Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes at the fashion industry’s hottest ticket in town?

Wonder no more! NaturallyCurly.com is taking you inside New York’s Fashion Week for a sneak peek at three of the hottest designers. Whether you have a penchant for pastels, chic sophistication or an all-out glam slam, top stylists and makeup gurus preview the upcoming trends for spring. And they show you how to take the looks from the catwalk to the sidewalk!

Carmen Marc Valdo.

Odile Gilbert perfects a ‘do.

Waves were aplenty.

Carmen Marc Valvo

The look: Young, fresh, sophisticated

Designer Carmen Marc Valvo is known for his sophisticated evening wear. Stepping backstage, amid a flurry of activity, it’s surprisingly calm. A sense of order overtakes the hustle and bustle. It’s two hours before show time.

More than a dozen top stylists and makeup artists work furiously fast as the models saunter in, zoning out on an iPod or pecking away at a BlackBerry to pass the time. On the left stand the many racks carrying the coveted spring collection. Cameras from fashion shows across the globe follow the debonair designer’s every move backstage. So do I.

Valvo stops for a moment to share the theme of his show. Known for his attention to unique details, Valvo says the inspiration for the spring collection came from the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe.

“It’s taking something that is familiar (like a flower”> and changing somebody’s perception of it,” Valvo says. “It’s all about scale, scale of the skirt, backs of gowns to simulate the folds of a petunia, the way a rosebud would be enveloped. It’s almost a bit of origami work in creating these kind of sculptural pieces.”

The collection’s color palette is simple and clean for spring: black and white, with touches of gray, mauve, rose and gold. The stylish look for the models showcasing his collection is also simple and fresh.

“The hair is put up because we need to show the back details in a lot of the cocktail dresses and gowns and fabulous petal-backed jackets,” Valvo says. “But we didn’t want to look old or tired, so its done up kind of in soft curls like the way the petals of a flower would open.”

Odile Gilbert, the lead stylist for Valvo’s show, dubs the hairstyle, “chic but natural, sophisticated but younger.”

It’s a style easily duplicated at home with a curling iron or hot rollers, bobby pins and Redken’s QuickDry finishing spray.

“I curl all the hair and I put an elastic on the back and the ponytail has a bit of curls and waves and I just pin it in the back,” says Gilbert, also a Redken stylist.

For makeup, the look is “very fresh, very young, like a fresh flower,” Valvo says. “Even though there’s a lot of sexiness in the eye, the mouth is kind of soft and dewy, not too made up.”

Valvo turned to internationally renowned, celebrity makeup guru Tom Pecheux to work his magic.

“We’re giving a little wing to the eyes, like Audrey Hepburn, but a much lighter version,” Pecheux says. “It’s a smoky gray, shimmery color on the eyelid, black liquid eyeliner and black mascara but nothing under the eyes, no eye liner and no mascara — everything is on the top.”

He also adds a touch of Mac’s Reflex Pearl transparent glitter on the eyelid, for an element of fantasy.

“When you look straight you don’t see much of the eyelid, but as human beings we do blink, so it’s really gorgeous,” Pecheux says. “When the girls are walking on the runway and they blink, it’s only a quarter of a second, but it catches the light and it gives all the fantasy, femininity and sexiness to the eyes.”

On the cheeks, it’s more of a contour than a blush, applied a bit lower, not on the apple of the cheek. The look is completed with Pink Glimmer Shimmer lipgloss from Mac, which will be available in the spring of 2007.

For fashionistas looking to simulate this sultry, smoldering look, Pechuex offers a simple trick.

“It’s very difficult to do a precise eyeliner, so I recommend to women that they try to do it and if it’s not perfect, don’t try to make it perfect,” Pechuex explains. “You just take a Q-tip and put a little black pencil on it and you smudge it. That way, it’s even sexier and it looks gorgeous, but you still have the density of the liquid eyeliner because a pencil is never as dark as a liquid eyeliner.”

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