time can be transformed to give even the most modern fashionista a fresh and contemporary spin on the best trends that history has to offer.