On Tuesday, the 31st of January, 2017, N-P Elliot graced New York Men’s Fashion Week (NYMFW) with his eclectic and inventive designs. He had a world-class team behind him, including renowned hair stylist John Ruidant, who all worked together to create quite the spectacle.
I got the opportunity to chat to John backstage, and get a feel for the inspirations behind the N-P Elliot look. John said that of all the shows he was working on at MNYFW, he was particularly excited to style Elliot’s show. Like many shows at NYMFW, there wasn’t one particular look that the hair needed to be across the board; John adapted each style to fit the texture and length of each individual model’s hair.
N-P Elliot had a very specific theme in mind for this presentation, and in order to match the quality and vision that Elliot required, John utilized the incredible power of Axe styling products.
For the guys with longer hair, Elliot wanted it to be slicked back and gelled. For this, John used the Axe ‘Spiked Up Look Hair Gel’, which has a bit more of a hold than the ‘Matte Gel’. The gel was put on the hair with a bit of water, and then diffused – whatever natural wave or texture came out, John let it be. At the ends, John put in the ‘Messy Pomade’, to give it a little separation.
For the afro-textured guys, the main goal for Elliot was to minimize the width. With that in mind, John used mainly water, and a bit of ‘Salt Spray’, and then diffused it, to help re-shrinken the hair on the sides, but still leaving the volume on top. To finish of the afro-texture, John used the ‘Clean Cut Look’, because it has more of a shine, and an oil feel to it.
Then there were the dreads and braided guys. With them, the main thing was ‘Salt Spray’, which was dried in really loosely, just to give the hair a bit more grip, so that it would be easier to braid. After the braids were completed, John used twine and different colored strings to help wrap around the braids, and interlock with the hairstyle.
The inspiration behind the look was a mix between a bit of ‘Blade Runner’, and individuality depending on the models. There was not one clean, specific look, however the overall impact of the hair and clothes fused together to create a tribal-like feel. That being said, it was important that the hair still looked wearable, and didn’t feel unachievable as a look to get. The makeup perfectly complimented the overall look; there were golden-greenish lines painted on the models eyes, further contributing to the overall tribal theme.
The hairstyles were remarkably interesting, which is exactly as I would describe N-P Elliot’s collection as a whole.
The design of the presentation room was very simple; the entire backdrop was entirely white, the only varying factor was white blocks of different levels for the models to stand upon. The simplicity of the setting allowed the colorful and unique designs to really pop, and the result was quite a sight to behold.
Of all of the fashion presentations I have seen, this was the closest to a ‘show’. At first, when the audience was ushered into Platform 3, the room was empty and white. There was a line on the floor that the audience was instructed not to cross, setting up the front of the room like a stage.
The first sign of action was a young woman walks up to the center of the blocks, and stands behind a DJ set facing the audience. Alone, she started the show, and boy was she intriguing to watch. She began her first song, which was very otherworldly in style; the music was wistful and promising. As the music played, she moved one hands methodically to the music, her other hand clenched in a fist, in a similar motion that you would see from a symphonic instructor.
As the song progressed, the models entered the room in a line formation, equidistant from one another, and they marched round in a choreographed movement to eventually end up in a line on the blocks. This stylized movement and opening helped contribute the tribal feel of the designs, and set the audience up for a show.
Once the introduction was over, the audience was able to move past the line, and go up to the models, to inspect the clothes, and take pictures. This specific opening, and the way the audience reacted, made the models seems like part of a museum exhibition, or a zoo. The models did not interact with the audience, and the audience examined them with wonder and excitement, pointing at things they found interesting, and snapping away constantly.
The designs themselves were bold, colorful, and loud. They were less what you would usually see on the streets everyday, but they certainly made a statement. There were fur coats and hoods, heavily patterned leggings, top-heavy trousers, big jackets, bold hair – and more than anything, the designer took endless risks.
The show ended in the same way it started, with the models exiting the space in a line formation, giving the show a nice cyclical feel, while providing a beginning, middle, and end. It was a striking collection, and the styling was flawless. A wildly successful show all round.