November 16, 2010

Elegance….It’s Back In Style…….

Conversations with Peter Lamas

Of course with the holiday parties and get-togethers coming up, we all want to look our best.  How do we achieve that feat? After all, we live in an age where we get to see daily the beautiful celebrities and models.  At times we are left in awe of their fashion sense and perfection.  I have to remind myself that if I had a hair and make-up person, as well as a stylist, perfection and a great sense of style would be much easier to achieve.  What can we as normal, everyday people do to achieve that sense of glamour?

Who better to ask that question to than Peter Lamas, the best-selling author and leading beauty guru to the Hollywood and fashion elite?  Peter is one of the leading international beauty experts in the world and has been for the past 30 years.  Peter started doing hair and make-up part time as a way to help earn money to finance his education.  He soon learned that not only did he have a flair for doing hair and make-up, but he truly enjoyed helping his clients look his/her best.

His resume in the hair field is quite impressive…..working for Vidal Sassoon, training under Paul Mitchell, and working at the legendary Kenneth Salon Townhouse.  Kenneth’s Townhouse not only drew the Hollywood celebrities, but also many of the leading figures in the recording industry, society and the arts.  Peter became quite adapt at make-up while at Kenneth’s as the Townhouse had its own make -up line.  He gained a reputation in make-up wizardry by combining his talents in hair, styling and color, with make-up that made the most of the woman’s natural beauty assets.  He was able to make over a client for a certain event as well design a look for their everyday life.

As if that experience wasn’t enough, he regrouped with Paul Mitchell and became his right hand man at Henri Bendel Salon. His work there gave him the opportunity to also work with famed photographers Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Francesco Scavullo.  Peter was in high demand to do hair and make-up for editorial photo shoots, cover work and national print advertising work  at Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Mademoiselle etc.  Impressive resume to say the least…………..and oh yeah, some of  his clients …….Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Twiggy, Gloria Vanderbilt, Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway, Diana Ross…..just to name a few!  He certainly has seen glamour and beauty! You can read more about his impressive resume at

So when Peter wants to give me a few ideas on how to look glamorous for the holidays, I am all ears! (And I will have more on Peter’s advice on all natural products, the latest in hair and make-up trends, and making the most of your assets and coloring, not working against them in upcoming segments!) I am grateful to Peter for taking the time out of his schedule to talk to me.

One thing that Peter has been seeing, and I agree completely with, is that we are seeing a resurgence of Old Hollywood glamour.  Elegance seems to have been missing in fashion and glamour.  It is making a comeback.  Perhaps the success of MadMen has helped.  Perhaps it is the economy. What I found interesting was that elegance really does not revolve around a lot of expensive clothes or jewelry.  While elegance is a very chic look, it really is very simplistic and tailored. (Take a look at those pictures of say Jackie, or in Katie Holmes’ re-creation of Jackie for the upcoming television series on the Kennedys to see what he means) It does involve a finished look, but it tends to be understated.

And it isn’t about overkill in hair/make-up as well as clothing style either.   It is picking what you individually want to emphasize.  Have great eyes, make those your feature to highlight…..downplay everything else.  Have a gorgeous handbag that you want to show off?? Don’t overpower it with jewelry.   How to get those vintage/glam looks? Seriously look at vintage shops.  Like Peter, I have become a thrift store convert.  I am amazed at how unique some of the jewelry and clothing items that I have been able to find.  I would say that 99% of time, if I am complemented on an item, it was a thrift store purchase. You could have a closet that consists of 3 outfits.  But with accessories, you can take those three outfits and make them into a spectacular wardrobe!

Step one to getting some elegance and Old World Hollywood into your look??  Start consciously incorporating a more polished look.  Whether it involves laying out your clothes the night before or playing up your best beauty feature……practice makes perfect.  And it gives the wearer a sophisticated , feminine and very confident look……………a look that is not only perfect for the holiday parties and get togethers, but also one that  you can incorporate and transcend into your everyday life!

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